The rural landscape of Wahgunyah will remain free from advertising on a large billboard, after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed an appeal against Indigo Council.
The proposed major promotion sign, created by the Melbourne-based Regional Billboard Company, would have featured two sides that were each 8.2 by 2.1 metres.
A triangular block of land on All Saints Road, adjacent to the Uncle Toby's factory and on the main route between Southern NSW and Wangaratta, was the proposed location.
Company director James Course argued against that view to VCAT, saying it would be a positive form of industrial development in the area.
But VCAT member Peter Gaschk ruled in favour of the council.
"There is a strong and consistent policy focus on ensuring, protecting and enhancing the built and natural environment and setting of the shire," he said.
He visited Wahgunyah himself to inspect the area before making a decision.
"I was able to confirm council's submission that there was a distinct lack of major promotional signs located on main roads and identified tourist routes in this area," Mr Gaschk said.
"The location and positioning of the proposed sign, including its supporting structure, will visually detract from the existing open rural landscape views obtained along the designated tourist road (All Saints Road), the entrance gateway to the township of Wahgunyah (intersection of All Saints Road and Victoria Road) and views to visitors using the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail."
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Mayor Bernard Gaffney said the decision means Indigo Shire will stay free from any flashing signs, parking metres or traffic lights.
"It makes Indigo Shire a special place in North East Victoria and a place where people want to go to relax and feel at ease," he said.
"The council has got a significant signage policy and this is the first time it has been tested in VCAT, and we're very pleased that VCAT has upheld the policy.
"We regard our landscapes as significant."