A PLANNING tribunal has knocked back a sign company's bid to build a major promotions billboard in the middle of Huntly.
Transad Australia took the City of Greater Bendigo to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after its push for the sign at 603 Midland Highway was blocked.
The double-sided sign would have been 8.4 metres wide and rise 5.4 metres across the ground and be to passing motorists using the increasingly busy road.
Bendigo's council originally knocked back the plan out of concerns about its impact on the streetscape and it failed to meet a number of planning policy clauses around signage.
Transad told VCAT the sign would integrate comfortably into the commercial core of Huntly.
It argued that the council had not considered the way the area's character was expected to evolve over the coming 10 years.
It pointed to the council itself, which was expecting significant changes in that time.
Transad said those changes would lend themselves to the sort of streetscape a large billboard would sit comfortably in.
Even today it is hard to say the area has a strong or even coherent character, Transad said.
"It is an eclectic and robust environment of varied scale and setback, which incorporates signage in a variety of forms," the company told VCAT.
The sign itself would have been nestled below silos on site.
VCAT member Shiran Wickramasinghe accepted the idea that Huntly will change with the passage of time but said the evolution was yet to happen.
He ruled that every building in the area was single-story, even if the silos were taller.
"In this context I find the introduction of a 19.3 square metre promotion sign ... on land occupied by an egg farm to be incompatible with the existing pattern of development," Mr Wickramasinghe said.
He found the sign would look disorderly and discordant in the streetscape.
It was a different take than on signage previously approved for an unrelated petrol station 65 metres away on the opposite side of the road.
Mr Wickramasinghe said those signs made more sense to someone on the street because they were consistent with the idea of a petrol station.
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