Some 6 months ago, advertising giant JCDecaux sent in two applications for building new 48-sheet digital billboards. One of them was going to be in one of the few green space we have in Leeds, next to the Dry Dock pub and the other one was going to be on the A64. As a reminder, each one of these 3×6 m digital billboards uses the same amount of electricity as 14 to 48 median UK households.
After more than 25 objections from Leeds residents and negative assessments from the Highways and the Landscape teams, JCDecaux decided to withdraw both applications. It is great to have seen such an uproar against a project that is detrimental to the well-being of Leeds residents in so many ways, and it is even better to see that it forced one of the biggest ad companies worldwide to have to give up on their project!
However, it is not uncommon in cases like this one that the applicant withdraws their application only to resubmit a similar one a few months later, slightly changing the location or with minor changes to the infrastructure. We’ll keep an eye to make sure JCDecaux doesn’t sneak in another application without proper public consultation.
Happy 2021, and stay tuned!