‘Dominant’ billboard rejected

The former Commonwealth Bank Building, which is the site of a proposed electronic billboard. Picture: VCAT

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A proposed 40-square-metre electronic billboard in central Dandenong has been rejected by the state’s planning tribunal.

VCAT found that the sign at the top of the three-storey former Commonwealth Bank building at 260-264 Lonsdale Street would be too “dominant”.

The north-facing sign would be “clearly visible” to pedestrians, particularly approaching from Clow Street, VCAT member Michelle Blackburn stated on 17 November.

“I disagree with the suggestion of the applicant that it will be on the periphery of their views…

“In addition, there is a small area of open space just to the north of the site and seating within the boulevard which the proposed sign will, in my view, be a relatively dominant feature.”

The site was particularly prominent due to Lonsdale Street’s bend and the relatively low-rise buildings, she stated.

“The scale, form and location of the proposed sign is such that it will have a dominating visual presence, particularly to those entering the activity centre from the north.

“I consider this will detract from, rather than complement the streetscape.”

Ms Blackburn said the sign would “draw attention away” from the coloured light poles feature in Lonsdale Street’s median strip near Drum Theatre.

Greater Dandenong Council had earlier rejected the sign due to its visual impact on the revitalised Lonsdale Street boulevard.

The council’s ‘gateways strategy’ states advertising such as billboards, A-frames, inflatables, flags and banners are to be avoided at “key corner sites”.

The applicant 260 Lonsdale Street Pty Ltd argued the sign would complement the boulevard, with the sign on the “periphery” of the light pole feature.

The billboard was part of a history of signs fronting the main street, it argued.

 

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