TWO giant advertising boards are to be built next to one of the main roads into the city centre – despite fears they will become a source of “visual pollution”.
The 12x3 metre hoardings will be erected on elevated land at Roseburn Terrace, near to Murrayfield, by advertising giant JC Decaux.
Bosses at the group said the aluminium and steel displays would be illuminated thanks to low-energy LED strips, after planning chiefs imposed tough conditions aimed at ensuring they are not too bright.
But the boards, which have been granted planning permission by the city council, have been slammed by residents over concerns the hoardings will be too large and could destroy the area’s appearance.
Some have argued that they are better suited to shopping centres and sports stadia.
Moyra Batts, from nearby Murrayfield Gardens, said: “These giant hoardings will impact on the look and feel of the area and will dominate the skyline. This is a form of visual pollution.
“There are also road safety concerns which should be considered as digital billboards with running text and different displays can distract drivers and can cause accidents.
“These particular hoardings would be far more suited to a football stadium or shopping mall.”
The criticisms were echoed by Henderland Road resident Elizabeth Robertson, who said: “These hoardings are huge and dwarf the street. This is a busy area and we are trying to create a smarter shopping street.
“This goes against everything we have been trying to do for Roseburn which is to tidy up street clutter. There are already large adverts in the bus shelters.”
She added: “If the council put money before amenity, how can we ask others to have pride in the area?”
Leaders of Murrayfield Community Council said plans to remove existing boards were welcome, but added that the erection of huge new replacements was “not appreciated”.
Robert Smart, the council’s planning leader, said: “The monetary return from advertising will be very small indeed over the years whereas the return from selling the site and developing it for, say, 50 homes would achieve a much greater long-term return.”
Councillor Ian Perry, planning leader, said: “The proposal complies with all necessary regulations and is acceptable in terms of amenity and public safety.”
No-one at JC Decaux was available for comment.