Appeal over hoardings plan for King’s Lynn turned down

Illuminated advertising hoardings will not be appearing on one of King's Lynn's less-glamourous approaches, a planning inspector has ruled.

Clear Channel UK wanted to site the two 6m-wide billboards at the corner of Benefer Way and Estuary Road, claiming they would help screen out the rusting remains of a former oil depot.

It appealed after West Norfolk council turned down the application on the grounds the signs would be 'obtrusive'.

Weeks later, the oil tanks and remains of the oil depot were demolished and removed from the site, leaving just a fence and a flower bed.

Yesterday, the Planning Inspectorate said the appeal had been dismissed.

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'The main issues are the effect of the proposed advertisement display on the visual amenity of the area and highway safety,' its decision letter says.

'Edward Benefer Way, with wide grass verges and trees along much of its route, is one of the principal approaches into King's Lynn.

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'The appellants claim that the advertising panels would help to disguise ugly oil storage tanks on the site to the rear, but these have now been removed.

'I consider that the proposed large advertisement panels, whether or not they were to be illuminated, would be incongruous, isolated elements in the street scene which would be over-dominant and which would detract from the area at the junction.'

Highways officers feared the illuminated hoardings would distract drivers from the traffic lights controlling the busy junction, which used by thousands of drivers daily.

Turning down the original application, West Norfolk planners said: 'The erection and display of two illuminated advertisement hoardings in this exposed location, which is one of the main gateways into King's Lynn, would appear unduly obtrusive and incriongruous to the detriment of the visual amenities of the locality and by virtue of its illumination will distract drivers and conflict with the traffic lights which control the Estuary Road/Benefer Way junction.'

Earlier, King's Lynn Civic Society said it would not be formally objecting to the application.

Clear Channel appealed, stating: 'The proposed panels would be seen against the backdrop of large, dirty grey and rusting oil storage tanks and other industrial buildings.'

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