THE CITY of Greater Bendigo should knock back a bid for a new electronic sign in central Bendigo despite recently losing a fight against another one 100 metres up the road, council staff say.
Developers want to install a 17.2 square metre electronic sign at the top of a building at the corner of Mitchell and Queen Street.
The sign would wrap around a splay of the building and display a range of advertisements in three directions.
Ads would change every 30 seconds or so.
Councillors will decide whether to allow the sign to be installed when they meet on Monday.
They will vote on the issue two months after the council lost a separate battle over an electronic billboard's installation two blocks away where Mitchell Street intersects with Wills Street.
In that case, a developer won the right to install a slightly larger sign over an atrium at 4 Wills Street.
VCAT rejected the council's argument that the sign would be out of character and dominate the surrounding streetscape.
It has triggered intense internal debate about two more proposals for electronic signs, both of which will be considered by councillors on Monday night.
A committee convened to examine a series of electronic sign proposals was unable to make a unanimous decision on one billboard proposed for 148-152 High Street, Kangaroo Flat.
The committee unanimously agreed the Queen Street, Bendigo proposal would not be appropriate, though.
Council staff have used reports to elected officials ahead of Monday night's debate to suggest councillors consider whether the signs would "dominate each site.
They said the Queen Street billboard would go up in an area where advertising signage was commonplace but not "overtly dominant".
Most of what signage existed was to identify businesses, the council officers said.
"There is very little promotional signage present within the immediately surrounding area and there are only four small-scale electronic promotional signs along Mitchell Street which are lawfully displayed," they said.
The officers also pointed to a clause in the city's planning scheme that discouraged advertising for activities that are not conducted on site.
The clause was introduced in 2015 when the council was creating rules designed to "encourage advertising to have a balanced impact on the amenity of the building and the area".
Two months ago, a VCAT member took issue with the council's use of the same clause to try to block the Wills Street sign.
She suggested it could allow for "sweeping prejudice" against electronic signs, which would contradict other parts of Bendigo's planning scheme.
Council officers have maintained that the city's planning scheme tries to give some idea about when and where it would be appropriate.
"Whilst it is acknowledged that the City's local signage policy could be revised to provide further direction on the appropriate locations for such signage, the subject site would not be considered likely as an appropriate location," they said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.