Barnet Council’s money-saving plans were dealt a blow after a bid to put advertising banners in a local shopping area was turned down by its own councillors.

A committee threw out plans for up to 29 temporary lamppost banners along East Barnet Road, Cat Hill and Church Hill Road, in East Barnet Village, during a meeting on Tuesday.

The banners were due to be installed as part of the council’s advertising policy, which forms part of the environment committee’s five-year savings targets.

East Barnet War Memorial, which is Grade II listed, sits at the junction of the roads – although council planning officers, who recommended the scheme for approval, said the lampposts closest to the memorial would not be used for advertising.

Mike Fanning, who lives in Mallory Gardens, told the meeting the banners would “make East Barnet Village look terrible”.

“They will add to plastic pollution,” he said. “The council should be well aware of trying to reduce plastic. In my view, this is just something the council has come up with to get financial gain – to get money in.”

Cllr Laurie Williams (Labour, East Barnet) said the banners would only benefit an advertising agency, not residents.

He told the committee: “We rejected an application like this in Mill Hill for the same reasons – it spoils the environment without adding anything at all to it, especially as East Barnet village is an ancient, historical village, and the atmosphere will completely change.”

The applicant, Lizzie Miller, from Bay Media – which describes itself as “the world market leader in raised lamppost banner advertising” – did not speak during the meeting.

At the end of the debate, the committee unanimously refused the scheme, judging that it would have an adverse effect on the street scene and the visual amenity of the surrounding area.