Councils to target rogue billboards

Outdoor companies are bracing themselves for a clampdown on illegal advertising billboards by London borough planning departments, following an accident last weekend.

A woman was taken to hospital after a Van Wagner 96-sheet billboard, which was reinforced with steel, fell off Blackfriars Bridge in London onto her car. She was treated for minor injuries.

Southwark council, which is the planning authority for the site of the accident, is claiming the billboard did not have its permission. In the weeks building up to the accident, the council had a spate of pulling down billboards on the same site that it deemed illegal.

The council denies that during this process it may have loosened Van Wagner’s board.

It is commonplace for outdoor companies to build sites without prior planning permission from the council, so long as they have permission from the landlord of the site.

The outdoor company will then apply for planning permission. If the council refuses, the outdoor company can appeal against the council’s decision. This process of refusal and the subsequent appeals often go on for months and, in many cases, years.

Now it is likely that Southwark, and several other London boroughs will have a crack down on billboards, particularly on bridges, that do not have planning permission.

A spokesman for Van Wagner says that the accident was a “freak” and that it has launched a full investigation.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here