A PAIR of giant advertising signs which tower above the M4 have been completed.
The Chiswick Towers, which stand just by Chiswick roundabout, were built last week by Wildstone, an outdoor advertising specialist commissioned by Transport for London (TfL).
TfL has estimated the permanently lit static adverts will reach 20.3 million road users a month, meaning they will be the highest value advertising space on the M4.
There was widespread objection from residents over its bright lighting and worries it would block views from Kew Gardens.
There were also fears the adverts would distract motorists as they drove along the M4 elevated section, an area well known locally for having a high number of accidents.
This led to Hounslow Council rejecting the application at a planning meeting on December 6, 2011, three months after the application made by Transport for London (TfL) had first been received.
It swiftly appealed against the refusal and an officer from the Planning Inspectorate, the government agency which handled the subsequent inquiry, paid a visit to the site on May 29 last year.
In his report, the inspector Andrew Jeyes overturned the council’s decision and granted permission for the new structure, known as Chiswick Towers, to be put in place for a period of five years.
He did note that developers for another controversial development, the London Octopus, were also worried about the negative impact Chiswick Towers would have on their own planned advertising.
However, he dismissed these fears and claimed the towers would ‘form a logical extension to the display of high level signs along this part of the elevated M4 and would not unduly detract from The Octopus or its media display panels.
The Octopus, which has been trumpeted as a landmark London building by its architects Make, will house a 5,000sqm office and retail space once completed.
It was approved by Hounslow Council in October 2011 and will have an LED curtain, which will allow all four sides of the building to host advertising.
As yet no date has been set for work to start on this new development, which is located on a site in front of B&Q that has been derelict more than 30 years.
Theo Dennison, chair of Hounslow Council’s planning committee, called the towers ‘shocking’ but went on to say: "It was approved on appeal so there’s nothing the council can do about it. All we can do is check to ensure that what is built is in line with the plans.
"The council has tried to limit advertising on the A4 to keep residents’ interests at the foreground, but the government seems to be very permissive of it."