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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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The London Borough of Hounslow has demanded that St George's

Customer Question

The London Borough of Hounslow has demanded that St George's School remove a banner asking people to sign up for a school place. There letter says we are a company and we are advertising. We are a charity and a community organisation. We have written permission from Thames Water (the land owner) to display the banner on their property. LB Hounslow quote the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act, Section 200/220 (Amended) as giving them authority to decide and to remove. I believe that they are wrong and would like your opinion with reference to legal documents and case law. Thank you. Rev ***** *****on.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 7 months ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes please. Happy to wait for an expert because the action of the Council is very detrimental to publicizing the School. We are not advertizing a product or seeking money.Thank Your Revd ***** *****on
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 7 months ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.
This type of advertisement is not normally permitted unless it falls within the 16 classes which starts here on page 10 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11499/326679.pdfyou may be able to rely on class 3 if it is a Temporary Advertisement just for a forthcoming event. But that would depend on the length of the event and whether it was over a protracted period of time. The charitable status of the school is not relevant.Section 200 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is with regard to Tree Preservation Orders.Section 220 is potentially relevant and covers all the loopholes and basically allows the Local Authority to remove any advert they don’t like if they can prove that it’s not in keeping with the area or on the grounds of public safety.A typical example of where they would want it removed on the grounds of public safety would be something containing words which needed more than a cursory glance and which was adjacent to a highway. The concern is that motorists will be distracted while reading wording.If it was simply a sign which said St Georges School this way with an arrow, there would probably be no objection. It depends what is on the sign.If the local authority have ignored your representations, you can appeal to the Secretary of State which may refer it to an independent tribunal but if the school lost, it could be ordered to pay the tribunal costs.There is also the possibility to make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman about the council’s actions and at least that is free of charge and without any risk of costs being awarded against the school.You have said that you believe they are wrong. What reason do you have for saying that they are wrong?

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