Council to Apply for Planning Consent to Hang Banners From Town Hall

The Recreations & Amenities Committee of Henley Town Council recommended this week that a proposal to install advertising banners for events on the Town Hall should proceed by submitting a listed building planning application and advertising consent.

The idea for the banners came about earlier this year when the Council were approached by the Henley Literary Festival, who were interested in exploring opportunities for increasing their visibility in the town centre. Various options were discussed including the potential for banners to be hung vertically on the exterior front wall of the Town Hall.  They currently use the flag poles in Market Place during the Festival.

Pre-application advice was sought from South Oxfordshire District Council and they have stated that the proposal is acceptable in principle, but would require listed building consent and advertising consent.  The SODC Conservation Officer made the following points:

“The indicative photograph shows that the banners would obstruct the two smaller flanking windows. These windows appear to be functional rather than a key element of the design of the building; however it may be worth considering whether in doing this the banners may not sit flat to the building. It is important that any new fixings are fitted into the mortar bed and not into the brickwork directly. On closer examination of the façade, it is apparent that previous placement of fixings has caused damage to the building fabric. Please check that the fixings are not so large that they exceed the size of the mortar bed.”

The banners would be used for short periods of time, perhaps 1-2 weeks, and on a limited number of occasions through the year. The nature of the events that could hire the banner space would also be strictly regulated to ensure they are in keeping with the Council’s values, and the design would also be subject to approval to ensure it is in keeping with the overall street scene and view of the Town Hall.

A hire rate would be set, and the hirer would also be required to provide the banners to the specific dimensions and materials agreed, similar to the current use of the flagpoles on Market Place. The proposals would provide an opportunity to better advertise Council
events, improve the visibility of the Town Hall as a hireable venue, and provide an income from the hire of the asset.

The banners would be made of either PVC or mesh and installation would be by attaching to four eyelets, which are predrilled into the mortar rather than brickwork. It would be installed by our Christmas lights contractors.

The only initial outlay for the Council would be the listed building and advertising consents, which are minor. For externally-organised events all the cost would be met by the hirer and the Council would receive an income. For Council events, the cost would be c.£825 per event to produce and erect the banners, which would reduce to c.£675 if the banners were reused.