Northampton pub’s ‘Piccadilly Circus’ plan refused

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Large television screens will not be used to cover a derelict Northampton pub after councillors warned the development would look like Piccadilly Circus.

Last month, the Chron revealed the owner of The White Horse in Kingsthorpe planned to cover the building with nine 16ft TV screens.

The plan was met with immediate opposition from councillors and people who live nearby, who warned the large screens would distract drivers passing through the busy Cock Hotel junction.

Their view has now been backed by officials from Northampton Borough Council, who have thrown the scheme out.

In an official report on the proposal, Susan Bridge, the council’s head of planning, said: “The adverts would have a significant detrimental impact on the area due to their scale and prominent location.

“And, with the likely use of moving images, they would form an incongruous feature, significantly harming the listed Cock Hotel building opposite.”

The White Horse pub has been closed since 2009.

The councillor for the area, Councillor Sally Beardsworth (LibDem, Kingsthorpe) said she was delighted the plan to cover the pub with screens had been refused.

She said: “People driving up to The Cock Hotel junction then seeing massive adverts flashing in front of them would have been an accident waiting to happen. It was a silly idea.”

Kingsthorpe resident, Councillor John Yates (Con, Spring Park) who lives close to The White Horse, said he was also pleased the screens would not be put up.

He said: “I’m delighted that the council’s planning officers have got the common sense to throw this one out. It would have been an absolute eyesore and would have given a terrible impression to anyone driving into Northampton that way.”

The owners of The White Horse had originally hoped to demolish the pub and redevelop the site, but they failed to agree a scheme with the council. Their plan to attach advertising boards to mask the pub would also have seen a mural celebrating the history of the Saints rugby club put up on the lower half of the

The mural would have covered the ground floor of the former pub while the television screens would have stretched from the first floor to the building’s roof.