Council urged to relax rules on advertising

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A BUSINESSMAN has called on council bosses to be ‘more flexible’ after he and fellow traders were ordered to remove advertisements outside a Sheffield pub following complaints from the public.

Plumber Chris Shephard’s signs were among ads by nine firms attached to railings outside The Abbey, at the junction of Abbey Lane and Chesterfield Road, Woodseats.

But they were deemed ‘uncoordinated and poor quality clutter’ by officials, who found they did not have planning permission.

Sheffield Council officers contacted the owners of The Abbey asking for the adverts to be removed. However, after no action was taken, they then spoke to each of the firms advertising and issued notices giving them a week to remove their posters.

Mr Shephard, who has complied with the council’s demands, said: “The council should look at easing planning rules on adverts in tough times as we have now – it could be more flexible to help businesses.

“Allowing more banners could mean an improved source of income to the council through fees when people apply for permission. Where banners are unsuitable, officers could give advice on how to make them acceptable.”

Mr Shephard said his signs were professionally designed and produced.

The council said it had received two complaints from the public about the banners.

Graham Withers, of the council, said all the businesses had removed the unauthorised signs.

He said: “The council is mindful of the difficult economic environment for local businesses and does not take enforcement action lightly.

“Advertising regulations give businesses flexibility to advertise on their own premises without requiring permission from the council, but they are unlikely to be allowed to attach signs to other, unconnected properties.

“In this case, there were nine banners and ‘homemade’ signs attached to the railings of The Abbey facing Chesterfield Road and Abbey Lane.

“This resulted in an uncoordinated and poor quality clutter in front of an otherwise attractive building.”

Mr Withers said residents did not want their ‘environment swamped with poor-quality advertising’ and it was unfair on other businesses in the area so the council had to take action.