'Piccadilly Circus' billboard plan thrown out by council
- Credit: Denise Bradley/Britanny Woodman
Plans for a dazzling electronic billboard next to a key city route have been axed by councillors.
Alight Media submitted an application to Broadland District Council proposing an illuminated 48-sheet display in Roundtree Way in Sprowston.
This followed a similar billboard already being installed at the junction of Dereham Road and Douro Place in Norwich.
Critics described this existing billboard as "more suitable for Piccadilly Circus" as councillors and Adblock Norwich objected to the billboard on climate and safety grounds.
The billboard planned for Sprowston would have been located near the busy Mousehold Lane junction.
Sprowston councillor John Ward (Cons), who is chairman of the Broadland District Council planning committee, said the application was refused on safety grounds for motorists.
He said: "The main thing was that we thought it would be a distraction to traffic on the main road as you would be able to see it very clearly.
"Large moving images would be distracting for drivers. It will be interesting to see if the applicant appeals the decision."
Rob Smith, development director of Alight Media, has been contacted for comment.
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He previously said there are hundreds of these type of billboards across the country - including in Dereham Road where planning consent was given.
Sprowston Town Council objected to the Roundtree Way billboard as the authority supported the county council highways department's recommendation to refuse the application.
Evelyn Elliot, administrative and committee officer for the town council, wrote in the objection: "The proposed signage would be visually intrusive, detrimental to the character of the area which has listed buildings located nearby and weeds referred to in the application are wild flowers."
The impact on traffic safety was also mentioned.
There were also a number of objections from folks living nearby.
One comment from someone living in Denmark Road said: "I am strongly opposed this is application. There is no place for these things.
"These hoardings take considerable energy to run and it is ludicrous that in a climate emergency, a fuel crisis, and a cost of living crisis the council is considering installing more.
"This location is also unacceptable."