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BSGA fights to decriminalise planning breaches

BSGA fights to decriminalise planning breaches

image001-9 copyA ridiculous proposal from Rushmoor Borough Council to limit the colours that can be used for shop fronts and signs is being opposed by the British Sign and Graphics Association.

“Apart from listed buildings, Local Authorities do not have the legal power to create let alone enforce such policies but they constantly try to get them through on their local plans,“ reported said David Catanach, BSGA Director.  “As a result we are forced to constantly monitor these plans on behalf of our Members.

“The BSGA is, in fact, fighting on two separate fronts – the first to try to ensure that local planners don’t get away with trying to adopt absurd policies, many of which would probably have no legal standing.  The second is to get the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to decriminalise transgressions of advertising laws under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations.

“The unbelievable situation is that the present law makes any violation, however minor, a criminal offence.  We want the law changed to make it impossible for signmakers to get a criminal record before they have the opportunity to respond via an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

“We need to demonstrate to Government that the present law is disproportionate, anti-business and should be changed.  It may sound far-fetched, but there was a case recently where a boy had to remove a pirate flag from his garden playhouse, under the threat of legal action and a criminal record for him or his guardian, because the local planners considered the flag an illegal advertisement.

“It’s stupid, but it could happen to any of us. We need to make as strong a case as possible to Government for a change in the law and we need more examples of over-zealous planners trying to impose their will by threatening legal action. If anyone has stories – even anecdotal – we would be delighted to receive them at planning@bsga.co.uk to add to the evidence we are presenting to Government to demonstrate and support our case.”

 

For further information visit: www.bsga.co.uk

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