Complaints over Leith’s ‘Las Vegas’ billboard

The Leith Walk display exceeds regulations. Picture: Scott Louden
The Leith Walk display exceeds regulations. Picture: Scott Louden
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Digital advertisers have been ordered to remove a brightly-lit hoarding after residents claimed it was like living in “Las Vegas”.

Locals have complained that the dazzling advert at Croall Place – glowing three times brighter than rules allow – has been keeping them awake at night and blights the character of the street.

Screen operators have previously withdrawn moving images from the display amid fears it may distract motorists on Leith Walk.

Now complaints over the brightness of the billboard have resulted in an enforcement notice being issued following “several site visits” by city planning officers.

The notice said: “Using specialist equipment, it has been established that the advert appears to be in regular breach of the condition with the average luminance levels measuring double the permitted 
levels during daylight hours and more than three times as bright as permitted during darkness hours.”

Forrest Group, the firm that operates the advert, now has two months to remove it entirely or find a way to dim the lights.

The digital billboard was installed earlier this year, replacing a smaller traditional advertising hoarding.

John Hein, chairman of Leith Central Community Council, said the billboard had been the source of numerous complaints at residents’ meetings.

He said: “The very size of it, arriving there unheralded,
has raised questions as to quite how it stands as regards to planning. The previous one was much smaller. I didn’t even notice it, whereas this one is fairly obvious.

“The brightness is such that the council might even save money on street lighting. Neighbouring residents are being kept awake at night because the damn thing is blazing away.

“We’d rather that it wasn’t there, or at least for the dimmer to be turned down.

Mr Hein added: “A lot of people are upset by it and feel it ruins the look of Leith Walk. Someone suggested it looks a little bit like Las Vegas.”
A council spokesperson said: “The advertisement is in breach of planning requirements and an enforcement notice has been served for it to be removed.”

Forrest Group did not respond to a request for comment from the Evening 
News.

paris.gourtsoyannis@edinburghnews.com