Saying No to digital billboards in Sheffield

A new digital billboard is proposed for a residential area in Handsworth, Sheffield. Read on to find out how you can have your say and stop this from going ahead.

Elsewhere in Sheffield, residents and councillors are pushing back against a proposed new double-sided digital ad screen on the High Street, as well as plans for a huge digital billboard in Hillsborough. Opposition to the spread of unwanted outdoor advertising is building, as people find that they can have a say.

A new digital billboard on Handsworth Road? No thanks!

Multinational media company Wildstone want to put a big digital billboard on Handsworth Road. In their lengthy application letter, they are keen to downplay the impacts this would have on local residents; even making a bizarre claim that the new free-standing digital screen, which would be capable of showing six adverts per minute, represents a ‘like for like replacement’ of the existing, static paper billboard.

But digital billboards do have a significant impact on the people who live, work or spend time near them. They are designed to attract attention, they cause unecessary light pollution – harming people and wildlife – and are particularly intrusive and unavoidable. They also use a lot of electricity, and when Sheffield Council is looking to meet its climate targets, we really need to question plans for new infrastructure which wastes emissions to fuel more adverts to drive more consumption.

Sheffield City Council recently introduced a groundbreaking new policy restricting harmful advertising on sites they control. A new screen at this proposed site would not be affected however, allowing the screen to show adverts for junk food, polluting cars, alcohol and other harmful products.

The proposed digital billboard would replace this paper billboard on Handsworth Road

Have your say

Wildstone 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: 24/01530/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 June, 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. You could mention that the bright screen with its changing images would be an unwelcome intrusion, or that the large corpoate adverts it displays would be out of keeping with the local environment of residences and small businesses.
  • How it affects public safety. You could mention that a digital billboard is an unecessary distraction for road users.

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