A DARWEN parish councillor is outraged after plans for an outdoor LED screen wall have been refused.

AKA Media had submitted an application to Blackburn with Darwen Council for the 16 screens which would in total measure 4.8m by 3.2m on the side of 39 Market Street.

However, planning chiefs say the signage ‘fails to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the building or the conservation area.

They added because of its size, design and positioning it ‘is considered to be detrimental to the visual appearance of the host wall and building.’

However Cllr Paul Browne insists it is one rule for Blackburn and another for Darwen.

He said: “This is just typical of anything Darreners want to have then they have to fight for it but they have screens in Blackburn already.

“It is rubbish. They came out with that argument before when they say it is in a conservation area yet they can allow the old Lloyds Bank to have plastic windows and doors.

“Then there is the conservation area on Railway Road and we have lots of plastic windows and surrounds on the takeaways.

“I cannot understand it.”

The council chiefs also said it would bring excessive illuminance which ‘would result in significant glare to the highways users’ and it would ‘prove to be a distraction to drivers’.

Cllr Browne added: “They (Planning) do it to suit themselves and there are screens in Blackburn.

“It is just picking at things to stop it being agreed.”

There are currently advert screens on King William Street, Barbara Castle Way and another on the A666 outside Ewood Park.

Gavin Prescott, planning manager at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "All planning applications, including those submitted under the advertisement regulations, are thoroughly assessed on their own individual merits.

“It was felt that the LED wall sign proposed for Market Street was poorly designed and was too big for the wall it had been ear-marked for.

“It also wouldn’t have enhanced the appearance or the character of the location – which is in the Darwen Town Centre Conservation Area.

“On this basis, the proposal was refused advertisement consent.”

Cllr John Slater, who represents Lower Darwen ward said: “This is in a conservation area and they get significant funding for being one.

“There is a screen in Blackburn but I don’t think it should not be in the conservation area here.

“I don’t want to see it losing that status because of it.”