Fly Posting is the displaying of any advertising signs on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner. A sign can be a poster, a notice, a sticker, or an advertisement of any kind.
Sedgemoor District Council is responsible for removing fly posting from public buildings and street furniture.
The removal of fly posting on private buildings is the responsibility of the property owner.
How to report Fly Posting
Sedgemoor District Council can serve a notice that the advertisements must be removed within 48 hours, issue a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice for each sign, or remove them and claim back the costs for doing so. This applies to signage that does not comply with the Council's guidelines.
We are committed to supporting events signage, where events are arranged in connection with fundraising for genuine charitable or voluntary organisations or community groups.
To report Fly Posting please complete this form: Report fly posting
Guidelines for general events signage and business advertisements
Sedgemoor District Council encourages community advertisers to use common sense in only choosing the most necessary locations for local advertising within the District.
Please note the following general guidelines for advertisements and signage:
- We would not expect any sign or advertisement to be erected more than 21 days in advance of the start of the event.
- No temporary sign should obstruct any other existing signage, temporary or permanent.
- We would normally expect signs and advertisements to be no more than 100cm by 60cm but provided all other aspects relating to these guidelines are observed slightly larger advertisements may be tolerated.
- Only a reasonable number of signs may be displayed - normally no more than 10 - 15.
- Signage is only displayed in the area local to the event - local being defined as within five miles.
- Signage is made of robust material which will not deteriorate while displayed
- The signage may be placed on street furniture (e.g. telegraph poles, lamp standards etc.) provided it does not obstruct any road sign, but may not be attached to traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, including barriers, nor at road junctions. Signage must not be placed on any bridges or above the highway (i.e. banners)
- We would normally expect any sign or advertisement for a charity or community event to include the name and address or name and telephone number or a valid web address.
- Signs advertising a village fete, fun fair or a circus will be permitted without a name and address or phone number or web address provided they are sited in a suitable place without causing any safety issues.
- Signage may not be placed at one of the locations designated as a prohibited area. These areas are:
- Dunball motorway roundabout
- South side of Puriton Hill from the motorway interchange to opposite Old Puriton Hill.
- Quantock Road roundabout at junction of Homberg Way with Quantock Road and Quantock Meadow.
- Pedestrian railings at traffic lights at junction of Homberg Way and Wembdon Road.
- Hoardings outside the former Highbridge Hotel
- Hoardings on site at south side of Market Street / Church Street junction, Highbridge
- Roundabout outside Tesco, Frank Foley Parkway / Queens Drive Burnham-on-Sea
- Edithmead Roundabout
- Broadway opposite the entrance road to Morrisons
- Railings on Westonzoyland Road opposite the south end of Parkway
- In the case of signs we regard as acceptable, we expect the signs together with any metal or plastic ties or string used to attach the sign to be removed within 48 hours after the end of the event. In any case they must be removed within 14 days from the end of the event otherwise the Council will either issue a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice for each sign still on display or will remove the sign(s) and claim back the cost of removal from the originator or beneficiary of the sign or from the company which put the signs up.
- Any signs or advertisements which do not comply with the guidelines above are not acceptable. This includes any sign or advertisement which; (a) is on a roundabout (unless it is a fixed sign sponsoring the roundabout) (b) is obstructing a highway, impeding a driver's sightline or obscuring (or hindering the interpretation of) a road, rail, waterway or aircraft sign (c) is offensive (d) has the likely potential to cause harm or which is considered to be a hazard because of its size, location or condition (e) which does not include the beneficiary's name and address or name and telephone number or a valid web address (see point 4 above).
- In the case of signs which we do not regard as acceptable, these shall be promptly removed or the originator of the sign(s) will be contacted by Sedgemoor District Council and given 48 hours to remove the sign(s). If a sign is not removed within 48 hours then the Council will either issue a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice for each sign or will remove the signs and claim back the cost of removal from the originator or beneficiary of the sign or from the company that put the signs up.
- Any sign removed by Sedgemoor District Council may be disposed of without reference to the originator. Sedgemoor District Council shall not be responsible for storing signs, for any damage caused to the signs or for returning signs to the owner.
- In terms of 'A' boards located outside premises on the pavement, these are regulated by Somerset County Council. For more information, contact Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224 or e-mail RoadsandTransportSD@somerset.gov.uk
Signs on private land
The Council encourages the use of private land for promoting community and charity events. It is permissible to place signs or advertisements on private land with the permission of the landowner but advertisers are encouraged not to keep such signs up for more than 21 days in advance of an event and to remove them promptly, ideally within 48 hours, of the event concluding. Such advertisements do not need to contain a name, address and telephone number. In the event that a District Council Officer perceives that any of these signs present a danger then Sedgemoor District Council will liaise with the landowner to suggest a better location.
The relationship between the County Council and Sedgemoor District Council
Somerset County Council, as the Highway Authority, uses powers under the Highways Act to deal with signs or advertisements on the Highway, especially where it becomes a safety issue for highway users. For the sake of these guidelines, a Highway is defined as a public road, street or pathway owned or maintained by the local authority and available to the public for use for travel or transportation. This includes grass verges.
Sedgemoor District Council liaises with the County Council as appropriate to ensure co-ordination of enforcement.
Powers and the capacity to enforce
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (section 224) creates an offence of displaying an advertisement without consent. It is punishable by a fine of up to £2,500. The Highways Act 1980 section 132 (1) A person who, without either the consent of the highway authority for the highway in question or an authorisation given by or under an enactment or a reasonable excuse, paints or otherwise inscribes or affixes any picture, letter, sign or other mark upon the surface of a highway or upon any tree, structure or works on or in a highway is guilty of an offence. This means that any sign not given consent by Somerset County Council's Highways department is a fly poster even if staked into the ground or hung from a street light, pedestrian railings etc.
Sedgemoor District Council can serve a notice that the advertisements must be removed within 48 hours, issue a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice for each sign or remove them and claim its costs of doing so. This only complies to signage that does not comply with the Council's guidelines.
Due to limited enforcement resources it should be noted that most intelligence regarding unauthorised signage will arise from complaints, and these will be investigated as soon as resources allow.
For more information or advice, please contact Sedgemoor District Council's Clean Surroundings Service using the details below.