We regularly find that inappropriate, scruffy or poor quality signs are erected or displayed without knowledge of or compliance with planning laws. Temporary banners are fixed to listed buildings, advertisements are tied to any suitable fence and fly-posters promoting particular events appear with monotonous regularity. It is then awkward and difficult to get the offending signs removed through cumbersome Council enforcement procedures of discussion, warning and finally removal – meanwhile the nuisance persists and the character of our local area is compromised.
There are better ways of dealing with this issue through greater awareness, discussion and cooperation to influence what is happening and to produce a better, more responsible solution.
We think, though, the situation has improved lately although there are still ‘rogue’ signs appearing which compromise the appearance of the area and distract the motorist. However. it seems that poor signs breed more poor signs and gradual re-education is required.
There is also an ongoing concern about boundary treatments (walls and fences) which need careful thought so that changes do not conflict with the traditional sandstone and redbrick facades which are so much a characetristic of both conservation areas.
The Council’s enforcement team is doing its best to deal with the backlog of enforcement issues and we must hope that they deal with compromises or flouting of planning conditions as their first priority. Enforcement complaints can be reported to the Council on-line through their website.