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Plans for Wrexham city centre digital advertising board plans rejected

Plans showing how the digital advertising board in Wrexham city centre would look (Pic: Planning document)

PLANS to install a digital advertising board on the side of a shop in Wrexham city centre have been thrown out on appeal.

An application was made to Wrexham Council in June last year for an LED advertising sign to be put on a wall attached to the Waterstones store on Regent Street.

The proposals were rejected by planning officials from the local authority in August as they said it would represent “a large and conspicuous feature in the street scene”.

Concerns were also raised that it would be out of keeping with a conservation area in the city centre.

V2 LED Limited later lodged an appeal against the refusal to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales on the basis that it was similar to other boards in the area and would not be a distraction to members of the public.

However, an inspector appointed to oversee the appeal has now backed the council’s decision after concluding it would have a negative visual impact.

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In his report, Ian Stevens said: “I recognise that advertisements are well-established features in the surrounding street scene.

“However, they are typically confined to ground-floor commercial frontages and are generally restrained in appearance.

“In contrast, the appeal proposal would be markedly different in its design and siting, which would be continually lit and display consecutive static images on constant rotation throughout the day and night.

“It would therefore be a discordant addition to the built historic character of the conservation area.

“In the surrounding context, the busyness of the digital display would stand out over other illuminated signage.”

Mr Stevens said he recognised that planning conditions could be put in place to control lighting levels and the timing of displays on the board.

However, he said such measures would not outweigh the negative impact the proposals would have.

The inspector said examples of signs elsewhere in Wrexham were not the same because of the area’s historical significance.

He added: “There is clearly a balance to be had between the importance of outdoor advertising to commercial activity, and their impact on conservation areas.

“I note the potential benefits of advertising products from local and national businesses, along with the option to display public messaging, although no firm details have been provided on how this could be secured.

“In any event, the position and appearance of the proposed advertisement would be harmful to the visual amenities of the area and would fail to preserve or enhance the appearance of Wrexham town centre conservation area.”

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