Countryside Properties illegal flyposting hazard removed :
Save Spodden Valley | March 22, 2006 at 06:00 amby
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<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> Road users have noticed a growing problem with illegal flyposting on street furniture beside Rochdale’s busiest roads. It appears that many of the culprits are building companies directing drivers to new multi-million pound developments.
Safety groups are concerned that drivers can be distracted by the illegal signs. Recently, cyclists have expressed particular concern about Countryside Properties PLC advertising its Mayfield housing development.
These photographs show Countryside Properties advertising on the busy Manchester Road dual carriageway.
Rochdale Council officers confirmed that Countryside Properties, or its advertising agents, did NOT have permission to put signs on this major road.
A spokesman for Council’s Highways Department says it is fighting an unending battle. The companies cashing-in from the unlawful advertising often avoid punishment as it is up to the prosecuting authority to prove that the companies benefiting from such flyposting are involved in the unlawful activity.
At Council tax payers’ expense, workers spent last Saturday removing illegal advertising, including that promoting Countryside Properties PLC.
Countryside Properties prides itself on its ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ credentials. In the past, its Environmental Statements have boasted that they “have never been prosecuted for environmental malpractice”.
Countryside Properties is no stranger to controversy in Rochdale: In December 2004 plans were submitted for over 600 homes on the site of the former T&N asbestos factory. The plans included homes on woodland destroyed by contractors on the weekend of 14th/15th May 2004. Countryside Properties was not prosecuted for the destruction of woodland in the Spodden Valley. The plans for up to 30 houses on the former woodlands have been dropped and the remaining controversial planning application remains firmly on hold.
Over a year ago, young Rochdalians asked Countryside Properties to restore the damage to the broadleaf woodlands that had been destroyed.
Apart from a lame apology by the developers for their ‘past actions’ and ‘miscommunication’ – no environmental damage has been repaired.
Meanwhile back on our busy roads, Rochdale Council are considering charging £50 per unlawful sign they remove from its highways. Save Spodden Valley campaigner Mick Coats believes that Countryside Properties should pay the council’s costs for the removal of the dangerous advertising signs.
“Countryside Properties have been caught out yet again with questionable activity. Every £50 it costs our council to remove this nuisance is almost a month’s Band A council tax. Countryside Properties should pay up and be more socially responsible in future".
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