This policy has been produced to support the Council’s commitment to keep the District safe, clean and looking good.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the Council follows a standard procedure to responding to fly-posting within the District. In particular it is intended to ensure that any enforcement decisions are consistent, balanced, fair, transparent and proportional.
It recognises that each case is unique and must be considered on its own merits but sets out the general principles that will be applied by the Council’s officers.
This document should be read in conjunction with:-
The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 state that fly-posting takes place when advertisements are displayed without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land or premises.
The Regulations state that such advertisements are entirely unauthorised; and their display entails liability not only on the person actively responsible for putting up the advertisement but also on the owner of the land and the person benefiting from the display.
The Department of Communities and Local Government guide for advertisers states that the advertisement control system covers a very wide range of advertisements and signs including:
The advertisement control system in England consists of rules made by the Secretary of State, which is part of the planning control system. The present principal legislation is the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2007, No 783, as amended in 2007, 2011 and 2012. This legislation is accompanied by an official circular by the Department of Communities and Local Government Circular No 03/2007. Additional guidance is also available on the Governments Planning Practice Guidance website.
The District Council recognises the difficulties that its policy towards fly-posting will present to charity and community groups.
In such circumstances all such groups, if seeking to display any advert or placard, should before displaying the same contact the Council to check whether planning consent is required and in any event:
If advertisements for community or charity events (or those relating to an election or referendum - see below) are placed in inappropriate locations, or are of an inappropriate nature, then the District Council will normally contact the organisers, where known, and ask for the posters, banners, etc to be removed. If the organisers cannot be identified, or immediate removal of the signage is required (eg for health and safety reasons or because they are deemed offensive (or potentially offensive)), then the signage will be removed and retained at the District Council's Offices for 14 days for collection by the organisers. After this time period, the District Council will assume that the advertising material is no longer needed and will dispose of the material.
If community or charity event organisers repeatedly place advertisements in inappropriate locations, or repeatedly ignore requests to remove inappropriate advertisements, then the District Council may choose to take enforcement action to resolve the problem in accordance with Section 43 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2005.
With the agreement of the landowner concerned a travelling circus or fair will be allowed to advertise on the site of the circus or fair for a limited period. If however notices or signs are placed on other private land enforcement action will be taken if the poster is not classed as having deemed consent under the provisions of the Advertisement Regulations.
Temporary notices or signs announcing the visit of a travelling circus or fairs should not exceed 0.6 of a square metre, must not be displayed more than 14 days before the opening of the circus or fair and must be removed within 2 days afterwards. The local planning authority must be told 14 days beforehand of the sites of the notice.
It should not be presumed that the District Council will automatically permit or disregard the illegal advertising of community events, charity events, travelling fairs or travelling circuses, and it reserves the right at all times to exercise its powers to prevent fly-posting where it deems it appropriate to do so. In all cases, advertisements should not be displayed without the permission of the owner of the site.
The District Council recognises that most candidates and parties would want to display campaign material relating to a pending Parliamentary, European Parliamentary, or local government election (or a referendum). Any parties and candidates wishing to do so should take account of the most current guidance from the Electoral Commission. Guidance from the Commission states that no advertisements should be displayed without the permission of the owner of the site or anyone else with an interest in the site (i.e. no fly-posting), should not interfere with or impede traffic or other road users, and should be removed within 14 calendar days after the election.
It is important that the District Council remains impartial during elections and referenda. For this reason, the District Council will not give candidates and parties permission to display their campaign material on land or buildings owned by the Council. If material is placed in such locations, the District Council will normally contact the relevant candidate or party to ask them to remove the material or, if they cannot be contacted, a District Council officer will remove the material and retain it for collection for a period of up to 14 days (after which it will be disposed of).
The District Council recognises that as a landowner it has the ability and duty to take steps to prevent the illegal advertising of events held at Council venues and on council owned land. In order to prevent advertising the Council will:
Advertisements which are needed by public bodies (such as government departments and local authorities, the public utilities and public transport operators) to give information or directions about the services they provide are considered to have deemed consent provided that the display conforms entirely to all the relevant provisions of Class 1 under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
The District Council has adopted a twin-track approach to control fly-posting:
Where fly-posting occurs on street furniture, the fly-posting will normally be removed by the District Council's authorised officers and retained for collection by the person who put up the sign or the beneficiary of the illegal advertisement. A fixed penalty (or penalties if there is more than one offence) will normally be issued and the District Council may also consider recovering the costs of removal of the notice(s).
If signage is erected illegally in other places, and the poster identifies the person who displayed it or caused it to be displayed, the District Council will normally attempt to contact the named person and give them two days' notice of its intention to remove or obliterate the sign. If no such person can be identified or contacted, then the District Council will proceed with the removal/obliteration of the sign. As above, a fixed penalty will normally be issued and the District Council may also consider recovering the costs of removal of the notice(s).
In all cases, the authorised officer will photograph the fly-posting in situ prior to removal and record details about the sign in their notebook (eg location, time of removal, how and where it was attached, etc).
Where someone is caught in the act of erecting signage then the authorised officer will normally issue a fixed penalty notice in person. If further checks are required before issuing a fixed penalty notice then the officer will record the details and issue a fixed penalty notice at a later date by recorded post.
Any signage that is removed will be retained at the District Council's Offices for 14 days for collection by the owner. After this time period, if it has not been reclaimed then the District Council will assume that the advertising material is no longer needed and will dispose of the material.
There are a number of situations when the District Council would consider that the issuing of a fixed penalty notice may not be appropriate and the District Council would seek to prosecute under the Town and Country Planning Act or other relevant legislation. This includes:
The District Council will also not normally take action when the offence that has been committed is so small or trivial in its effect that action might not be in the public interest (eg notifications of missing cats, birthday greetings, etc).
Town and Country Planning act (Control of advertisements) (England) regs 2007.
Communities and Local Government Guide for advertisers 2007
Fly posting in Brief publication
Section 43 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003
Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980