Planning Portal

Rooker Toughens Outdoor Advertising Rules

Published on Fri, 10 Mar 2006
Environment Minister Jeff Rooker has issued new planning policy and guidance for outdoor advertisements and signs.
He said: "Advertising is a multi-million pound industry which is part of our every-day culture. Outdoor advertising is a key element of the industry and contributes to the creation of a vibrant and competitive economy.
"However, there is a wider responsibility on all of us to ensure that we respect our environment and our town and city landscapes. I want to ensure that care is taken about where, and how, new signs are displayed.
"My new policy requires any proposals to respect townscapes and recognises the need to protect the unique qualities of our countryside and heritage assets. As road safety minister I am aware that it is important to ensure that no outdoor advertisement jeopardises road safety."
The Minister said that the policy would deal with all forms of outdoor advertising, ranging from small shop signs to large advertisement hoardings. It would promote the provision of well-designed signs and advertisements that respect the buildings where they are displayed and which sit comfortably with their surroundings.
The new policy was amended following consultation in 2004 where many responses raised the issue of planning enforcement for advertisements. Jeff Rooker said: "It is unacceptable for individuals or companies to flout planning regulations. My policy therefore indicates how the Department intends to deal with the matter of unauthorised advertisements and, in particular, the problem of mobile signs on trailers located alongside many of our main roads. I intend that this new approach will be complemented by an appropriate increase in fines in the near future."

Notes to Editor

  1. DOE's new policy and guidance is contained in Planning Policy Statement 17 entitled 'The Control of Outdoor Advertisements'. It complements the Government's commitment to securing a competitive economy whilst affording appropriate protection to amenity and public safety.
  2. Planning Policy Statements (PPS) set out DOE policies on particular aspects of land-use planning and other planning matters and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents are taken into account as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and appeals.
  3. A public consultation draft of PPS 17 was issued in February 2004. Twenty-five responses were received to the consultation, the majority of which welcomed the new policy. Many respondents commented on the enforcement of advertisement control, in particular the matter of unauthorised mobile signs and advertisements. A summary of the consultation responses together with DOE's response to these is being published concurrently with PPS 17.
  4. The forthcoming Planning Reform (NI) Order (Article 14) will raise the maximum fine for displaying an unlawful advertisement from £1000 to £2500 with daily fines raised to a maximum of £250.
  5. PPS 17 and the Summary of Responses to the Public Consultation Draft can both be accessed on this website and copies can also be obtained from Planning Service Headquarters, Millennium House, 17-25 Great Victoria Street, BELFAST, BT2 7BN.
For further media information, contact DOE Press Office on 028 9054 0003.
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