Residents object to St Philips Causeway illuminated signage

October 30 2018
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Two planning applications have been submitted to Bristol City Council regarding illuminated advertising boards at St Philips Causeway.

The first seeks to duplicate the existing sign that is located on the southbound side of the road on the northbound side.

The second application is to erect two 6x3-metre signs in the area; one at the Avonmeads retail park roundabout and another further south of the existing sign on St Philips Causeway.

The applications can be located and commented on via the council’s planning website www.planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&fbclid=IwAR0af9sEAPsJu5BJLBZZ-TflmX0SXwdye2zz1YFrpm2O4iL5XGHS8ylGi_A

The reference numbers are 18/04924/A and 18/05167/A, respectively. So far, the former has drawn 94 public comments (all objections), while the latter has only drawn 6.

“Another source of intense light pollution in the form of this huge LED sign is totally and absolutely unacceptable,” wrote local resident Jane Kilpatrick in her objection.

“We live in the area and enjoy being near Troopers Hill Nature Reserve which is a haven for wildlife in the city with its greenery and the darkness at night. The last thing we want is another LED sign to join the current one on St Philips Causeway and spoil the night time skyline even more!”

Friends of Troopers Hill have also expressed concerns over the impact that the signage would have on the site, in particular pointing out the fact that the Hill is a Dark Sky Discovery Site, meaning that it is “…a good place to visit for star and planet watching, relatively protected from light pollution and with a good horizon”. The introduction of the illuminated signage could reduce this visibilty.

“Troopers Hill is in the Avon Valley conservation area,” said Susan Acton-Campbell, Chair of Friends of Troopers Hill.

“The billboards are not in a conservation area but as the existing one is clearly impacting on a conservation area then prior to permission being given for more, it should be established that new ones will not have the same impact.

“Troopers Hill is an accredited Dark Sky Discovery site and one of only three in Bristol. It would be a shame that visitors coming to the Hill to enjoy the opportunity to look at the stars should have their experience impacted by light sources that could be shielded or not be there at all.”

Commenters have also highlighted a number of other issues including spoiling the view over the city, distractions to drivers, the environmental impact of powering the signs and dangers to people using the cycle lanes on either side of the carriageway.

The two applications appear to be separate to each other with 18/04924/A having been submitted by Ocean Outdoor Ltd and 18/05167/A having been submitted by Insite Poster Properties Ltd.