Clarity call from Cookstown council over electronic advertising signs

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Cookstown District Council have called for clarity from the Department of the Environment over planning laws around digital advertising signs.

The issue was raised at the recent monthly council meeting by Sinn Fein Councillor John McNamee who said there needed to be clarity over digital advertising signs as he had been told by a planning official that they were illegal.

Cllr McNamee raised the issue in relation to two such applications from Cookstown business owners which had been refused planning permission for the signs as they “would distract the attention of motorists.”

The Sinn Fein Councillor said clarity needed to be sought over what the law on these signs is, as the council have previously used these types of signs to advertise council events without a problem arising.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr McNamee said: “Why weren’t the council informed about this as we’ve been advertising fun days and many other events on signs like this?

“Surely we should be made aware, as the local authority, of exactly what the law is in relation to this.”

A spokesperson for DOE said: “The majority of outdoor advertisements including digital signs require the Department’s express consent under the Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992.

“However, under the Regulations some types of advertisement may be displayed with deemed consent i.e. without the need to apply for and obtain the Departments consent.

“It is important to say that these advertisements must comply with certain conditions.”