Company fights council decision to reject 'distracting' advertising screen facing Chesterfield roundabout

A company which was refused permission to put up an advertising screen near a busy Chesterfield roundabout has appealed against the decision.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 4:45 pm

London-based Alight Media wants to display a 48 sheet digital LED unit facing Lordsmill roundabout.

However, Chesterfield Borough Council refused the firm’s planning application after highways chiefs said the screen would be a ‘distraction’ to drivers.

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Chesterfield's Lordsmill roundabout. Picture: Google.

Alight Media has now appealed against the council’s refusal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Planning documents show the company intends to put the 6.2m-wide, 3.2m-high unit within the Lordsmill Gate retail park.

It would be located on steel poles 2.7m above the ground and display static adverts which would change every ten seconds.

Alight Media said in its planning statement: “Digital displays are now commonplace in the main urban areas of the country and they have been shown to be no more distracting than other forms of advertisement.

“These digital displays have been operational for several years now in the main cities and have had no record of causing any more distraction than conventional ones.

“The screen has been designed with the relevant highway design standards in mind.

“There will be a clear, unobstructed minimum visibility splay of at least 50m to the signs on approach. The screen will not come as a surprise to oncoming drivers.

“The 10-second interval ensures that drivers approaching will see no more than one or two advertisements and has been adopted as an informal standard for planning authorities granting consent to such digital advertisements.”

But Derbyshire County Council, as highways authority, said: “The provision of an advertisement unit would be a distraction to drivers on the adjacent highway where driver focus and concentration needs to be on the road and traffic situation.

“This is likely to increase the risk of collisions, which would be prejudicial to highway safety.”

Refusing Alight Media’s planning application, the borough council said: “Overall the proposal is acceptable in design and appearance.

“The proposal would, however, add to the street clutter and be a distraction for drivers on a busy roundabout where their concentration needs to be on road conditions.

“The proposed advertisement unit would therefore compromise highway safety.”

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