Fears over plans for another billboard at busy city junction

Alight Media has plans for another billboard similar to the one in Dereham Road.

Alight Media has plans for another billboard similar to the one in Dereham Road. Pictured inset is Matt White, a campaigner for Adblock Norwich - Credit: Denise Bradley/Matt White

Question marks have been raised over plans for a digital advertising board near a junction where accidents have taken place on the edge of the city.

Alight Media has submitted an application for an illuminated 48-sheet display in Roundtree Way in Sprowston. 

It comes as Alight Media recently installed a electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road and Douro Place in Norwich. 

Critics described the billboard as being "more suitable for Piccadilly Circus" than a residential street, but the company said all factors were considered by the planning officer before being signed off for approval. 

Green councillors, Lucy Galvin, left, and Julie Young, with the new electronic billboard at the junc

Green councillors, Lucy Galvin, left, and Julie Young, with the new electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road with Douro Place. - Credit: Denise Bradley

And now Broadland District Council has received proposals from the same company for another billboard which would be adjacent to Mousehold Lane if approved. 

Norfolk highways development management officer Kieran Yates has submitted comments as part of the planning process stating the need to ensure the level of distraction is minimised for drivers. 

He said: "Moving images or advertising with complex information is likely to add to the level of distraction

"The junction of Mousehold Lane and Roundtree Way is a traffic signal controlled junction.

The junction of Mousehold Lane and Roundtree Way in Sprowston 

The junction of Mousehold Lane and Roundtree Way in Sprowston - Credit: Google Maps

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"Traffic volumes are heavy throughout the daytimes and most evenings and there have been two recorded injury accidents at this junction, one slight and one serious." 

Mr Yates also raised concerns over the applicant not specifying the height of the billboard in the plans nor any mention of the duration of the advertisements. 

Matt White, a campaigner for Adblock Norwich, said a double-sided digital bus stop advertisement screen uses four times the electricity of an average British home.

Matt White, a campaigner for Adblock Norwich 

Matt White, a campaigner for Adblock Norwich - Credit: Matt White

And a larger digital billboard can use up to 48 households' worth of energy a year. 

Mr White said: "Not only are they ugly but they use an incredible amount of energy.

"It is an insane amount of energy to try to get people to buy products which are often unsustainable like cheap flights or cars. 

"So it is environmentally horrendous and there is also the safety aspect. They are designed to distract."

Rob Smith, development director of Alight Media said: "We offer the opportunity for national and local businesses to advertise giving a truly national reach."