The Government has delivered an unexpected boost to the outdoor
industry by agreeing to scrap rules that ban poster hoardings in most of
Ministers will abolish the ad-free areas that account for 30 per cent of
land in England and Wales. In future, the ’special control of
advertisements’ zones will be restricted to national parks, the Norfolk
Broads, areas of natural outstanding beauty, conservation areas and
sites of special scientific interest. Their protected status will be
reviewed by local authorities every five years.
The move was opposed by countryside campaigners and was the most radical
considered by the Government during a review of the planning controls
over outdoor ads. Ministers insist councils will still be able to refuse
planning applications for poster sites in sensitive areas.
The decision came as a surprise to many in the outdoor industry. Alan
Simmons, chairman of the poster specialist Concord, said: ’The onus will
be very much on media owners not to take advantage or abuse the
relaxation because, if they do, in the long run it will be
The new rules will restrict balloon ads, which will in future need
special permission from councils. The new regulations will also impose a
crackdown on flyposting by allowing local authorities to remove posters
when they consider them to be illegal. A good practice guide will be
issued by the Government later this year.
Beverley Hughes, the junior environment minister, said the that
proposals had received ’widespread sup-port’ during a consultation