The value of obtaining advertising consent is often overlooked in the planning world

19 Oct 22

For these revolving digital displays to be commercially viable, there is a typical requirement for a 10 second rate of change so that people view more than one advert whilst looking at the display.

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Over the last three years, we have been working with our client Wildstone Capital on the digitalisation of their portfolio of advertising boards across Scotland. This has involved 64 applications for advert consent (a standalone piece of planning legislation) and 4 appeals to Scottish Ministers across 13 planning authorities.

Whilst advertising formats have changed significantly since planning regulations in Scotland were introduced in 1984, two primary tests can still be applied to any application – impact on amenity and public safety. However, given the visual nature of changing images on digital displays, showing multiple static advertisements on rotation whilst requiring a certain level of luminance, these two considerations are being tested in new ways.

For these revolving digital displays to be commercially viable, there is a typical requirement for a 10 second rate of change so that people view more than one advert whilst looking at the display. There are obvious implications for this in sensitive areas, notably residential properties, schools, or on complex parts of the road network.

As with all development proposals, effective discussions with planning officers are key to achieving consent. For example, at a roadside location in Renfrewshire, concerns about the advert’s proximity to traffic signals and a pedestrian crossing had been raised by the Roads Department. We were able to find an effective solution to alleviate these concerns, and consent was eventually granted. 

We have learnt how to alleviate any amenity or public safety concerns, whilst still complying with the necessary Regulations, limiting restrictions wherever possible, and preserving commercial viability for both the client and the end operator of the digital displays.

For example, we successfully appealed a planning refusal on the basis of residential amenity by Glasgow City Council to Scottish Ministers. The consented application still avoids any adverse impact on surrounding residential properties and imposes no additional restrictions on luminance levels.

Our ongoing work with Wildstone has given us significant experience in successfully negotiating consent with local authorities to achieve these outcomes.

Wildstone would be happy to talk to anyone regarding existing billboards or vacant sites with potential for advertising across the UK, and Iceni can provide initial advice on prospects of success for digital adverts.  

In London, Iceni work closely with blowUP media who would also be keen to talk about advertising on buildings shrouded in scaffolding/ outdoor advertising at commercial properties, generating income to support renovation projects.

Kara Harrison Planner,Planning