To consider a report of the Service Director (Place Management)
This report summarises the key issues and elements of the Draft Obstruction Policy for Highways, Draft Highways Café Policy, Draft Control of Skips, Containers, Scaffolding and Hoardings on the Highway Policy, and the Draft Advertising Boards and Trade Goods Obstruction Policy. The draft policies are appended to the report.
The Area Committee is invited to comment on the policies.
Officer contacts: Andrew Suggett/Sue Stevenson/Graeme Vout, Tel: 474 5694/4351/4562
A representative of the Service Director (Place Management) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Area Committee’s comments on the Draft Obstruction Policy for Highways, Draft Highways Café Policy, Draft Control of Skips, Containers, Scaffolding and Hoardings on the Highways Policy; and the draft Advertising Boards and Trade Goods Obstruction Policy. The aims of the policies were to promote consistency across the borough and disability and other user groups has raised a number of concerns about the current arrangements.
The following comments were made/issues raised:-
• The cost of the proposed licences.
• With regard to cafes on the highway, there needed to be adequate footway space, including for people in wheelchairs. Permission would not be granted in those instances where there was not enough space on the pavement to accommodate a pavement café.
• What controls were in place in order to ensure that street furniture was robust enough not to be blown away in adverse weather conditions.
• Disability groups frequently complained about the effect on blind people of advertising boards, and Disability Stockport had been consulted extensively on the proposals.
• Applications would be granted by Officers and there would be a right of appeal against refusal.
• Licence holders would need to display a sticker in their shop window.
• What would happen to shops who currently had goods displayed on the pavement.
• The decision of the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee in June 2010 to remove advertising boards and other unauthorised advertisements from the highway and the subsequent decision for the Council and local businesses to work together to develop an agreed policy and guidance.
• A Member did not feel that the way forward was with a licensing system that generated revenue. Planning permission should be retained for advertising boards and other unauthorised advertisements from the highway.
• A Member suggested that the Environment & Economy Scrutiny Committee should consider the existing enforcement on advertising boards, cafes and skips in order to establish what was wrong with the current process and that the guidance be prepared accordingly.
• The Council’s legal department had been consulted on the policy.
• When the scaffolding outside the Primark premises in Chestergate would be removed.
• When the scaffolding on the Rock building adjacent to the Plaza Theatre (former ‘Stockport Village’) would be removed and whether the advertising on it needed planning permission.
• Support was given for the continuation of the charges set for skips and action would be taken against companies if they did not acquire skip permits.
• There were many examples of skip holders who were not following the existing rules.
• In the Highways Obstructions Policy, whether the Council would identify areas where they would enforce against parking on the pavement.
RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted and the comments be referred to the Service Director (Place Management) for consideration as part of the consultation.
(2) That the Committee’s comments be included in the report to the Executive on this issue.