A digital advertising screen showing an electronic cigarette advert.

Sheffield: do you want more digital advertising screens? Have your say.

Advertisers want to put a new double-sided digital advertising screen in Sheffield city centre (outside HMV on the High Street) replacing an existing unit which already causes an obstruction to pedestrians using this area.

What’s the problem?

Each screen would be capable of showing six adverts every minute, and would be brighter and more distracting than the existing unit.

There are already 198 outdoor advertising sites (billboards, bus shelter ads and digital ad screens) in Sheffield City, the central ward where this new double-sided screen is proposed. Do people in Sheffield need more corporate adverts grabbing their attention and hassling them to buy more stuff? Or would everyone really be better off with less of this visual pollution?

This unit is in a busy pedestrian area where unnecessary street clutter impedes people’s movement. It would be better for people who use this area if the existing advertising unit was simply removed and not replaced, giving more space for people to move freely.

Have your say

Multinational advertising company Clear Channel have to get permission from Sheffield City Council for their plans, so they have submitted a planning application – and that’s where you come in.

If you live in Sheffield, you can have your say by submitting a comment to the council.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the council’s planning website at https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/. You will need to register in order to make a comment.
  2. Search for the planning application using this reference: 24/01194/HOARD
  3. Click on ‘Comments’
  4. Fill in your details, make your comment and click ‘Submit’, and you’re done!

The deadline for comments is 13th May, so do get your comments in asap!

Tips for making your comment

In making their decision, the council will consider the impact of the proposed screens on two key areas:

  • How it would affect the ‘amenity’ or character of the area, and how it affects the experience of people in the area. So, write about how it would affect you. You could mention that it would cause an unwanted intrusion as you are walking through this area in your leisure time, or that the brightness of the screens would be an unwanted distraction.
  • How it affects public safety. You could mention that this is a busy shopping area where cyclists, motorists and pedestrians are negotiating each other as they use this space both on and off the road, and a double-sided screen with changing adverts presents an unnecessary distraction.

It’s worth noting that although the application states that the new unit would replace the existing unit, the proposed location map for the new unit seems to be in a different place to the existing one (as shown on this image taken from Google maps and the location plan submitted by Clear Channel), which is misleading.

You may have other reasons for objecting, which you should also feel free to include. For example, these advertising screens use a lot of electricity. The application does not give details of the energy consumption, but we’ve taken a look at similar units and found that a double side digital advertising unit uses the same electricity as 3 UK homes, on average over a year.

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