A PLANNING inspector has backed Bradford Council's decision to refuse plans for a digital advertising sign on Manchester Road.

Vivid Outdoor Media had submitted plans for the LED lit sign at the side of Albion Mills, Hutson Street, near the pedestrian bridge over Manchester Road.

The company argued that the "site has a very low quality design and little streetscape value" and that the signage would be accompanied by improvements to the mill building.

But the plans were refused in September, with officers saying the sign was an "incongruous feature that would cause significant detrimental harm to the visual amenity of the area."

They argued that the sign was in a very prominent position on one of the District's busiest roads.

The company appealed the decision, but now government planning inspector D Hartley has dismissed that appeal, raising similar concerns.

The appeal had said: "It is acknowledged that the backdrop to the Appeal site is functional, but a little drab and shabby in places, and therefore has no significant amenity value.

"The proposed scheme would introduce considerable environmental improvements to the street scene, whereas previous applications for the site were criticised by the Council for having an absence of any 'public benefits.'

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"The advertising revenue from the proposed scheme would provide funding to the landlord of the property, who would reinvest in the site by carrying out the extensive and costly improvements to the exterior of his business premises. "Without this funding, the landlord would find it extremely difficult in the current changing and challenging business environment to generate sufficient funds to be allocated to this improvement scheme.

"In the absence of any alternative development plans for the site, the Council’s lack of support for the appeal proposal would imply that the Council is prepared to see the site remain in its current rundown and unsightly condition, which creates a negative impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding area."

Referring to the proposed improvement works that would accompany the sign, Mr Hartley's report into the appeal said: "Whilst the works would lead to some improvement in the appearance of the building, on balance this would not justify allowing an advertisement which would cause significant harm to the amenity of the area."

The appeal was dismissed.