HC Deb 04 July 1988 vol 136 cc402-3W
Mr. Brandon-Bravo

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, following consideration of the response to his Department's consultation paper issued last October, he will announce his intention to amend the control of advertisement regulations so as to permit certain types of illuminated advertisements to be displayed with deemed consent on business premises and in retail parks.

Mr. Waldegrave

After careful consideration of the responses to the consultation paper, we have decided to amend the Control of Advertisements Regulations so as to provide for two new classes of illuminated advertisements to be displayed with "deemed consent" on specified "business premises" and in "retail parks". Each new class will be subject to carefully framed limitations to safeguard amenity and minimise any risk to public safety. In response to expressions of concern that the original proposals were likely to prove harmful to amenity if illuminated signs were displayed in conservation areas without the local planning authority's specific consent, we have decided to exclude these areas for the time being. Land and premises situated in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and areas of special control of advertisements will also be excluded from the new provisions.

The type of illuminated advertisements for which consent will be granted will be specifically limited to those in which each letter or character is internally illuminated, with any background remaining unilluminated; the maximum luminance levels for any advertisement displayed with deemed consent will have to conform to the recommendations of the Institution of Lighting Engineers for appropriate areas; advertisements which include any intermittent light source, moving feature or animation, or any exposed neon tubing will not be permitted by the consent; and certain height limits and maximum areas will be specified. We are satisfied that these conditions and limitations are essential in the interests of amenity and public safety.

My right hon. Friend intends in due course to lay before Parliament amendment regulations (under section 63 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971) to give effect to these proposals; to make the further amendments to improve and simplify the practical operation of the advertisement control regime which I announced in my written answer on 28 October 1987, at column 280; and to consolidate all the earlier amendments to the Control of Advertisements Regulations 1984 (SI 1984/No. 421).

Where those providing comments on the consultation paper have given their consent, copies of the responses are being placed in the Library in the usual way.