BWA has objected to plans for 25 InLink advertising monoliths that are proposed to be sited around the city centre and local shopping areas.
Planning applications are pending for what are described as street phone replacements, but in fact are two-sided panels with large illuminated advertising signs on both sides. A consortium that includes BT and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is behind the applications.
Of the 25 applications, 19 are in BS1, 2 are in BS3, with 1 each in BS4, BS5, BS8, and BS16. Each one is 2.9m high, 0.9m wide and 0.28m thick. They are mainly proposed to be sited across the pavement next to a road, so that the adverts can be seen by passing pedestrians and road users. They include a phone (but without a shelter or handset) which is situated on the edge of the monolith, so anyone using it will take up additional pavement space. In many cases, their siting does not leave adequate space for pedestrians, especially on busy pavements and for those needing mobility assistance.
BWA has objected on several grounds including obstructing the pavement, visual impact on the streetscape and their potential privacy implications – see the full BWA-InLink-objection (pdf). An objection to the proposals has already been made by Bristol Civic Society.
The campaign group AdBlock Bristol has highlighted the intrusion of advertising into public spaces they will cause, and the Bristol Cable has warned of their potential for surveillance.
UPDATE: In May, Bristol City Council Planning Officers rejected all 25 planning applications for InLink monoliths, plus the 25 applications for the 50 advertising panels they would support. It is possible the applicant will appeal this decision.