Crackdown on illegal signs

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A crackdown has been launched on illegal advert signs on the highways around Tendring with more than 200 removed on the first day.
It is the first time that Tendring District Council (TDC) has used these powers to get rid of those signs for events and businesses that could be a distraction to drivers, are unsightly and can impact on the environment.The highway can include street furniture, pavements and grass verges.
A team took to the roads yesterday and carried out a large scale sweep of the area and has kept all the signs that were removed.Owners will be able to reclaim them from the Council – but will need to pay a removal fee and give an undertaking not to put them up again.
Lynda McWilliams, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Partnerships and who has responsibility for corporate enforcement, said that the District has been blighted by the signs for some time.
“We have removed those adverts where they cause a nuisance, have an impact on the environment or where they are considered a safety issue,” she said. “We will be more tolerant about well-designed and safe signs for events such as village fetes but they must be taken down directly after the event and not left up for weeks after. In the longer term we will be looking at the possibility of creating official sites where such adverts can be placed to promote plays, concerts, gigs and events.”
It is a criminal offence under the Highways Act 1980 to display adverts for events or businesses without the consent of the highway authority which in this case is Essex County Council (ECC). Recently TDC’s Planning team has negotiated an agreement to act on behalf of ECC in this matter to remove the adverts.
The crackdown will not apply to any signs that are in people’s gardens or on private land.

(News from Tendring District Council)