Calderdale firm loses appeal against council's decision to reject digital advertising space

A company’s appeal against Calderdale Council’s actions over a planning application to change an old style billboard advertising hoarding with a modern, digital equivalent has been dismissed.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:30 am
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:46 am

The Wildstone Group had asked the Planning Inspectorate against Calderdale Council’s failure to give notice within the prescribed period of a decision regarding their application to make the replacement at the gable end of a convenience store at Bolton Brow, Sowerby Bridge.

Inspector K. Stephens described this as being on the corner of Bolton Brow and Grove Street near a mini roundabout where three roads converged.

The Wildstone Group had argued replacing the old paper posters with a digital board would mean far less journeys to replace advertisements physically, making eco savings, and charitable or emergency messages could be easily screened on it.

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The Wildstone Group appealed to the Planning Inspectorate

Inspector Stephens considered this against the impact on residents’ amenity and safety grounds.

“I find the proposed digital advertisement would be overtly commercial, at odds with the relatively understated design, scale and predominantly residential character of this part of Bolton Brow.

“It would therefore cause harm to the visual amenity of the area and that of nearby residents,” said the Inspector.

In terms of safety grounds, the Inspector said: “I find the proposed digital advertisement, with its bright and frequently changing images and in an area devoid of much illuminated advertising, would be a distraction to drivers and hence would be a hazard to public safety.”

Concluding the case, Inspector Stephens said: “A digital advertisement may well result in fewer trips to the site to replace the paper posters and have a knock-on effect by reducing energy and carbon emissions.

“I accept that the digital advertisement could be used to display charitable campaigns or emergency messaging, and there may be implications for business rates.

“However, these factors are not unique to the appeal site or proposal and do not outweigh the harm I have identified to both amenity and public safety.

“For the reasons above I have found the proposed digital advertisement would be harmful to amenity and would present a significant risk to public safety.

“For these reasons the appeal is dismissed.”

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