PPS 9: The Enforcement of Planning Control
Additional planning controls and enforcement: Advertisements
14.1 The Departments main provisions for the control of advertisements are set out in the Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (NI) 1992 (hereafter referred to as the ‘the Advertisement Regulations’). The form of control established by the Advertisement Regulations make the display of an advertisement an offence unless the express consent of the Department has been granted or is deemed to be granted.
14.2 In assessing whether to initiate court action, the Department will be guided by the impact of the unauthorised advertisement on amenity and public safety. In the case of public amenity, the Department will take particular account of environmentally sensitive locations and the general character of the local landscape or townscape, including the presence of any feature of historic, archaeological, architectural or cultural interest, disregarding, if it thinks fit, any advertisements already being displayed. In the case of public safety the Department will take particular account of the safety of road users and whether the display of the advertisement is likely to obscure or hinder the ready interpretation of any road traffic sign, railway sign or aid to navigation by water or air.
14.3 Where, after assessment, the Department concludes that the unauthorised advertisement is unacceptable it will normally pursue court action. On summary conviction the land owner, the advertising company and those whose advertisement is being displayed, are all liable to fines with the potential for continuing daily fines.
14.4 Where it is considered that an unauthorised advertisement would be acceptable, subject to conditions, the approach of the Department will be to advise the owners or occupiers of the land to submit, without undue delay, a retrospective application for consent to display an advertisement, together with the appropriate fee.
14.5 If, after a formal invitation to submit an application, the owners or occupiers of the land refuse to do so, the Department will normally use its powers set out in the Advertisement Regulations, to serve a notice requiring the submission of a retrospective application. Where any person fails to comply with such a notice they are guilty of an offence and the Department will normally pursue court action. On summary conviction that person is liable to a fine with the potential for continuing daily fines.