My honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Government are consulting on draft regulations to control outdoor advertisements and an accompanying draft circular, as well as a partial regulatory impact assessment. The draft regulations and circular take forward proposals announced in 2000 and 2002 following earlier consultation. The new draft regulations will update and improve the current arrangements for controlling outdoor advertisements and make the legislation more responsive to rapidly changing forms of advertising. The draft circular will clarify the legislation and provide guidance to help to ensure that the system operates effectively.
The consultation period ends eight weeks from today and we expect to make the regulations and to publish the circular by the end of the year. Copies of the consultation documents are available in the House Library or via the DCLG website at www.communities.gov.uk/consultations.
The draft circular includes guidance and advice to local planning authorities on dealing with unlawful advertisements alongside motorways and trunk roads. This is part of a package of measures that we have adopted to get these unlawful advertisements removed. I will be writing to the leaders of councils in whose areas these unlawful advertisements are still being displayed, seeking their assurance that they will take action to get these advertisements removed.