Brisbane lawyer Richard Leahy has emerged victorious in a 3-year legal battle that had reached the Supreme Court over the construction of an imposing 11-metre-high billboard right outside his residence on Musgrave Rd in Red Hill.
In mid-20202, Mr Leahy, an experienced litigation solicitor, objected when a colossal digital billboard was built on Musgrave Road, obstructing the picturesque city views from his property.
Standing at an imposing 5.3 meters wide and 11.3 meters high, the billboard instantly became an unwelcome addition to the neighbourhood skyline.
Upon contesting the construction, Mr Leahy discovered that Brisbane City Council had not taken into account mandatory considerations, including the impact on views from neighbouring properties.
Mr Leahy took the matter to court and in 2022, the Brisbane Supreme Court ruled in his favour, ordering Council to revoke its approval of the billboard’s construction and revisit the matter while considering all relevant factors.
However, Council decided to take the matter up with the Court of Appeals. The appeal has now been dismissed by the Court, and the Supreme Court’s judgment reaffirmed, with further instructions for Council to cover Mr Leahy’s legal costs.
In their denial of the appeal, the appeal judges highlighted that Council had access to an expert report that explicitly identified Mr Leahy’s property as one directly affected by the proposed billboard, emphasising that advertisements should not obstruct or dominate the views of neighbouring properties or compromise their overall amenity.
Council’s approval of the massive billboard, without providing any prior warning or opportunity for objection, has now been deemed a violation of procedural fairness by the Supreme Court.
Despite the court’s ruling, the enormous electronic billboard continues to loom over Musgrave Road, advertising various companies such as Qantas, Royal Caribbean, and Great Northern beer on its expansive 42-square-meter screen.
In light of the court decisions, a Council spokesperson said it will still review the decision delivered on 20 June 2023.