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Cracking down on illegal advertising

Published on Tuesday, 30th January 2018

Crown Waste Management Limited has been prosecuted for advertising illegally on the public highway by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.  

The company was found guilty at Nuneaton Magistrates Court of displaying an advertisement without advertisement consent under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The large advert, which advertised Crown Skip Hire, was affixed to the back of a truck positioned prominently on the A444 at Griff Island in Nuneaton between 24 January and 28 February 2017.          

It is an offence to display an advertisement in contravention of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. Advertisements displayed on vehicles are exempted from advertisement control where they are affixed to a vehicle normally used as a moving vehicle and the vehicle is not used principally for the display of adverts. However if these conditions are not met express advertisement consent is required from the council to display the advert.          

Despite a series of warnings previously issued by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, and with the company having previously accepted a formal caution for the same offence, the Council was left with no option but to pursue enforcement action in the Magistrates Court when the vehicle and advert returned early last year. The Magistrates decided that the Company, which pleaded not guilty, was guilty of the offence and issued a fine of £2,000, awarding costs to the Council of £6,035 and a victim surcharge of £170, giving a total of £8,205.   

Councillor Barry Longden, Cabinet Member for Health and Environment at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:

“Unauthorised advertising is an eyesore which can blight streets and distract drivers. Once one company starts more soon follow causing a proliferation of signs. Businesses can advertise their goods and services but must do so in accordance with the law and regulations set out to protect public places and maintain a pleasant environment. This also prevents those businesses advertising illegally getting an unfair advantage over businesses which comply with the Regulations.

“Where the Council finds businesses advertising and fly-posting illegally on the public highway we will take the necessary steps to ensure the adverts are removed. Normally informal action is sufficient to resolve the matter but in this case the advertising persisted repeatedly over an extended period of time despite warnings and extensive efforts to resolve the matter informally.

“This prosecution demonstrates that the Council will act to secure the quality of the local environment and the penalty imposed by the Court should be a deterrent to those who persist in contravening the advertising regulations.