Company appeals decision over Ad hoarding ‘digital switch’

A company is appealing a council’s refusal to grant planning permission to upgrade an advertising wall site to a “digital” poster.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 10:30 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 9:08 am

Calderdale Council refused the Cirencester-based Wildstone Group permission to make the change at Bolton Brow, Sowerby Bridge, after highways officers and environmental health officers expressed objections to the original application, saying it would distract drivers and neighbours.

The council’s highways section said: “Advertisements are designed to capture the attention of drivers and there is strong evidence that illuminated advertisements do so more than the static displays that they often replace.

“The application would be visible to drivers approaching the give-way of the mini-roundabout on the Pye Nest Road and Upper Bolton Brow approaches.

Google maps pic of the hoarding

“This former does not have any entry deflection which means that drivers should be focussed on traffic from the right when giving way.

“The latter has an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing and the hoarding appears to drivers within around 25m of the roundabout which could distract attention just as they need to concentrate on the give-way and any crossing pedestrians.

“The introduction of the digital sign is considered to substantially increase the risk of accidents. The proposal is therefore not supported.”

The environmental health team said the digital poster would cause excessive light pollution from illumination and flickering to a nearby residential property which has a number of windows facing the hoarding site.

When submitted, the company Carter Jonas argued for the applicant that the replacing the existing “48 sheet” design with a digital poster is part of an industry-wide drive to modernise and upgrade advertising infrastructure to meet modern requirements, bringing benefits – including less lorry trips to put up new posters.

The applicant did not believe light pollution would cause issues and on highways matters said: “The proposed display would occupy the same setback and offset position as the existing unit, ensuring site lines and visibility splays are maintained.

“It would be seen by traffic travelling west, is well lit, and has excellent forward visibility.

“Highway users would therefore by fully capable of glancing content far in advance of the site without being distracted from the road or traffic conditions ahead.”

The appeal, reference number APP/A4710/H/21/3274193, will be held by the Planning Inspectorate and representations – all must quote the reference number – on the application can now be made, with the appeal determined on the basis of an exchange of written statements by the parties and a site visit by an Inspector.

Any comments already submitted will be taken into account .

Further comments can be made on the Planning Portal at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/or by emailing [email protected] or, if you do not have access to the internet, you can send three copies to The Planning Inspectorate, Eagle 3D, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN.

Caption guidance – Google maps pic of the hoarding

The advertising site. Picture: Google

John Greenwood , Local Democracy Reporting Service