Digital screen rejected in Lawrence Hill, Bristol

Update: 15th June 2021 This planning application was refused by Bristol City Council. See Bristol Post coverage here.

Original post 30 April 2021: Despite the efforts of advertisers to cover Lawrence Hill in unwanted digital billboards, residents and councillors remain resolutely opposed. The community has been speaking out every time advertisers try and install a new intrusive screen in their neighbourhood – and it works! With your help we’ve successfully opposed seven applications for digital billboards in this area over the past three years.

So please take a few minutes to object to this latest application for a digital billboard on Church Road, on the corner of Russell Town Avenue (35-38 Church Road Bristol BS5 9JJ). The deadline for comments is 26 May 2021.

Here’s what to do:
1. Head to the Bristol City Council planning portal
2. Search for application ref. 21/01871/A
3. Click ‘Make a Comment’ and enter your details
4. Say why this matters to you. See below for some points you could include.

You should make any comments you want about the impact you feel this would have, but please also ensure you mention the impact on road safety, and loss of amenity (impact on the local area, community and quality of life) – because these are the grounds that are currently taken into account when the decision is made to refuse or allow an application.

Reasons for objecting:

It would have a negative impact on the local neighbourhood. Church Road is in the heart of this local community of residents, workers and businesses.
Clear Channel says: ‘the proposal would sit comfortably in its visual context and would have no discernible impact on the existing character and appearance of the area.’ This is simply not true. Digital screens are designed to be bright, capable of showing several adverts every minute. This will significantly change the appearance of the local street scene and will be unavoidable for people moving about the local area on foot, bicycle and public transport.
Lawrence Hill already has the highest concentration of billboards in Bristol. We need fewer corporate ads here, not more.

It would be a safety risk. The proposed development is sited immediately over a busy junction on Church Road with busy traffic including buses. It serves the adjacent school site and the area beyond Whitehall Road. The development is designed to attract attention, and anything which serves to distract drivers, cyclists and crossing pedestrians at this point should be considered a safety hazard.

It would have a negative impact on the environment. Digital screens use a huge amount of electricity, around 11 times that of the average UK home. They contribute to light pollution and confuse wildlife. They are completely incompatible with Bristol’s efforts to tackle the climate and ecological crises.

Published by