VICTORIA'S planning umpire has dismissed the City of Greater Bendigo's attempt to stop a digital sign's installation in Mitchell Street.
It is the second time the council has failed to stop a digital sign's installation in less than 12 months.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal's decision could shape the way the council interprets its own policies on advertising and visual clutter.
The tribunal has allowed advertiser Regional Billboard Co to run a digital sign on the second storey of 54 Mitchell Street, overlooking the intersection with Queen Street.
The 17.2 metre square sign would target pedestrians and drivers. Advertisements could change every 30 seconds or so.
The council knocked back the company's application last year, with one councillor saying it would be "garish" and that Bendigo was not Las Vegas.
Council officers said the sign would dominate the surrounding streetscape and create visual clutter.
Two months earlier, VCAT had handed down a separate ruling greenlighting a similar sign that company Citizen Outdoor Pty Ltd wanted to install two blocks away at the Wills Street intersection.
A VCAT member took issue with the council's interpretation of advertising policies in that case, saying its "sweeping prejudice" against certain signs was "unhelpful".
Some councillors had believed the new case was different enough to warrant a challenge at VCAT.
But VCAT was "heavily influenced" by the earlier case, member Michael Nelthorpe said as he handed down his ruling.
"It is a recent decision based on the same policy framework and a very similar physical context," he said.
"I am persuaded ... that this is a modestly scaled promotion sign that responds to its physical context. I am not persuaded that it dominates the host building, the intersection of Mitchell and Queen streets, or the broader area."
Regional Billboard Co welcomed the decision.
"We are excited to move on from the costly and timely VCAT process to be able to start offering digital billboard advertising to the local Bendigo market," director James Course said.
"Our similar sites in Ballarat, Warrnambool, Torquay, Mildura and Traralgon have attracted a wide breadth of local advertisers, from sole practitioners to large regional organisations."
Attention is now turning to another sign proposed for Kangaroo Flat, where a company wants to install an electronic sign on the upper story of a building at the corner of High Street and Lockwood Road.
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