A PLANNING inspector has backed Bradford Council's decision to block plans for a digital sign off Duckworth Lane.

Earlier this year the Council refused planning permission for a digital sign to replace a large advertising board on the junction of Duckworth Lane and Washington Street - saying the sign would cause "significant harm." to the street scene.

The applicants appealed the decision, pointing out the commercial nature of the busy street.

They said that as well as advertising, the digital sign "can be used for non-commercial purposes such as charitable campaigns and public art etc. The upgrade to digital poster could also act as a social benefit by supporting emergency messaging."

They also claimed the plans could boost the Council's coffers, saying:  "Instances where the displays are upgraded typically result in an uplift in rent, which in turn will significantly increase the business rates payable to the Council."

But the appeal has now been dismissed by a Government planning Inspector.

Inspector throws out illuminated sign planning appeal

Inspector David Cross said: "The existing sign appears as an incongruous and dominant feature on the elevation of the building.

"The nature of the display would draw the eye and would be far more noticeable than the current paper and paste display. This would particularly be the case during the hours of darkness when it would become a dominant feature in an area that currently lacks this type of advertisement. I consider that this would be an obtrusive and discordant feature within the streetscape and in views from residential properties.

"I acknowledge that the sign could be used to display public art and messages beneficial to the community, but there is no certainty that this would occur. The proposal may also lead to an increase in business rates submitted to the Council.

"However, I consider that these benefits as a whole would be limited and would not outweigh the significant harm to amenity arising from the nature of the proposed display."