Digital ad board plans for city centre rejected over Conservation Area concerns
Plans to install digital signage in Wrexham city centre have been rejected amid concerns over its impact on the Conservation Area.
An application had been submitted to fix a 65 inch poster is installed on Hope Street – near to Boots Opticians and the Pound Bakery.
The boards aim to promote local businesses and their offers to visitors to the city centre.
They are described as being weather proof, easy to maintain and vandal proof.
Similar boards already exist within the city centre, with the Hope Street application being one of three recently submitted for consideration.
However at Monday’s (December 4) planning meeting councillors raised concerns over whether the digital signage was appropriate within the Town Centre Conservation Area.
The area – which encompasses large parts of Regent Street, Hope Street, Charles Street and the High Street – is made up of ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest’.
Planning officer Matthew Phillips said the location on Hope Street had been selected due to its high footfall.
Mr Phillips said: “This is in the Town Centre Conservation Area, however there is a mix of character and buildings in the area.
“There is also a lot of street furniture, phone box bollards and a bin. So I think in that context, the proposal would not add harmful clutter to the street scene or detract from the Conservation Area.
“From a pedestrian safety point of view it wouldn’t present a significant obstacle to pedestrians. It also wouldn’t prevent the limited amount of vehicles that use the pedestrianised zone from doing so.
“On that basis it’s considered appropriate for city centre location and it’s intended to have a positive impact on the on the wider city centre in terms of economic activity.”
But Grosvenor councillor Marc Jones argued that the boards “don’t add anything to the Town Centre Conservation Area.”
Cllr Jones added: “These displays apparently use as much electricity as three average homes.
“So I find it difficult to relate to us declaring a climate emergency while we are approving these.
“It’s not a material planning objection – I just find they’re not adding to our our term centre.”
The environmental concerns were echoed by Stansty councillor I David Bithell, who said: “I’ve got concerns they’re going to be 24/7, what’s the carbon footprints and how much electricity is it using.”
“People are struggling with electricity bills at the moment and we’ve got illuminated carbon there that will be lit up 24 hours a day.
“I won’t be supporting it.”
However Gresford councillor Jeremy Kent said the boards will help to “direct and lead people to local businesses within the city centre.”
A majority of planning committee members voted against the plans based on its impact on the Town Centre Conservation Area.
Picture: Planning Documents
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