HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc25-6W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to strengthen safeguards against offensive poster advertising. [37755]

Sir Paul Beresford

The display of all outdoor advertisements is subject to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. Among other matters, these powers control the location, size and design of posters in relation on amenity and public safety. They do not extend to consideration of whether the subject matter of an advertisement would offend public decency or moral values, since these matters are outside planning control.

(c) 80 per cent. of all planning appeals decided by inquiries to be determined in 51 weeks, reducing to 36 weeks by 1998–99; (d) to provide an inspector for local plan inquiries or request within 26 weeks of the end of the objection period and to deliver 90 per cent. of inspectors' reports to local authorities by the dates agreed in service agreements;


  1. (a) unit costs of planning appeals decided by written representations not to exceed £690;
  2. (b) recover 90 per cent. of receipts due within eight weeks of invoice date;

Efficiency generate a 3 per cent. efficiency improvement in the use of running costs compared with 1995–96;

Quality to satisfy the advisory panel on standards, and thus the Secretary of State, annually and following rigorous monitoring, that the quality of the inspectorate's work is being maintained at a high standard with 99 per cent. of its casework free from error;

Information and Guidance to secure a plain English campaign crystal mark award for 50 per cent. of the Planning Inspectorate's key publications.

These factors are separately addressed by a voluntary code of practice supervised by the Advertising Standards Authority, to which all reputable advertisers, including all the major outdoor poster companies, subscribe. There is no evidence to suggest that these arrangements have proved unsatisfactory or that legislative regulation is required.