Digital billboard approved after planning rejection overturned

1140
Battison Street billboard
Image: Google Steetview May 2019

An old-fashioned paper advertising billboard is set to go digital after a planning inspector overturned the council’s refusal of consent.

Clear Channel UK appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate after Bedford Borough Council blocked plans to change a large gable billboard into an illuminated digital site.

The 48 sheet billboard at Midland Road, Bedford, is on the corner of Battison Street.

Appeal planner Conor Rafferty, who visited the area on September 11, disagreed with the council.

He said it would “not cause such a drastic change to the appeal site so as to have an adverse effect on the visual amenity of the area.”

And even though the site is on the edge on a residential area he said it “blends well with the immediate commercial surrounds.”

Inspector Chris Preston, who agreed with his colleague, imposed conditions to limit the brightness of the sign, rapid changes of picture, and special effects.

But in his decision letter dated September 22 he did not think it necessary to ban highways-style images or to switch the lights off between midnight and 5am.

Mr Preston said: “I agree that the appeal should be allowed and that express consent should be granted for the upgrade of existing 48 sheet advert to support digital poster.”

By David Tooley
Local Democracy Reporter

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.