Large billboards, banners and other signs placed in the confine of the public space require permission from the Town and Country Planning Department, and Chief Physical Planner, Mr. Gregory Adams is advising the public that they should seek such permission before placing signs.
During his appearance on the 25 November edition of the JTV Spotlight Programme, Mr. Adams said that the Department is aware that many in the community will be desirous of posting signs during the season: “We are approaching Christmas and people want to advertise the various activities sales… that’s considered development; so we want people to understand that. Come in, approach the Department, make the necessary applications, so that you avoid any problems with us having to monitor and possibly do enforcement activities on what may be considered illegal development.” He said the permission process entails making an application to the Town and Country Planning Department.
In illustrating the process, Mr. Adams said that if it is a sign, permission is being sought for, the applicant is required to bring a small copy of the sign, so that the Department can see what it is going to depict. Applicants are also required to complete the brief application form, pay the fee and a review will be carried out. He said that the Department will also check the proposed location to ensure that the placed sign will not obstruct traffic in any way or cause any issues with the general public. Once there is no issue, approval will be granted and the applicant will be free to erect the sign.
The Chief Planner stated that the application fee for the banners has been reduced to a flat fee of $100 for large banners. He said before the large banners were priced at $2.00 for square feet: “Hearing from the industry professionals we were being told that the fee was rather high sometimes it would equate to $400- $500 for an application fee for an event that was a one day event. So we worked with them and reduced it.”
“We are developing some brand new regulations that would address smaller signs as well. They would also have to come in for regulations…But the Act does not prescribe how we deal with those, so we have made some policy to be as consistent as possible; but we try to be as strict as possible with the regulation that would set out a strict prescription of how we deal with all signs.”
Dylan Penn, Deputy Chief Planner explained that there is a special policy for charity events. “For nonprofit organizations and events that are not going to be making any profit we have taken a position that there is no charge for those signs, but you still have to come through the Department. Then we will issue an approval stating the conditions, including the time limit,” Mr. Penn stated.