A BLUE-CHIP property developer has been accused of ‘fly-posting on a massive scale’ after failing to remove an unlawful advertising board, despite promising to do so “immediately”.
Earlier this month, a Guardian investigation revealed that the board, at the edge of Hollow Ponds on the Green Man Roundabout had not received planning permission.
Barratt Homes, who commissioned the advert, promised to remove the sign on October 1, but weeks later it is still there.
South Woodford resident Tommy Ward, who first raised concern about the “ugly” sign, said it should never have been erected.
“These big companies just think they can get away it, it’s like they’re fly-posting, but on a massive scale. They do it all the time and hope no one kicks up a fuss. But that forest is supposed to be sacred land and it’s so out of place.”
The hoarding has raised fears that the roundabout which borders picturesque Epping Forest land could end up looking like the nearby Charlie Brown’s roundabout.
Pat Ilett, of Thornwood Close in South Woodford, has frequently been involved in battles to remove billboards from Charlie Brown’s roundabout and said: “These adverts can be very dangerous and they need to be strictly controlled.
“The whole idea of advertising is for people to see it. Drivers should be keeping their eyes on the road, not advertising boards.
“If I was driving and saw David Beckham in his shorts on a billboard I would be looking at the advert. We are not America but we’ll end up looking like it if we don’t put a stop to it.”
A spokeswoman for Barratt Homes said: “As we pointed out before, we purchased this advertising space through an external agency in completely good faith.
“After the Guardian’s initial inquiry, we pointed out to the agency that this particular advertising site did not appear to have planning consent and ordered them to remove it immediately.
“However, the agency claimed that planning consent had been obtained and is now in dispute with the local authority as a result.
“However, we have made it clear that we do not wish to be associated with any dispute and have once again ordered the immediate removal of the signage, which we shall ensure is done without delay.”
A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council confirmed the sign lacks planning permission, and added that they expect the sign to be removed within the next few days.