Council admits mistake over ‘illegal’ road signs
A COUNCIL has had to apologise for demanding a business takes down signs for which it had planning permission.
But it was only when the Bury Free Press went to St Edmundsbury Borough Council about Risby Barns’ A14 signs that the council admitted it was wrong.
The barns on the edge of Risby house about 70 businesses, ranging from a plant shop to antiques dealers that have been on television three times. Centre manager Richard Martin said the signs saga started last July when St Edmundsbury’s planning department wrote telling them to take down signs at Risby Roundabout.
“We removed them and I thought that was that,” he said. “Then I got additional letters about signs about the place.”
But last month the planning officer also complained about signs on the A14. Mr Martin says he gave her the reference number for permission granted for five years by the Department of the Environment following a planning appeal in 1987.
Mr Martin admits he failed to remove the signs after five years, but planning law says that if no enforcement is taken in 10 years they are deemed to have permission. But he says the planning officer claimed she could find no record of the 1987 permission.
When the BFP gave the council the reference number, it responded: “We’d like to thank Mr Martin for providing us with the information enabling us to confirm that advertisement consent was granted for two signs on the A14 in 1986 and that the two signs in those locations now appear to have consent.
“We’re also pleased he has taken down the unauthorised sign on the Westley roundabout. We appreciate the difficulties businesses face in the current economic climate but cannot condone illegal advertising.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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