Derbyshire business signs ‘an eyesore’

Environmentalist David Hallam with an offending roadside business sign at Owler Bar.
Environmentalist David Hallam with an offending roadside business sign at Owler Bar.

A concerned Derbyshire resident is angry about the amount of roadside advertisements which he thinks are spoiling the county’s towns and countryside.

David Hallam, who lives in Coal Aston and is a member of Dronfield Civic Society, thinks the signs are ‘an eyesore’ and is appalled at the ‘antics’ of some businesses who are prepared to ‘splash’ signs around roadsides, on verges and in farmer’s fields.

Depending on where the signs are situated, different levels of local government are responsible for them and not all of them require consent to be erected - leading, in David’s view, to abuses of the system.

He said: “I find that the law gives ample scope for local authorities to act, only to find that the ability is lost in interpretation by individual officers. North East Derbyshire District Council say that as a sign on the road near my house has been there ten years they can do nothing.

“However, I recently reported a sign on the grass verge of the highway just inside the Sheffield boundary and within seven days I received a phone call informing me that the sign would be removed immediately by the road maintenance team without reference to the owners.

“I asked the engineer if that particular sign had been in that position for ten years or longer would you still be able to remove it and the answer was, of course, it is a criminal offence to erect an unauthorised sign on the highway.

“So once again some authorities can whilst others can’t.

“Dronfield Civic Society enjoys the support of a number of local businesses, all operating successfully without spoiling the area in which the operate, why can’t others?”

A spokesman for North East Derbyshire District Council said: “Not all advertisements of this kind require advertisement consent. However, the examples provided by Mr Hallam would all require consent. They do not require planning permission.

“Regarding the signs within highway land they would also require the consent of the highway authority at Derbyshire County Council and in these cases it would be them who would need to take action. Signs within farmers’ fields would fall to North East Derbyshire District Council to enforce.”