Letters: Control of adverts in the countryside

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The Independent Online
Sir: We loved your cartoon on 20 June ("More advertising hoardings will be allowed in the country"). It was so out of date. An echo from the past. There have not been any advertising hoardings in the countryside for over 40 years.

What's more there is no question of them coming back again. The fact is that all advertising hoardings (except some which screen commercial building sites) require prior express approval from a local council. It is a pity that when the Department of the Environment suggests a sensible piece of de-regulation (based on the recommendations of an independent professional survey commissioned by the Department) they are attacked by conservationists using arguments they must know are false.

In nearly 50 years only a handful of local planning authorities have sought to bring in areas of special advertisement control, and less than half of the countryside is covered by these designations. Why? Because the majority of LPAs know they are a waste of money and time. They know also (as do all LPAs) that the general powers of the regulations give them all the controls they require to protect the countryside.

GARRY HARTLEY

Chairman

Outdoor Advertising Council

Croydon, Surrey

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