A before and after image of a street with no billboard and a street with a billboard

Help to block a digital screen in Barking and Dagenham

A large new digital advertising screen is proposed for North Street outside the LBD Tuition Centre in Barking and Dagenham, replacing a small sign for the local nursery.

Why object? We don’t need more advertising screens. Especially when each large screen uses the same electricity as 11 UK homes, and continue to advertise products that harm our health, like junk food, and climate-damaging products like flights, SUV cars and fossil fuel companies. Advertising promotes a culture of consumerism that’s outdated and trashing our planet, local places and communities around the world.

Ad screens change the face of local neighbourhoods, the look and feel of where we live, with more light pollution, aggressive corporate presence, and distractions for drivers and other road users.

People living near digital billboards experience unwanted light pollution, interrupted sleep, intrusive adverts with harmful content, distraction while driving and other impacts on health and wellbeing, according to 100 powerful testimonials collected by campaign group Adblock Bristol. Meanwhile, research shows that digital screens, with changing images, are more distracting for road users. This proposed digital ad display on North Street will show a new ad every 10 seconds and face on to residential flats.

How to find the application? On the council’s planning website, you can find the application using its unique reference number: 24/00282/ADVERT

You can also click here to find out more about the application made by Clear Channel UK: https://online-befirst.lbbd.gov.uk/planning/index.html?fa=getApplication&id=33825 (you may have to login or prove that you are human to access it!)

How to object? Although this is a new application for a totally new advertising structure it does not seem possible to make an objection to the proposal through the Barking and Dagenham planning portal. However, you can email your objection directly to planning@befirst.london and to the Chair of the Planning Committee Cllr Muhammad Saleem muhammad.saleem@lbbd.gov.uk and Deputy Chair Cllr Jack Shaw jack.shaw@lbbd.gov.uk.

The deadline for objections is Tuesday 23rd April 2024 (end of day) – although sometimes the application stays open for comments beyond that date.

What to include? In your objection, be sure to mention the two formal grounds under which applications for new advertising screens can be considered:

  1. Harm to the amenity of the area. (Meaning, will the screen affect your ability to enjoy the place you live, and the character of the area?) The large screen would be an overly bright, visually intrusive and incongruous addition to the area.
  2. Danger to road safety. The screen would act as dangerous distraction to road users.

Also explain what this development would mean to you and how it would affect your life. For example, do you live, work or play near North Street, do your children go to the local school or nursery, or do you cycle, walk or drive past this site?

Below are some points you could include, but make sure to make it personal to you:

  • The site does not currently have any kind of advertising hoarding in place so it is not a ‘like for like’ replacement.  The current sign merely points the way to Abbey Children’s Centre Nursery.
  • The site is on a major and busy road junction, in front of Northbury Primary School, which includes multiple crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • The site is directly opposite residential flats which will be impacted by light and flashing from the screen. 
  • The new screen would stick out into the pavement causing an obstruction.
  • The Gurdwara Sikh Temple is next door which is of great cultural significance locally. Many weddings and events take place at the Temple and the screen will be visible from these events.
  • The site directly overlooks the Quaker Burial Ground, site of the grave of Elizabeth Fry. This is a site of historic and national interest.

Currently there are no planning meetings scheduled due to Purdah (the period of non political activity due to the upcoming Mayoral elections). Because of the potentially huge impact of this development it would be appropriate to postpone this application until a planning meeting can be held. Please ask that this is done so that this application can be discussed fully.

Published by