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Sunday, July 14, 2024

New city centre advertising boards would be “unnecessary clutter”

Plans for new advertising boards have been refused, with planners saying the “visual clutter” does not take into account the ongoing work to pedestrianise areas of the city centre.

JCDecaux has applied for permission to install three “hub” units in the city centre. The units would feature an 86 inch illuminated LCD advertising board as well as a defibrillator and free Wi-Fi.

The applications were for a unit on Bridge Street, outside Rimmington’s Pharmacy, one outside Howard House on Bank Street and another in City Park.

But Bradford Council has now refused plans for the Bank Street and Bridge Street units, saying they would be harmful to the city centre.

The applications say: “The Hub units offer a range of publicly accessible functions which include free calls to landlines, free Wi-Fi, interactive wayfinding, direct access to local webpages, a 24/7 publicly accessible defibrillator and device charging.”

On the Bridge Street application, the Council’s Conservation Officer Jon Ackroyd said: “The location in question is currently subject to much change, with de-trafficking of the Bridge Street. This will result in changes to the carriageway layout, removal of the adjacent parking bay and removal of street furniture. It is not clear that the proposed siting of the hub has recognised these imminent changes.

“The existing similar advertising posts within the city centre conservation area. They clutter the streetscape and introduce visual distraction.

“The cumulative effect of such apparatus is harmful to the conservation area and the historic environment.”

Refusing the application, planning officers said the unit would be “unnecessary visual clutter” adding: “The proposal is poorly sited and has failed to consider the public realm improvement works to Bridge Street which would be affected by the placement of this proposed screen.”

The Bank Street application was refused for similar reasons, but planners added: “The proposal will cause obstruction to pedestrians travelling along Bank Street.

“It will form an obstacle on an otherwise clear pedestrian access way which could hinder people with limited mobility, poor eyesight or other disabilities.”

A decision has yet to be made on the City Park application.

Si Cunningham, Chairperson of Bradford Civic Society, said: “I welcome refusal of these units, which do nothing but create un-necessary clutter at a time when efforts are being made to make the city’s streets much more pedestrian friendly.

“In some cases elsewhere in the city centre they have been known to become magnets for blight and antisocial behaviour, but aside from anything they just look a bit tacky next to our grand old buildings.”

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