“Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.” Wilson and Kelling, 1982.

A building like this?

The ex-Unisys building on Brentfield has been empty for well over  a decade. In 1997 the owners were granted planning consent to convert the office blocks to a 330-bedroom hotel, add a new penthouse storey on front block facing North Circular Road, a new single-deck car park and new boundary wall. The planning application was renewed in 2002, but nothing has happened on this site while all around what the wrecking ball of progress has flattened on the Stonebridge estatem the Hillside Housing Trust have rebuilt with low-rise low-density modernity.

I was attracted to the Labour posters along the boundary fence and the massive Vote Dawn Butler advertising hoarding, sadly fallen from grace and lying in the mud.

According to the planning conditions attached the the permission granted in 1997, “Prior consent may be required under the Town & Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 for the erection of any advertising signs and/or hoardings on the subject site.” So I spoke with Brent Planning, who advised me that An Advertisement means:

  • announcing any local event of a religious, educational, cultural, political, social or recreational character, or
  • relating to any temporary matter in connection with an event or local activity of such a character,  not being an event or activity promoted or carried on for commercial purposes.

And that No advertisement may exceed 0.6 square metre in area. From my measurements it looks like Brent Labour are in breech of the planning regulations.

Here are a few more snaps of the building and the Labour posters.

[imagebrowser id=2]