Opposition to new electronic advertising board on corner of residential road

Elm Grove Billboard
Elm Grove Billboard

Concerns about light pollution have seen neighbours oppose plans for an electronic advertising board.

Advertising company Clear Channel want to replace the poster and paste billboard at 185 Elm Grove with an internally lit advertising board.

So far 22 objections have been lodged via Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning website and campaigners have the support of Hanover and Elm Grove’s councillors.

Green councillor Elaine Hills said: “I do not think it’s appropriate to replace an enormous 3m x 6m poster billboard with a brightly lit screen of the same size in a residential street. I have therefore objected to the change.

“Many locals oppose it and believe it will add nothing of benefit to the area and will only have downsides.

“The light emitted by the sign will be a nuisance, particularly at night, and could disturb the sleep of residents living in the vicinity.”

Fellow Green councillor Steph Powell has written her objection as she is concerned it will disturb people’s sleep and act as a distraction to drivers and pedestrians.

Councillor Powell said: “The city council has declared a climate emergency. We should do everything possible to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“Such a sign is completely wasteful of precious natural resources and simply not needed on the corner of a residential road.”

Many of the objections from residents raise the issue of light pollution as well as the impact on traffic.

One person living nearby, whose details were removed on the council’s website, said: “I have a clear view of this board from my living room and my bedroom. I do not want to see more, brightly lit advertising. Especially from my home.

“Elm Grove is residential and not suited to a large, lit billboard advertising more and more products.”

Another comment described electronic billboards as turning Brighton into Las Vegas.

A commenter whose details were redacted on the council’s website raised the issue of funeral processions.

They said: “Brighton council installed speed cushions on Bernard Road as opposed to speed humps as in all the other roads for the stated reason that Bernard Road is the funeral procession route to the cemetery in Hartington Road at the other end of Bernard Road.

“Adding this attention seeking advertising board on a designated funeral procession route is obscene.”

In its application Carter Jonas, acting on behalf of Clear Channel says the electronic board weighs less than a paper one and would reduce the number of journeys to the site as adverts rotate rather than needing to be manually reposted.

It said: “The quality of the image produced will mimic that of a traditional poster, with the overall aim of the project being to replace like for like with no adverse impact on visual amenity.

“Content will be controlled remotely in real time from a Networks Operation Centre and the site will be monitored remotely 24/7 to facilitate responsive maintenance.”

The company also states using electronic rather than printed posters uses fewer resources.

Details of the planning application can be seen by searching for BH2019/02541 on the council’s website at planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk