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  • FIRST POST
    • mowkid
    • By mowkid 8th Apr 17, 2:45 PM
    • 78Posts
    • 120Thanks
    mowkid
    Planning rules for car park signs
    • #1
    • 8th Apr 17, 2:45 PM
    Planning rules for car park signs 8th Apr 17 at 2:45 PM
    I have been using the valuable advice and experiences from this forum to help my wife's carer with a charge from Excel on another thread. Pre PoFA.
    However in the course of my investigations I came across the Fleetwood ASDA thread where I understand that Parking Eye were obliged to cease operations pending planning permission being granted.
    There is a particularly nasty example in my town where a car park for years had been an eight to six pay park for the adjacent shops. This was taken over by Smart and overnight bvecame 24 hours. There is a council car park next to it with a driveway through a wall to the Smart operated one so anyone not in the know gets caught out. Some aquaintances of mine have been had.
    I decided to check with my local council if any of the PPC run parks in town had planning and none do.
    However Smart put in a planning application two weeks after my FoI communication (fishy or what)
    I have had a long series of dialogue with my local council but they insist that they have no powers to get the Smart signs removed because this would predjudice the planning application.
    Just how can we beat these people? I was hoping to get some sort of local effort to demand money back by people who had already paid up.
Page 2
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 28th Apr 17, 4:07 PM
    • 3,591 Posts
    • 3,635 Thanks
    DoaM
    1 sq metre is 100 x 100 cm. So as above 30 x 100 cm is 0.3 sq metre.

    I haven't looked, but ... is there not also something about the total area of all signs? i.e. each sign may be no more than 0.3 sq metre, but if the number of these signs means that the total area exceeds the maximum allowed then a breach would occur?
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 28th Apr 17, 4:57 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Maths..... never my strong point!

    There isn't anything saying the measurement is the total combined area of the signs.

    But the provision about illumination is interesting - signs have to be illuminated to make them visible and to communicate the contract terms when it's dark - but the deemed consent doesn't apply if the signs are illuminated.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 28th Apr 17, 5:00 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    And the 2(A) exemption is signs which are warnings or directions - not signs that are there to try to create a contract. If they are "warnings" then they are forbidding, not contractual, surely?
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 14th Jun 17, 11:47 AM
    • 1,757 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    A question.


    An OP I am helping off forum has made enquiries about some signage and has been told this by the local council (I have added the bold):

    "The signs in question fall within Class 2(a) of the classes of advertisements benefiting from deemed consent under the legislation – i.e. notices or signs displayed on buildings or land as a means of identification, direction, or warning. "

    This is interesting. The PPC of course bases the entire claim on the assertion that the signage makes an OFFER of a contract and sets out the its terms. This is anything but "a means of identification, direction or warning". This conflicts entirely with the council’s view that they contain wording which can only be deemed to be a means of “Identification, direction or warning”. This description does not and cannot include a contractual offer – a “warning” would obviously be against doing something, ie forbidding and therefore incapable of being an offer, a “direction” likewise cannot be an offer inviting someone to do something (it is an instruction to do or not to do something in a particular way), and “identification” is just that – providing information (eg identifying the ppc or the landowner).

    The OP originally included in their defence reference to the illegality of the signage. Obviously that's dead in the water and should now be dropped. But I wonder if this email might be used in a different way to the OP's benefit - ie. to demonstrate that the signage is forbidding and incapable of making any offer and that's what the local planning dept has decided already.

    Or is this clutching at straws?
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 14th Jun 17, 6:44 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Bumping this in the hope of some views - see post above. What do you all think?
    • Timothea
    • By Timothea 14th Jun 17, 7:29 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 282 Thanks
    Timothea
    An OP I am helping off forum has made enquiries about some signage and has been told this by the local council (I have added the bold):

    "The signs in question fall within Class 2(a) of the classes of advertisements benefiting from deemed consent under the legislation – i.e. notices or signs displayed on buildings or land as a means of identification, direction, or warning."

    This is interesting. The PPC of course bases the entire claim on the assertion that the signage makes an OFFER of a contract and sets out the its terms. This is anything but "a means of identification, direction or warning". This conflicts entirely with the council’s view that they contain wording which can only be deemed to be a means of “Identification, direction or warning”. This description does not and cannot include a contractual offer – a “warning” would obviously be against doing something, ie forbidding and therefore incapable of being an offer, a “direction” likewise cannot be an offer inviting someone to do something (it is an instruction to do or not to do something in a particular way), and “identification” is just that – providing information (eg identifying the ppc or the landowner).
    Originally posted by Loadsofchildren123
    What do the signs actually say? Can you post up pictures of the signs?

    If the signs purport to offer a contract then you should revert to the LA and point out their error. If the signs are forbidding then, yes, you can use that argument in the defence. However, I don't think the opinion of a Planning Officer adds any weight to that defence; judges should understand contract law.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 14th Jun 17, 9:15 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    The signs are a bit in between. Some parts I think do satisfy the Beavis "benchmark", but other parts are forbidding.
    My first instinct was to drop the planningvissue but then I wondered if it might help persuade a judge that they are non-contractual if the planning authority deems them to be instruction/warning/direction. I agree a judge may think it irrelevant but if it's a lazy judge it might help.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 15th Jun 17, 11:46 AM
    • 1,757 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 15th Jun 17, 11:47 AM
    • 1,757 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    This is the sign. I don't think it's forbidding - there's only one bit that says you mustn't do something.
    The better point is that the "term" about the £100 charge is in very small print. This sign, as with the others on the site, is 2.5m high (ground to bottom of sign) and unlit.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Jun 17, 11:00 PM
    • 51,886 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Can't see it, Loc123.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 15th Jun 17, 11:06 PM
    • 15,962 Posts
    • 24,778 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Can't see it, Loc123.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Post #28 C-m?
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Jun 17, 11:18 PM
    • 51,886 Posts
    • 65,532 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Not showing on this laptop...not sure why.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 15th Jun 17, 11:22 PM
    • 15,962 Posts
    • 24,778 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Not showing on this laptop...not sure why.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    That Clive Sinclair has a lot to answer for?
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Jun 17, 11:42 PM
    • 51,886 Posts
    • 65,532 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Maybe I'm missing an Adobe update, oh well!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Ruurb
    • By Ruurb 16th Jun 17, 12:28 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Ruurb
    A question.


    An OP I am helping off forum has made enquiries about some signage and has been told this by the local council (I have added the bold):

    "The signs in question fall within Class 2(a) of the classes of advertisements benefiting from deemed consent under the legislation – i.e. notices or signs displayed on buildings or land as a means of identification, direction, or warning. "

    This is interesting. The PPC of course bases the entire claim on the assertion that the signage makes an OFFER of a contract and sets out the its terms. This is anything but "a means of identification, direction or warning". This conflicts entirely with the council’s view that they contain wording which can only be deemed to be a means of “Identification, direction or warning”. This description does not and cannot include a contractual offer – a “warning” would obviously be against doing something, ie forbidding and therefore incapable of being an offer, a “direction” likewise cannot be an offer inviting someone to do something (it is an instruction to do or not to do something in a particular way), and “identification” is just that – providing information (eg identifying the ppc or the landowner).

    The OP originally included in their defence reference to the illegality of the signage. Obviously that's dead in the water and should now be dropped. But I wonder if this email might be used in a different way to the OP's benefit - ie. to demonstrate that the signage is forbidding and incapable of making any offer and that's what the local planning dept has decided already.

    Or is this clutching at straws?
    Originally posted by Loadsofchildren123
    Sweet and Maxwells Planning Law says the following:
    Class 2A
    permits notices or signs to be displayed as a means of identification, direction or warning. These can include the number or name of a dwelling house, a sign on a field gate, for example, “Please Shut the Gate” or signs or warnings such as “Beware of the Dog”, “Trespassers will be Prosecuted” or “Police Notice, No Parking”. Advertisements in this class must not exceed 0.3 square metres in area, may not be illuminated and are subject to limitations of height and size of lettering.
    So it would seem that you are right, but here's more food for thought, has anyone considered whether the signs breach media advertising under the CAP code, or even breach of CPUT?
    Last edited by Ruurb; 16-06-2017 at 12:30 AM.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 16th Jun 17, 8:04 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Thanks Ruurb!!!!
    No we haven't looked at this other legislation. Do you know anything about it?
    Do you think it's worth saying in the WS that OP has discovered that the LPA considers the signs exempt because...... [what I've said above plus the S&M commentary] which means that they do not consider the signs to make any valid offer? I'm just not sure. Some weak/nervous DJs I think might like that argument - they really need to be given lots of reasons to find in D's favour. Others will disregard it. I agree it's by no means definitive but just wonder if it's worth including.

    CM I'll post a Dropbox link to the sign. It was showing yesterday on my work computer but I can't see it now on my phone.
    • Ruurb
    • By Ruurb 16th Jun 17, 2:04 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Ruurb
    I suppose it depends on what the full contents of the email is and if there is any scope for it to be interpreted otherwise. If it favours you, then you could perhaps rely on it as hearsay evidence but as you say I think it would depend on the judge.

    Assuming the sign your referring to appears to look both prohibited and appear to present an offer of terms and conditions then would you not argue both? For example, if the sign does fall within the deemed consent provisions then it can only amount to a prohibited sign e.g. a warning and any claim would be in trespass. If, in the alternative, the sign is considered as an offer to contract then surely you could argue in that case the erection of the sign itself amounted to a criminal offence because it required permission from the relevant authority and the court should not indulge in allowing claimants to benefit from their unlawful actions. Therefore the sign cannot be relied upon and the defence of illegality should be upheld.

    You said originally that the illegality defence was dead in the water but not sure that is the case, unless I've missed something.

    As for the CAP code, I was just thinking off the top of my head, not sure if any of it is applicable but may be worth looking into. Wouldn't support you in court but the ASA has powers to force the advertiser to stop using a particular sign or amend it amongst other things. Then again it could amount to nothing.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 16th Jun 17, 2:12 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    my original instinct once I saw the email was that the illegality argument was dead in the water. If it's deemed not to require consent, it's not unlawful. But then that leads to the argument that if it's deemed lawful because it is an instruction/warning/direction then it can't be an offer of a contract and the ppc can't have it both ways. The email says this:


    I have looked at your photographs and checked the relevant provisions of the advertisement regulations. The signs in question fall within Class 2(a) of the classes of advertisements benefiting from deemed consent under the legislation – i.e. notices or signs displayed on buildings or land as a means of identification, direction, or warning. The signs appear to comply with the conditions and limitations set out therein, in terms of their size, position and absence of illumination, which means that they benefit from deemed consent under the legislation and do not need the express consent of the local planning authority
    In these circumstances there is no apparent breach of planning control and the matter cannot therefore be pursued

    I am suggesting this para in the WS (the sign was argued to be unlawful as having no ad consent in the defence)

    “In my defence, I argued that I believed the signage was unlawful because no advertisement consent had been given and therefore the C was committing a criminal offence under Regulation 30 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulations 2007 (as amended). I have contacted the local council, and a copy of their email to me is at page x of RH1. The court will note that the council has determined that the signs have deemed planning consent because they amount to “a means of information, warning or direction”. Sweet and Maxwell on Planning states that “These can include the number or name of a dwelling house, a sign on a field gate, for example, “Please Shut the Gate” or signs or warnings such as “Beware of the Dog”, “Trespassers will be Prosecuted” or “Police Notice, No Parking”. Advertisements in this class must not exceed 0.3 square metres in area, may not be illuminated and are subject to limitations of height and size of lettering.” This is incompatible with the Claimant’s assertion that its signs make an offer of a contract: the local planning authority has clearly deemed that they do not (given that it deems them to be for identification/warning/direction). If they did, then they would not fall under the exception and would require advertisement consent (without which they are a criminal offence – and the court should not lend its aid to a Claimant who founds a claim based on an unlawful act pursuant to the doctrine ex dolo malo non oritur actio"

    What do you think? Or is it weak and should be left out?
    • Ruurb
    • By Ruurb 16th Jun 17, 2:44 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Ruurb
    Its a valid argument and I can't see any reason why it is weak, the planning authority email would appear to back up your argument that the sign is viewed as prohibitive but even if the court disagrees, as you've suggested the sign was erected unlawfully and so for that reason the claimant shouldn't be entitled to claim from its unlawful conduct. It ought to be a lose-lose for the claimant in theory.

    Whether you keep it in depends on how many lines of defence you have and for me personally, unless the matter is complex I tend to stick to 2-3 arguments or maybe 4 at a push. My experience is that DJs especially do not like to see every argument thrown hoping something sticks.
    • MadHatter752
    • By MadHatter752 16th Jun 17, 4:08 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    MadHatter752
    Maybe there is already enough arguments LoC123? Interested to hear what you think on this.
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