A DIGITAL advertising hoarding - which had been the first in Ayrshire - has been given the thumbs down. 

The Whitletts Road board has been refused advertisement consent over fears of road safety. The sign - owned by Ayrshire-based company Posterplus - was installed in 2013.

The Ayrshire Roads Alliance expressed “significant concerns” about the road safety impacts of the illuminated sign on Whitletts Road and residents had complaints that light from the sign was disturbing them, having been lit up past its agreed turn-off time of 10pm.

At a meeting last week at South Ayrshire Council, the Regulatory Panel heard how the ARA were against the renewal of the advertisement board due to their growing concerns, specifically due to the “potential for driver distraction arising from screen brightness and animation”. 

The signage was originally granted permission in 2012, but by regulation, consent for the display of advertisements expire after five years.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Posterplus Ltd, Mr Hollywood, said: “I am both confused and conflicted as to why this has been refused when all departments all approved this structure since installation, five years ago.

“The ARA, five years ago, had no objection and suddenly now they have decided to object with zero foundation and with one reason only, using one word – “potential” – “potential to cause a distraction”.

“What the ARA does not have is a single bit of proof – not a report, test or road safety audit – this is nothing more than scare mongering.

“All of the objections come from people who live all the way in Essex, Girvan, Patna, Irvine and Dundonald.

“This development area is a busy used area with half a million cars passing the site each month.

“I fully accept that immediate neighbours have concerns. but up to today’s date, we have stuck to the agreement of switching the screen of at 10pm.”

Resident, Lee Dodds, who lives opposite the site, explained: “When this was put up in 2012, we were never notified. Our two front rooms – we haven’t used for five years – we stay at the back of the house because of the reflection.

“If you drive down Whitletts Road, all you see is flashing in the windows.

“PosterPlus say that they adhered to the conditions, but they didn’t. 

“On numerous occasions, the lights were left on until 12:30am.”

The majority of comments made on the planning application were objections, along with a petition, set up by Mr Dodds to stop the signage from continuing its advertisement, which collected over 160 signatures.

In response to the panel refusing the planning application, Cllr McKay added: “Maybe if the sign was in a better location, it may be more acceptable to the panel.”