August 22 2014 Latest news:
by Emma Bartholomew, Senior Reporter
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Tech giant Apple has been accused of “ruining Shoreditch” with a massive advert which a planning chief has claimed is unauthorised.
Cllr Vincent Stops, the chairman of Hackney Council’s planning committee, challenged Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, on a social networking site over the advert which covers the top floor of a Georgian house in Shoreditch High Street, at the corner of Commercial Street.
Cllr Stops alleged on Twitter: “Your illegal mega ad is ruining Shoreditch.”
Matt Johnson, the lead singer of the band, The The, joined the exchange, saying he had been complaining to the council about the advert for two years, “yet for some reason up it stays”.
Mr Johnson told the Gazette: “Almost everyone in Shoreditch is aware that Apple are flaunting planning laws but I was surprised to see Vincent Stops’s Twitter feed about it.”
A spokesman for Apple claimed the advert was legitimate in the form of “deemed consent” – meaning it does not need planning permission – and that advertising space had been used by them for a decade.
However, on April 28 an application was submitted to the council for retrospective planning consent at the site by media company Blow Up.
A council spokesman said the planning department had investigated the site in February 2012 regarding the unauthorised display of an advert which was subsequently removed, leading to the closure of the case in June 2012. However, a further case was opened last December.
He said: “Investigations by the planning service have led to the recent submission of a retrospective application seeking consent for the display of an advert.”
Cllr Stops declined to comment because of the live planning application.
The Gazette contacted Blow Up Media but did not get a response.