New screen test for Preston’s politics on huge digital billboards in the city center

A request for a 48-page illuminated LED display measuring 6m x 3m on a lawn along Ringway, is due to appeal after being rejected by the city council.

The authority has already had to defend three previous denials for similar roadside screens in appeals over the past 12 months, winning two and losing one.

Now London-based company Alright Media must petition the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to overturn council’s latest decision to reject plans for an eye-catching sign facing traffic down the city centre’s busiest thoroughfare. town, next to Gateway House.

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Preston’s refusal of a gable screen in London Road was overturned on appeal (Image: Clearglow)

The council refused the screen at the junction of Ringway with Market Street West, judging that it would have a “significant adverse impact on visual amenity due to its prominent position and its size, height and lighting”.

Planning officers decided that this would “cause visual clutter in the wider street scene and surrounding area”.

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But Alright Media argues it would be the norm for large format adverts in the UK which are “common on the streets of the North West”.

The city’s first 48-page digital screen on the gable end of the Parkside Cafe in Blackpool Road.

The company continues, “The unit is similar in design to existing advertisements that are increasingly common in the Northwest and in urban areas across the country.”

The dispute is the latest over digital billboards in the city since the first received council approval in 2018 on the gable wall of the Parkside Cafe in Blackpool Road, Ashton.

Further display units have since been installed, with council’s blessing, at the junction of Ribbleton Lane and Deepdale Road, at the intersection of Blackpool Road and Brook Street, at the entrance to Deepdale Shopping Park and on a land next to the Evangelical Wycliffe Church in Tulketh Brow.

But when council rejected plans to install one in the parking lot of the former Neptune Pub on Strand Road in August 2020 due to the impact it would have on the neighborhood, another London-based company, Clear Channel , appealed the case, only to see it thrown out in January 2021.

The grassy area on Ringway where Alright Media wants to set up its advertising screen.

The council lost an appeal against its refusal to allow a smaller screen on the gable end of a London Road building next to Liquid Plastics in August 2021.

But he triumphed in front of a planning inspector in March this year after rejecting an application for permission to put up a screen on land further down London Road, next to a car wash near Shawes Arms.

In its submission on appeal, the authority will argue that the screens refused in Strand Road and London Road were very similar in size and scale to the one rejected in Ringway and, like the other two, it would have a negative visual impact on its location.

“It is considered that the proposed signage would be an incongruous prominent feature in the street scene, with views of the sign highly visible from the north and south sides of Ringway.” said a report from planning officers.

“It is determined that this particular location is not suitable for the proposed scale of advertising.”

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