Bristol City Council’s decisions to remove two billboards in Bedminster are currently being scrutinised by the government’s planning inspectorate after the advertisers appealed the council’s decisions. Please ACT NOW and submit a statement to support the decision. The deadline is 26 December.
Here is a bit of background:
In 2018, planning applications were received to replace two billboards with digital advertising screens (one at 267 West Street, one at 21a Winterstoke Road). Several objections were made by local residents, a local councillor, and the local Planning Group. Both applications were refused by the council: Winterstoke Road due to the harm to visual amenity (i.e. the local neighbourhood); and West Street due to concerns over amenity and safety (i.e. it would be too distracting to drivers).
It became clear that neither of the existing billboards has ever been granted express permission (billboards benefit from ‘deemed consent’ simply by being there for ten years or more, so they are not there illegally but have never been subject to the planning process). The council rightly recognised that many of the concerns raised by the local community also applied to the existing billboards: visually intrusive; excessively large; distracting; situated in residential areas. So, the council issued ‘Discontinuance Notices’ to have both of the hoardings removed.
The applicant (Insite Poster Properties) has appealed the Discontinuance Notices. Anyone interested is invited to make a statement to the Planning Inspectorate – the deadline is 26 December.
Insite say that there is no evidence that the existing billboards present any harm to visual amenity. This is simply wrong. By their own admission the character of the neighbourhood is ‘mixed’ (i.e. some commercial and some residential buildings). But they make no mention of the impact on local residents.
If you think that we’d be better off without these billboards, please submit a statement. Here’s what to do:
Go to the Planning Inspectorate website: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/
Search for the case using the case number, and submit your statement:
– 21a Winterstoke Road: APP/Z0116/G/19/3224541
– 267 West Street: APP/Z0116/G/19/3225271
Here are some points you could make (also feel free to add any further concerns you have – but do try to mention the impact on ‘amenity’ as this is the primary consideration):
– As the billboard has ‘deemed consent’ it has never been subject to the planning process. Given the concerns raised around outdoor advertising in this area the public should be consulted and the concerns should be addressed.
– The billboard is large and intrusive and detrimental to the local street scene.
– It is in a residential area. People who live here have not asked to see this advertising when they look out of their window or walk down their street.
– There are already far too many billboards in this area.
– In the case of the billboard at the bottom of West Street: this area around Parson Street roundabout and Parson Street primary school has one of the highest levels of air pollution in Bristol. Children at the primary school are vulnerable to the harm caused by air pollution. It is unacceptable and wrong to allow the advertising of high carbon products including cars that we see so often on these billboards when we urgently need to discourage excessive car use and protect children from pollution.
– The billboard is an unnecessary distraction to drivers at a busy junction.