A plan to put an electronic billboard overlooking Sturt Street is meeting resistance among heritage watchers in Ballarat.
A planning permit application is currently being advertised on the City of Ballarat planning website.
There is an existing billboard on the roof of the location at 107 Sturt Street, which lies just to the west of the intersection with Albert Street.
The optometrists Kevin Paisley is currently located there on the south side of the city's main thoroughfare.
The proposed replacement billboard would be slightly smaller than the existing one, but the advertising would be able to change every 10 seconds on its digital screen.
The report going with the planning application says the proposal "is similar to several cases the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has considered where 'legacy' signs exist in heritage areas."
According to the application no planning permit exists for the current sign.
The report says: "Accordingly, the earlier rights associated with the sign and associated structure remain. It is proposed to remove the existing sign and install a new electronic sign."
The developers behind the application are also looking to have the maximum brightness allowed.
Stuart Kelly of Ballarat Heritage Watch has lodged a protest against the sign. He wrote on the group's Facebook page: "The impact of a changing sign will be much more intrusive than the current sign. The apparent movement caused by changing images obviously more likely to attract attention."
"Is this really what we want for our historic Sturt Street streetscape?"
He told The Courier he also had a personal reason for the objection, saying that a driver had run into the back of his car when distracted by a digital sign at Kew Junction.
"My car was off the road for some weeks and I was fortunate not to have been injured," he wrote in his objection to council.
The planning report including with the application says the billboard, with proposed dimensions of 9m x 3m, would be "an improvement over the current sign conditions" and that the "resulting visual impact will be beneficial".
The planning application was submitted on behalf of Citizen Outdoor Pty Ltd, a Melbourne-based company.
- For more details, go to the council's planning website at http://eservices.ballarat.vic.gov.au/
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