A BATTLE has erupted over plans for branding on an innovative building which could bring giant names such as Google or Samsung to the Great West Road.
Planning permission was granted in August 2011 for The Hive -a raised office block supported by three 29.5 metre tall legs - in the Kew Bridge Distribution Centre, which is accessed through Lionel Road South, Brentford and reaches up to the Great West Road.
Consultant Wildstone Property Limited - who is responsible for the nearby Chiswick Towers - was tasked with attracting a single major brand to fill the office.
Wildstone claims all the interested companies said they would only go into the office if there was branding on the side of the building overlooking the A4.
The issue was presented by Wildstone at a Hounslow Council planning meeting last Thursday (May 2), but was refused because councillors did not want more advertising along the Golden Mile and said the iconic building was meant to be its own message not a massive advertising hoarding.
Damian Cox, CEO and founding partner of Wildstone, said: "Before we designed the property we did a full analysis of this stretch of road. All the companies there have large branding signs which allows them the brand recognition.
"This building is highly innovative and should win a fair few awards as it's architecturally unique and cutting-edge.
“Large companies are not going to invest in the borough without branding and if the council's planning committee cannot accept that they will lose out.
"The planning committee also used the word advertising which it is not, we won't have different companies with their adverts up there, just the brand of the company occupying the office."
Marie Rabouhans, chairman of the West chiswick and Gunnersbury Society labelled the proposed screens as 'theme park anarchy'. She said: "The unsual iconic Hive building is meant to be its own message but the proposed screens would negate this. They will also harm the setting of the historic parklands surrounding it which for us groundlings is a growing concern."
Councillor Ruth Cadbury, lead member for planning and regeneration, had approved the original plan because it was an unusual an interesting structure.
She said: "What we saw last week was effectively a very large double advertising hoarding on stilts.
“The advert panels completely dominated the unusual shape of the pod. Drivers won't notice the building because they'll only see the great big illuminated hoardings.
"What we had before was an acceptable accplication which has been granted but now they want two massive boards bookending a pod."
The councillor believes the strong arguments from council officers and residents will ensure the new application is not passed on government appeal as other structures have been along the Great West Road, such as the Chiswick Towers.