HC Deb 28 October 1987 vol 121 cc275-6W
Mr. Michael Brown

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his proposals for amending the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 1984, in the light of the response to his Department's consultation paper issued last July.

Mr. Waldegrave

Comments on the consultation paper were received from 33 representative organisations and a considerable number of individual firms with an interest in the Government's proposals. These comments have been thoroughly considered and I am arranging for a copy of the submissions to be placed in the Library of the House where the originators have given their consent.

Many of the Government's proposals concerned administrative provisions to improve and simplify the practical operation of the present advertisement control regime and were generally welcomed. I propose to introduce these provisions into the Control of Advertisements Regulations in due course.

Most interest centred on proposals for granting deemed consent for five additional categories of outdoor advertisements and for stricter limits on the deemed consent for the display of boards advertising the sale or letting of residential property.

I intend to lay before Parliament as soon as possible regulations, under section 63 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, to amend the Control of Advertisements Regulations on the following lines:

(1) to grant deemed consent for—

  1. (a) the illumination of temporary poster hoardings around construction sites, while building operations take place;
  2. (b) the display of four-sheet poster panels on purpose-designed highway structures;
  3. (c) the continued display of an advertisement already being displayed on a site on 1 April 1974—replacing the present provisions in regulation 11 of the Control of Advertisements Regulations;
  4. (d) the display of temporary directional signs, by housebuilding firms, to sites they are developing;
  5. (e) the display of outdoor signs for properly authorised "Neighbourhood Watch" schemes; and

(2) to limit the display with deemed consent of estate agents' boards for residential property sales or lettings—class III(a) in regulation 14 of the Control of Advertisements Regulations—so that—

  1. (a) the maximum permitted area of any board is restricted to 0.5 sq. m.—approximately 2 ft. 3 ins. by 2 ft. 3 ins., and 0.6 sq. m. for conjoined boards;
  2. (b) only one board may be displayed with deemed consent on each property for sale or letting; and
  3. (c) any board displayed with deemed consent is not allowed to remain on display after the date of legal commitment to the sale or letting to which the board relates.

I propose that the amending provisions for the display of estate agents' boards with deemed consent should come into effect one year from today, in order to give those concerned time to make arrangements for the change.

I am satisfied that, taken together, these amending provisions will result in a worthwhile simplification and reduction in the scope of outdoor advertisement control, while at the same time satisfactory safeguards to amenity and public safety will be maintained.

Additionally, the Department and the Welsh Office will be issuing shortly a consultation paper about the possible display of specified types of illuminated advertisement with deemed consent. Comments will be welcome.