'Piccadilly Circus' billboard plan thrown out by council

Plans for a similar billboard to this one have been thrown out. Pictured inset is Sprowston councillor John Ward

Plans for a similar billboard to this one have been thrown out. Pictured inset is Sprowston councillor John Ward - 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 new electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road with Douro Place.

The new electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road with Douro Place. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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." 

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town

Councillor John Ward - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Rob Smith, development director of Alight Media, has been contacted for comment.

Most Read

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.

The junction of Mousehold Lane and Roundtree Way in Sprowston 

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

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.

The new electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road with Douro Place.

The new electronic billboard at the junction of Dereham Road with Douro Place. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"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."