New digital billboard application for Avonmouth

Update 5th February 2020: This appeal has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of public safety. You can read the appeal decision here.

Update 9th December 2019: Insite have lodged an appeal to this decision. We will update this blog post with more information.

Update 28 August 2019: this planning application has been refused by Bristol Council. There were 30 0bjections to the plans.

Advertising company Insite Poster Properties Ltd have submitted an application to install a new ’48 sheet’ digital billboard at St Andrews Road, Avonmouth.

The current ’96 sheet’ double billboard at St Andrews Road. The application would replace this billboard with a smaller digital billboard, which would show a new advert every 10 seconds.

This application relies on the industrial nature of the location, arguing that “the principle of advertising at this location is well established”, and that “considerable weight should be attached to the presence of the existing advertisement.”

In addition, the applicant states that installing a new digital billboard would not give rise to safety issues relating to the highway and, without irony, that because the development would utilise efficient LED technology and be regulated remotely, it should be considered to have positive “sustainability benefits”.

To object to this proposed development:
1. Go to planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/search and enter code: 19/02806/A
2. Click ‘Make a Comment’.
3. Write as much as you’d like about your objections. Below are some points you could include:

  • Advertisements exist to draw attention from passersby, which inevitably constitutes some level of distraction for motorists. With a digital display with changing images this effect is greater, and therefore represents an increased road traffic hazard. It is particularly hazardous that this application is for a bend on the A-road which has 50% HGV traffic. Following a fatality near this location in 2002 nothing must be done to make the situation more dangerous.
  • The installation of a digital billboard would harm the amenity of this area already beguiled by the existing advertisement hoardings. Although the vicinity may be industrial in nature, advertisers should not view this ‘open-door’ policy for more intrusive, digital adverts.
  • The applicant appeals to sentiments of environmental concern. However, digital billboards are an unnecessary use of resources and exacerbate harmful overconsumption. The greatest sustainability benefits would result from refusing this application would (and removing the existing static billboard).

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