19 June 2024

Council cracks down on unsightly and illegal fly-posting

Wiltshire Council has increased its enforcement of illegal signs, posters and other advertising displays, following community feedback.

Fly-posting takes place when advertisements are displayed without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land or premises, and it is an offence under the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2007 and the Highways Act 1980. Some advertisements also require planning permission before they can be displayed, even on private property.

In Wiltshire, the council will take action against any signs on the public highway or on council-owned land. In the first instance and in small-scale cases, this may be a warning letter advising the person fly-posting that they should remove the advertisements, and if they comply and do not do it again the matter will be closed. If any signs are deemed dangerous or the owner is unknown, officers will remove them immediately.

If fly-posters fail to comply with a warning or they are repeat or large-scale offenders, the council will take further action, which could mean issuing a fixed penalty notice of £75 per sign, or prosecution, which could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 if the offender is convicted.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene, said: “Fly-posting is not only unsightly, it is also against the law, and that’s why we are taking action against illegal advertising throughout Wiltshire.

“We’re taking a commonsense approach to this, and in most cases we’ll ask people to remove any illegal advertising we find in the first instance. However, if people ignore this, or if they are repeat or large-scale offenders, we will take action, including issuing fixed penalty notices or prosecuting.

“We’re also mindful that community groups advertise their events on council land, and so we’re asking them to ask permission beforehand, and we will work with them to enable them to showcase their events.

“As set out in our Don’t Mess with Wiltshire campaign, and in line with our Business Plan commitment to take responsibility for our environment, we want to ensure Wiltshire remains a beautiful county for both residents and visitors to enjoy, and we will continue to take action against fly-posting, littering and fly-tipping wherever we find it throughout Wiltshire.”

Where communities, including town and parish councils, wish to promote events such as fetes, fayres and other celebrations with advertising on council land, they must seek approval from their local Wiltshire Council highways team.

Applicants will need to give at least four weeks’ notice and state the reason for the signage, its location, how long it will be in place for, and the types of signage to be used so the application can be considered.

To find out more, people should go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/litter

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns