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Plans for an LED advertising display on Whitley Street

Greggs is open

The media and entertainment group Global are planning to replace the advertising hoarding outside Gregg’s bakers on Whitley Street (the old Wellington Arms) with an LED display.

Head of planning at Global, Matt Swindles, said:

The upgraded advertisement would be the same size and displayed in the same position. The difference would be that it would use a digital LED screen to show the poster images instead of physical, printed posters.

He added that the brightness of the display would be controlled according to a professional lighting guide and it would only display static images, to avoid distracting traffic. The online application includes a mock-up of what the proposed new LED display might look like during the day.

Reading Borough Council adopted a new local plan on 4 November. This contains policy OU4 which lays out the criteria by which planning applications for advertisements are judged:

Advertisements will respect the building or structure on which they are located, and their surroundings and setting in terms of size, location, design, materials, colour, noise, lettering, amount and type of text, illumination and luminance, and will not have a detrimental effect on public safety.

You can comment on or object to the application for advertising consent online.

  1. Planning application 191648
  2. The Brightness of Illuminated Advertisements (Institute of Lighting Professionals, 2014)
  3. Reading Borough Council New Local Plan


  1. Hm, static images only to avoid distracting traffic? Surely the purpose of the exercise is to draw more attention to the display in the first place. Traffic WILL be distracted, never mind images being static or dynamic.

    Also, I am surprised about this proposal since it counteracts RBC’s efforts on health and environment. Reading has a negative record on light pollution, and approving this application would send the wrong message.

    • Adam Harrington

      13 November 2019 at 11.01 am

      Indeed so; the applicants (“Global media and entertainment”) presumably want a more eye-catching advertisement here because Whitley Street is one of the busiest routes out of the town centre. This is also a very good reason *not* to add further distractions, especially as Whitley St is such a busy shopping area with pedestrians.
      I’m also fairly sure that ‘static’ will be imaginatively interpreted; there is a ‘static’ LED advert display outside the Butts near the Metro bank in the town centre. It displays different (very, very bright) images every few seconds. They are hugely (and intentionally) distracting.
      Also, some pity for the people trying to sleep in properties on Whitley Street, the Spring Gardens estate and Southampton Street whose windows will flicker with multicoloured lights all night!

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