Safety groups are concerned that drivers can be distracted by the illegal signs. Cyclists have expressed particular concern about Countryside Properties PLC advertising its Mayfield housing development.
Rochdale Council officers confirmed that Countryside Properties, or its advertising agents, did NOT have permission to put signs on this major road.
The Council’s Highways Department says it is fighting an unending battle. The companies cashing-in from the unlawful advertising often avoid punishment as it is up to the prosecuting authority to prove that the companies benefiting from such flyposting are involved in the unlawful activity.
At Council tax payers’ expense, workers spent a Saturday removing illegal advertising, including that promoting Countryside Properties PLC.
Countryside Properties prides itself on its ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ credentials. In the past, its Environmental Statements have boasted that they “have never been prosecuted for environmental malpractice”.
Countryside Properties were not prosecuted for the destruction of woodland in the Spodden Valley.
Over a year ago, young Rochdalians asked Countryside Properties to restore the damage to the broadleaf woodlands that had been destroyed.
Apart from a lame apology by the developers for their ‘past actions’ and ‘miscommunication’ – no environmental damage has been repaired.
Meanwhile back on our busy roads, Rochdale Council are considering charging £50 per unlawful sign they remove from its highways. Countryside Properties are to be asked to pay for the removal of the dangerous advertising signs they have been benefiting from.
The sooner an unauthorised sign is removed, the sooner the danger is removed. So take them down. To avoid any suggestion of theft, either leave the sign at the roadside or hand it to the local police or highways department (I'm sure they will be grateful...). If you see anyone putting unauthorised signs up report them - photographs and video make convincing evidence. Pressure your councillor for action - remind them that the council could be liable if unauthorised signage contributes to an accident. ASBOs have been used by some authorities against companies advertising by flyposting.