Cork County Council has agreed new rules to tackle street clutter and advertisements on public and private land. The Authority’s Environment Special Purposes Committee (SPC) had carried out the review after calls for proper regulations of street furniture and advertising structures, following concerns over public health and safety.
Fine Gael Cllr Kevin Murphy, Chairman of Environment SPC, said the new policy consolidates a number of strands of Council strategies on litter and advertisements on public roads. Bylaws, which include restrictions on roadside hoarding and bridge draping that is distracting to motorists, is to come into effect from next month.
The 30 page document also applies to people advertising cars for sale on roadsides, and auctioneers and builders seeking to erect directional signs to developments. Current Planning Laws allow estate agents to erect one sign on a property for sale. Under the new Byelaw, auctioneers and builders will be allowed erect directional signs outside urban areas with a speed limit of 60km, for up to one year, under Licence from the Local Authority. Once a Sale Agreed Sign is erected, the estate agent has 7 days to remove all signage including directional signs.
The policy also covers a series of un-levied Government charges on businesses and organisations who have tables and chairs on streets, and also covers charges for on-street advertising structures including community notice boards. Under current Planning Laws, Authorities are responsible for collecting €125 per table and four chairs, as well as €634 per on-street advertising structure and €100 for the use of the public thoroughfare. Bridge draping is banned and comes with an on the spot fine of €150 for those failing to comply.
Temporary signs on public land promoting events such as charity, sporting and cultural events or public meetings and elections require Council approval prior to their erection, and can remain in place for only 30 days. Under the new policy, confiscated items will each have a fixed charge in addition to a daily storage fee. A fixed charge of €50 for the removal of a Sandwich board, with a daily storage charge of €5, will apply, with a similar charge for a sign panel attached to an existing post/ pole or wall.
A sign panel mounted on its own post will be charged at €75 for its removal, with a fixed daily charge of €7, while bridge drapings will have a fixed removal fee of €100 and a €10 daily storage charge.