As an update, the new Regulations were originally expected to come into force on 1 October 2006, but it now appears, following the Department for Communities & Local Government’s 24 July 2006 publication of a consultation on its draft Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2006, that the commencement date has been pushed back to April 2007.
Telephone glass advertising to become acceptable on the streets
The relatively new phenomenon of telephone kiosk glass advertising is soon to become legal when proposed changes to the Advertisement Regulations are to be implemented on 1 October this year. The amendments are aimed at dealing with advertisements made of a semi-transparent vinyl fitted to the glass called Contravision which are fixed to the inside of the glass of the telephone kiosks so that they face outwards, displaying the advertisement.
The government issued a consultation paper, entitled "Telephone Glass Advertising" in 2001, which estimated that 20,000 of BTs then 95,000 kiosks on the street carried advertising. This addressed the issue of whether this form of advertising should benefit from deemed consent under Schedule 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 (the "Regulations") or whether the express approval of the local planning authority should be required under Part III of the Regulations.
The factor that determines whether kiosk glass advertising benefits from deemed consent is whether a kiosk constitutes a building for the purposes of the Regulations. If it does then such advertising will benefit from deemed consent.
Sally Keeble, the then Minister for planning announced in May 2002 that as a result of the consultation process the government had concluded that kiosk glass advertising should benefit from deemed consent but subject to certain conditions and limitations. This will mean that, subject to meeting conditions and limitations relating to geographical coverage, illumination and size of advertisement, such advertisements may be displayed without the express approval of the local planning authority.
Why this matters
The move clarifies the legislation in this area and, provided advertisers stay within the new rules, there is now scope to legally advertise in this new way. This shows a willingness to adapt to accommodate novel and inventive forms of advertising and so is a positive step for the industry.
The approach has also been designed to strike a fair balance between the need to preserve and where possible enhance the character of the environment and the public realm, the need to ensure public safety, and the business needs of industry, including payphone providers and advertisers.