APPLICATIONS by Redbridge Council to make large banners celebrating the Olympics a permanent fixture have been rejected by a panel of conservation area experts.

The council had applied to make up to 80 of the banners in George Lane, South Woodford and High Street, Wanstead permanent to advertise council services and events.

Fears were raised by residents the banners would add to street clutter and would only be used as a propaganda tool.

The Conservation Advisory Panel last night rejected the two applications.

Jim Wragg, an independent member of the panel, said: "People already spend too much time driving down the roads looking at all the signs and not concentrating. These would only add to the problem."

A date has not yet been set for the application to appear before a planning committee.