Residents from three East Yorkshire villages have been left disappointed after being told they must remove their banners opposing an appeal to overturn a decision to reject plans for a waste plant in Beeford.
The signs, which decorate houses and streets in the villages of Beeford, North Frodingham and Foston-on-the-Wolds, demonstrate the strong feelings of those residents opposing plans for the anaerobic digestion waste facility.
However, following a complaint made to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, letters have been sent to residents demanding they remove the banners because they contravene the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) regulations.
Failure to remove the unauthorised signs could result in a maximum fine of £2,500, with a continuing daily fine of £250.
Foston-on-the-Wolds resident Linda Lawson said: “People are angry and upset about the letters because for many of the elderly residents in our villages the banners are their only way of showing their objections to this plant.
“As far as we are aware there has only been one person making complaints against the banners compared to the 1,000 households who are supporting the protest.”
What is wrong with the banners?
An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “Whilst the council understands the strength of feeling in relation to some planning applications, the authority has to take a balanced approach when it comes to the erection of signs, banners and other promotional materials that may be displayed in local communities.
“Under section 132 of the Highways Act 1980 it is an offence to affix a sign to street furniture or to the highway and under Section 149 of the act, authorities have the power to remove anything placed on the highway which may cause nuisance or danger to highway users.
“The erection of signs, banners etc… on private land can also require advertisement consent under The Town and Country Planning Advertisement Regulations 2007. In such cases, the council has to consider two matters public amenity and public safety. Where only amenity is affected and the sign is only for a temporary period it may be appropriate to allow the sign to remain particularly where the local community is supportive.
“If the council receives a complaint it has a duty to investigate it and take any enforcement action that may be necessary and would be failing in its duties if a banner was considered to be a distraction for drivers or cause a safety issue and not removed. The action taken is always proportionate and in line with national legislation.”