Advertising firm told to take down ‘eyesore’ Sunderland hoardings

The advertising hoardings at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The advertising hoardings at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

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An advertising company must strip its hoardings at Sunderland Royal Hospital after residents complained about the “eyesore”.

Stewart Hindmarsh Advertising Ltd had applied to keep the four billboards on Kayll Road for another four years.

Would we invite the Queen to see these hoardings at our wonderful Royal hospital?

Nicola Roberts, Kayll Road resident

The signs were put up to disguise work taking place on the hospital’s A&E department.

However, nearby residents complained they were unsightly and were proving a distraction to drivers on a busy road and the application was refused at a Sunderland City Council planning committee meeting.

Mr Hindmarsh said he had offered to reduce the size of the hoardings, which are above the legal height requirements, but residents in attendance said they did not want the hoardings at all. Though the hospital receives money for the hoardings, he pointed out that it does not cost the hospital to have them in place.

A petition of 36 signatures was handed in to the council, in objection to the proposal to keep the hoardings in place until February, 2018.

Susan Adamson, chairwoman at the Barnes, Pallion and Millfield Residents’ Association, said: “Seemingly, they were put up to screen residents’ view of work undergoing at A&E, but if the hospital is so concerned for residents’ outlook, why was there no need to screen previous extension work? These new hoardings are hideous, unsafe and above legal height requirements.

“They are not only unsightly, but dangerous to drivers who slow down to look at them at what is already a hazardous junction.

“If these hoardings are allowed, there is no stopping further hoardings being erected around the perimeter of the hospital grounds.”

Kayll Road resident Nicola Roberts said: “We have taken a lot from the hospital already with all of the building work over the years, but these hoardings are the last straw.

“We are all very proud to say we live on Kayll Road, opposite our wonderful Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“Would we invite the Queen to see these hoardings? I don’t think so.”