Digital advertising screens for two of Dundee’s best known buildings have been approved despite concerns it could “ruin” their appearance.
Dundee City councillors gave the green light for £140,000 to be spent on two screens to be installed at the front steps of the Caird Hall, and a third at the Mcmanus Museum.
The proposal sparked fears they would make the city centre look like a “poor man’s Times Square in New York City“.
At a meeting of the city development committee, some councillors raised concerns about a lack of detail over what the screens would look like and asked for the project to be deferred until specific drawings were made available.
But officers warned the project will be paid for from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund, which is only available until the end of March.
The plans include an illuminated sign installed at the south side of the Caird Hall to further promote the venue, after the council said it must be upgraded in line with the ongoing waterfront development.
Liberal Democrat West End councillor Fraser Macpherson called for the project to be deferred but this was outvoted by 22 votes to six.
He said: “We have real concerns about what this will actually look like so we would ask that this is deferred so we can go through the options.
“These are beautiful buildings and we do not want to see them ruined.
“There is no real clarity over what these will look like so it makes much more sense to defer it so we can come back with more informed options.
“These are two of the most iconic buildings in the city and we are being asked to approve something without seeing the detail.”
But city development convener Mark Flynn pointed out the proposals had already been agreed in principle and the vote was only to approve the funding.
Robin Presswood, the council’s executive director of city development, said the screens will be around two metres by one metre.
“They will only be to advertise exhibitions and events in the two buildings, in conjunction with Leisure and Culture Dundee.
“There will be no commercial advertising.”
Last week Donald Gordon of Dundee Civic Trust raised concerns that the proposals would ruin the aesthetic of the city centre, as well as questioning the cost of the screens.