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Electric sign gets planning go-ahead in South Shields

Vic Young Motors Newcastle Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
Vic Young Motors Newcastle Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID

A South Tyneside car dealership has been granted retrospective planning consent for its giant electronic advertising board – provided adverts last at least seven seconds.

Council planners have made it condition of Vic Young Ltd being allowed to keep the 4.5m by 2.5m screen at its premises in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

The business says each advert on the board, which drivers see as they leave South Shields heading west, are in fact fixed for 10 seconds – the accepted optimum change period.

Such a time gap has been found to not distract motorists by changing too quickly or to give the appearance of animation by changing too slowly.

The dealership’s application reveals the digital display shows only promotions and offers directly related to its business.

Advertising consent for the board was granted in 2016 but it was not implemented.

Instead the display screen was erected in a different position for which the new, granted application applies.

South Tyneside Council’s traffic and road safety team raised no objections other than those which are standard for digital billboards.

These deal with controlling luminance levels, minimum display time for each advert, the static nature of individual adverts, and change interval between adverts.

The sign is permitted to be in operation from 6am to 11am, seven days a week.

In granting permission, a report by the council stated: “The minimum display time considered to be acceptable under the previous application was no less than seven seconds.

“Despite the current proposal stating that the minimum display time would be no less than ten seconds, given the comments of the council’s traffic and road safety team, it is recommended a condition should be worded the same as the previous approval, so no less than seven seconds.”