Council’s panto poster breaks its planning rules

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Blundering council chiefs have been left red-faced after they slapped up a giant Christmas panto poster and broke their own planning rules.

The gaffe was uncovered after Rotherham Council pasted up the billboard advertising Jack and the Beanstalk at the town’s civic theatre.

Officials decided to erect the 25ft by 15ft poster on the side of the town’s arts centre and library.

But they did it without applying for the special permission needed before anyone is allowed to slap up such a big advertising board.

The council’s own planning guidelines warn that large poster hoardings in prominent locations have a ‘dominant visual impact’ on their surroundings.

A council spokeswoman confirmed the poster did not have the correct consent but added there had been no incomplaints.

She said: “The complexities of advertising consent does allow for temporary posters, if they are within a certain size range, to advertise local cultural events.

“However, in this case the poster, which has been erected for six months at a time, does exceed the size range and does require consent.

“The poster will not be removed, but an application will not be made to retain it until January.

“Once removed in January it will not be erected on that site again as the Arts Centre is to be demolished.

Don Buxton, who made the discovery under the Freedom of Information Act, slammed the council for the breach.

He said: “What we have here is Rotherham Council choosing to ignore the clear legal framework and planning legislation when it applies to itself, but which is vigorously and harshly imposed upon citizens and businesses.”

Arthur Newey, aged 77, lost a long court battle with the council after he advertised his son’s business on the side of his house in Dalton, Rotherham, in 2009.

He said: “It’s one rule for one and one for another but the council has not even followed its own rules with this poster.