Plans for gigantic advertising screen overlooking A1231 near Northern Spire bridge

A digital advertising screen could be installed overlooking a major road into the centre of Sunderland.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 13:07 pm

Plans have been submitted to place an LED display measuring about 18 square metres (194 square feet) on the side of a print works overlooking the A1231.

The Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland. Picture by Owen Humphreys/PA

But in light of this, planning chiefs at Sunderland City Council have been advised the planned screen should be banned from showing any form of film, video or animation.

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Instead it should be limited to ‘static poster images’ and not show ‘more than four different images per minute so as not to cause a distraction to drivers’.

If approved the screen would be installed on the west side of the WH Forster print works.

Planning consultancy Lichfields, acting on behalf of applicant La Plata Investments Ltd, has urged the proposals be given the green light as soon as possible.

WH Forster, Pallion, Sunderland

In a report for the city council’s it said: “The proposed digital screen is of an appropriate scale and design in relation to the surrounding buildings and spaces.

“It will not appear intrusive within the street scene and would be compatible with the modern approach to outdoor advertising in commercial settings such as this location. The screen will have no adverse impact upon amenity or public safety and would enhance the site and its setting.”

The firm claimed the council has already approved approved five similar applications for advertising screens, including at the Bridges car park.

The Government has pledged 40.5million funding to upgrade the A1231 to dual carrigeway between the Northern Spire and Sunderland city centre.

The first phase of this created St Mary’s Boulevard and the second the Northern Spire Bridge, while the third will link the two part.

Plans are also being developed for phases four and five which will see improvements to Wessington Way.

WH Forster, Pallion, Sunderland
WH Forster, Pallion, Sunderland