Rejected application for a planning permission for a digital ad in Sheepscar, Leeds!

We found out that an application for a new digital ad display in Sheepscar was rejected on 22 January 2020 on the grounds of amenity. We previously submitted a disapproving comment as we had concerns about increased energy use and climate change, so we are overall very pleased with the rejection.

The application’s number is 19/07383/ADV and concerned a proposal to replace the current internally illuminated display with a digital display. You can see all the background documentation here.

In response to our comment, the chief planning officer replies that “it is clear from the Government guidance that applications for advertisement consent should
be subject to control only in the interest of amenity and public safety” (see Officer Report). Here we would argue that “public safety” should include the environmental impacts of such an advertisement units such as its wasteful consumption of energy and associated greenhouse gas emissions. According to the screen specification document, one such digital ad unit consumes the same amount of electricity per year as 11 UK households on average. This is a conservative estimate, as considering the maximum power consumption of the unit, we go up to 37 households!

Finally, it appears that the lawfulness of the existing advertisement has been brought into question. “From a search of the planning history, and to the best understanding of the Planning Officer, the advertisement as existing is unconsented. The original application dates back to 1998 (20/735/98/SI) and was resisted by the Local Planning Authority but ultimately allowed on appeal. This consent however related to the erection of a ‘2m x 3m ‘supersix’ poster’ rather than the 6m x 3m display that is currently in place. This proposed display is therefore more than 3 times the size of what was originally granted consent.” (see the Officer Report). We will keep an eye on this development and keep you posted!

For an ad-free Leeds!

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