ADBLOCKED: Digital billboard proposed for Summerhill Road, St George

Update 12th May 2020

This application has been rejected by Bristol City Council for the following reasons:

  • By reason of its size, position, and illumination the proposed digital advertisement would be a distraction to road users at points where they need to take more care, particularly on approach to the signal-controlled pedestrian crossing directly adjacent to the site.
  • By reason of its illumination, changing display, and prominence in the townscape, the proposed digital advertisement would have an unacceptable and harmful impact on the visual amenity of the area.
  • By reason of the intensity of illumination and close proximity to residential properties, the proposed digital advertisement would have an unacceptable and harmful impact on residential amenity at night time.

More details are given in the Officer’s report which can be found by searching for reference 20/01457/A on the Council’s planning portal.


Poster Property Limited have applied to Bristol City Council for permission to replace their existing static billboard (pictured above) with a new digital one, located at 32 Summerhill Road, Bristol.

There have been 3 other applications of this kind made recently in this vicinity of Lawrence Hill/St George; at Lawrence Hill stationWhitehall Road & Church Road.

To object to this proposed development:
1. Go to planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/search and enter code: 20/01457/A
2. Click ‘Make a Comment’. 
3. Write as much as you’d like about your objections. Below are some points you could include:

  • This development is not in line with responsible environmental policy. Besides the large electricity consumption of digital screens, billboard advertising perpetuate consumerism that is harmful for our well-being, and the planet.

    Although this application does not include information about the electricity consumption of a digital “48 sheet” billboard, we can assume it will be more than the electricity consumption of a double-sided digital “6 sheet” unit, which is more than that needed to power 4 UK homes. Bristol City Council should therefore reject this application as they have formally declared a climate emergency.
  • This advert would be detrimental to the amenity of the area, which is predominantly residential. Large digital screens are an inappropriate development in an area where people live.

    In particular, light from this digital billboard would shine directly on to the Summerhill Centre (a Day Centre for the South Asian Elderly communities of Bristol and South Gloucestershire) which is immediately adjacent. This is a place where people come to relax, socialise, receive support and connect with their local community; none of which are supported by the introduction of a large digital screen with commercial messaging which would intrude into the grounds of the building itself.

    The application states that “The controls proposed over the level of [nighttime] luminance will ensure that this material change does not cause material harm to amenity.” Adblock Bristol suggest that in a residential area, the introduction of illuminated adverts through the hours of darkness will necessarily cause harm to amenity, and for the applicant to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
  • The potential cumulative impacts of such developments must be considered. This location is less than half a mile from St George Community Centre, where application 20/00597/A to install a digital billboard is still under consideration by Bristol City Council.
  • This development would cause increase the risk of road traffic accidents.

    The application states that the Council has to determine whether this development would present an additional distraction to drivers. It also states that “it is acknowledged by the applicant that the change in the type of illumination and the potential to increase the rate of change of the adverts”.

    It is also noted that drivers facing the billboard (Eastbound) would have to look over the traffic in the Westbound carriageway to see the adverts, further increasing the risk of accident.

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