Braintree District Council take action on illegal advertising

Braintree District Council was successful in prosecuting an individual for unauthorised advertising in a lay-by, resulting in fines and costs totalling over £3,000. 

Anthony Devito was convicted for unlawfully using a vehicle for advertising purposes between 8 February and 4 May 2023, where a vehicle displaying a logo for his business was left in a lay-by on the A12 for the sole purposes of advertising.

Despite the individual receiving advice from the council’s enforcement team about needing advertising consent under the national planning system, Mr Devito returned the vehicle to the A12 at a later time.

He received a criminal conviction for both offences at Colchester Magistrates Court on Thursday 8th February 2024 and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £3050.58.

Councillor Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “Whilst we are always supportive of businesses and the positive benefits they bring to our local economy, residents have made it clear to us that they expect the council to take robust action against those breaching advertising regulations and that’s what we’ve done here. This case highlights the need to have advertising consent in place, which is ultimately a criminal offence if you don’t have it and need it, and we will take action where it is appropriate to do so.”

Residents and businesses can use the council’s Duty Planning Officer Service to obtain advice on whether advertising consent is required, as well as other planning matters.

If residents think there are advertisements in place without consent, or other breaches of planning control taking place, they can report this to the council by completing an enquiry form on their website.

Published: 16th February 2024