Government ban LED adverts from walls of historic Bradford cinema

A government planning inspector has intervened to ban inappropriate neon signs from being affixed to the side of an historic picture house in Bradford.

Dudley Hill Picture Palace is now a carpet shop
Dudley Hill Picture Palace is now a carpet shop

Dudley Hill Picture Palace is a Grade II-listed building on Tong Street that was built in 1912 and is one of the country's oldest surviving Edwardian picture houses.

It hasn't been used as a cinema since 1967 and is currently occupied by a carpet shop.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

How a neglected Victorian warehousing district in Bradford could become 'the Manhattan of Yorkshire'Lasy year, Bradford Council refused an application by Clear Channel to replace an advertising board with an LED-lit digital sign on the side of the building.

They cited concerns for its value and significance as an historic asset, which could be undermined by the fluorescent lighting.

Yet Clear Channel submitted an appeal to the government's planning inspectorate.

Appointed inspector Adrian Caines has now backed the council's decision and the refusal will stand.

Clear Channel said: “It is important to note that there is a plethora of signage located on the building façade itself, and given the council has not decided to take enforcement action, it indicates that it is an accepted location for advertising.

“The fact of the advert being in situ for such a long period without any such action being taken for removal, is a clear sign that it is not causing harm to amenity or to the existing heritage asset.

“The benefits associated with a digital display which will result in a significant number of social, economic and environmental benefits through the reduction in CO2 emissions and waste, the use of sustainable energy, the opportunities to advertise charitable campaigns, public art and emergency messages, the increase in business rates, and reduction in visual clutter on a site specific and strategic level.”

Their appeal was overturned earlier this month after Mr Caines visited the site.

He praised the building’s 'striking and exuberant Edwardian baroque façade.'

“On the basis of the evidence before me and my own observations, the building is of high historic and architectural value and thus of high significance.

“Therefore, whilst the appeal site is not within a conservation area, it is a sensitive location.

“Although 50 per cent smaller than the existing poster hoarding, the illuminated LED technology with its sequential imagery would be an overtly contemporary element on the listed building.

“It would also appear large and discordant in juxtaposition with the front elevation of the building and interfere with and distract from the architectural detailing on the corner of the building.

“Consequently, the advertisement would be a visually obtrusive and incongruous modern feature that would compete with and detract from the historic and architectural quality of the appeal building.

“I acknowledge the presence of other advertisements on the building, but there is no substantive evidence that they are lawful, and they do not set any precedent for the appeal scheme.”