Parking firm 'to be prosecuted' after not removing unauthorised signs in Colchester
A CAR parking firm is to be prosecuted by Colchester Council after requests to rip down unauthorised signage have fallen on deaf ears.
National Car Parks broke the rules by installing four signs at the rear of the former Post Office in Balkerne Gardens, Colchester.
The signage depicts the company logo, its parking rates, terms and conditions and advertises a special parking offer.
But they are in breach of the council’s planning rules, with the signs based at the heart of the city centre’s conservation area.
Under the restrictions, planning permission is required to display advertisements.
Colchester High Steward Sir Bob Russell branded the signs “a blatant and deliberate flouting of the planning regulations”.
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The former MP raised concerns about their close proximity to the historic Victorian Jumbo water tower and Balkerne Gate.
Sir Bob said: “NCP knows the planning regulations. It has behaved in a manner which shows contempt for the planning regulations.
“It is not the behaviour one expects from any company, but what makes it worse is that NCP knows better than most people what the planning requirements are.
“It is behaving in a cavalier fashion. It is a blatant and deliberate flouting of the planning regulations.”
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Colchester Council has now confirmed to the Gazette it is pursuing legal action against NCP.
“The display of unauthorised signage is an offence,” said a spokeswoman.
“Unauthorised signage was displayed by NCP and we contacted them to ask them to remove this signage, but no response has been received.
“As a result, we are now pursuing legal action to ensure the swift removal of these signs.
“We hope that this problem can be resolved quickly and efficiently to ensure compliance with the advert regulations that seek to ensure public amenity is protected.”
The swift action from the town hall is the latest in its war against signage which officials deem inappropriate.
Landlord David Rayner, 72, was told to remove an advertising board on his property Wilco Motor Spares, in Butt Road, last November, which had been in place for more than 60 years.
The council said the sign did not comply with a new conservation area in place.
NCP was contacted for comment.