Threat of rural hoardings is lifted

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The threat of a rash of advertising hoardings in the English countryside was lifted when the Government retreated from a deregulation exercise. To cheers from conservationists, Robert Jones, the planning minister, said that, following consultations, it had been decided not to abolish special controls over advertising in rural areas.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England said many scenic areas had been saved from the spectre of large-scale, intrusive advertisements. But Mr Jones, in a written Commons answer, indicated that deregulation was not dead and buried. Ministers had decided to continue with the special regime "for the time being" but would be looking to see if changes could be made to provide the same amenity protection with less bureaucracy, he said. Steph