Giant digital billboard on Scarborough building could distract motorists, it is feared

Fears have been raised that a proposed giant digital billboard on the side of a Scarborough town centre building could cause a dangerous distraction for motorists.

How the billboard could look, the Sealife Centre branding on the artists impression is just for context.

Plans were submitted earlier this month for the new advertisement which would be more than three metres in height and six metres in width on the wall of the Victoria Golden Tandoori in Victoria Road.

Sitting almost five metres above the pavement the LED sign would present static images, which change every 10 seconds, while no moving images or videos would be used.

The applicant, Graeme Hughes, states in his submission to Scarborough Council that the illuminated display would be switched off between midnight and 6am.

However, North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways department has now objected to the plans.

In a letter to Scarborough Council highways officer, Matthew Baldwin states that the sign is “too close” to the road junction.

He writes: “The application [should be] refused on the grounds that the erection of this type of sign is too close to a road junction [and] would distract the attention of road users from authorised highway signs which would be detrimental to road safety and the free flow of traffic.”

A previous application for a traditional “paper and paste” billboard was refused for the site in 2011, with an appeal against the decision thrown out the following year.

The reason for the refusal was that it was felt a billboard at that location would detract from the “visual amenity” of the area.

The current application to the council states that the building lies outside of Scarborough’s Conservation Area and is surrounded by the town’s police station, the Job Centre Plus building and an Aldi supermarket.

The new plan is now out to consultation.