AN advertising giant has been told plans for large digital display - along one of Oldham's busiest roads - cannot go ahead because of highway safety concerns.

Borough council planners rejected Clear Channel's application for a 48-sheet hoarding along Manchester Street because it was thought it would prove to be a distraction for motorists.

This prompted the company to lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.

And now after studying the site, and the related issues, an inspector has sided with the local authority.

The bid had been made for the terrace wall to the south-west elevation of 300 Manchester Street, to be seen by drivers heading into Oldham along the dual carriageway. Adverts would have appeared in rotation on the digital display.

Ruling on the case, planning inspector Nick Palmer said the two main issues to be determined were visual amenity and highway safety.

Mr Palmer noted that the fixture would "dominate" the wall and be "particularly prominent".

And combined with the existing street signage it would "create an element of clutter", which would detract from the street scene, he added.

And Mr Palmer, considering the impact on highway safety, he said the route, with a pedestrian crossing, bus stop and corner junction was "particularly complex".

Rejecting the appeal, he added: "Given the size of the advertisement, its location, and its illumination and changing display, it has the potential to cause increased distraction to highway users in the immediate proximity. As such, the proposal would negatively impact highway safety."