A report by the Licensing Manager is attached.
The City Centre Manager was in attendance for this item.
The Licensing Manager introduced the report and explained that currently advertising boards are not permitted on the highway. However the number of A boards on the highway in the city is a continuing problem and of concern to officers. Poorly sited A boards can cause risk to those persons with mobility or sight problems.
The City Centre Manager added that under the current policy some businesses are putting out A boards in areas which cause a hazard to pavement users. There needs to be a tighter control over A boards but with a continuing support for local businesses.
(1) That the Licensing Committee noted and approved the highway amenity policy subject to the following minor amendments. The Licensing Committee agreed to consider granting amenity permissions on individual merit for the use of A boards on the public highway in respect of area(s) deemed to be both a low obstruction risk and located outside the stress areas identified within the amenity policy document as per Option 3 of the report.
Members requested that the wording in the policy in respect of the following matters be reviewed and clarified:
Page 5 - Barriers or similar structures must have solid horizontal bar/elements at about 100mm in height from ground level and also at about 800 mm above ground level so as to be detectable by a stick (“tapping rail”).
Page 9 - A board Design/Size/Style Requirements.
· Should be temporary in nature - to include 'not to be screwed down and only to be situated when the business is in open/in operation'.
· Should be professionally designed and well maintained with sign writing/printed or painted material - to also include 'professional looking daily specials chalk boards are accepted'.
(2) That the Licensing Committee recommended to Council the formal approval and adoption of this report and the amended policy (together with all related matters) and further recommended the delegation of this function to the Licensing Committee together with:
· Delegation to the Head of Health, Safety & Licensing to carry out the administration of all highway amenity matters pursuant to sections 115A - 115K of the Highways Act 1980. To include the power to grant, very, transfer and renew (but not to refuse or revoke) any individual highway amenity permission for a period of not more than 12 months and subject to such standard and special conditions as considered appropriate.
· Delegation to the Head of Health, Safety & Licensing to recommend to the Licensing Committee, from time to time, such fees and/or other reasonable expenses/charges as may be appropriate to recover the costs of administration and compliance with highway amenity permissions
· Delegation to the Head of Health, Safety & Licensing to refund such fee(s) for unsuccessful applications as considered appropriate on individual merit
· Delegation to the Head of Health, Safety & Licensing to give notice of intended refusal/revocation or non-renewal of any amenity permission on individual merit
· Delegation to the Head of Health, Safety & Licensing to establish, amend, vary and/or substitute any hearing procedures, application forms, notes of guidance and other documentation commensurate with these proposals
(3) That the Licensing Committee establishes a panel (drawn from not less than 3 members of the Licensing Committee) to determine and adjudicate on any contested highway amenity applications (where permission is likely to be refused, revoked or not renewed) and whose decision will be final;
(4) That the Licensing Committee reviews the adopted highway amenity policy every 3 years
To the Council:
(5) That the Council notes and approves the recommendations of the Licensing Committee and resolves to delegate this function together with the scheme of delegations to the Licensing Committee and Head of Health, Safety & Licensing as appropriate.