Businesses in Uckfield will be allowed to have one advertising ‘A’ board on the pavement outside their premises at no charge, the town council was told last night (July 30).
However, the trader will have to apply for a licence from East Sussex County Council.
More substantial use of pavements – such as for cafe furniture or merchandise – will need a licence and must be paid for.
A crackdown on the enforcement of street advertising regulations has taken place in Uckfield and other market towns across the county, bringing them into line with what happens at seaside resorts in East Sussex.
County councillor Chris Dowling, whose area covers Ridgewood, told the town council that businesses were being told they needed a licence under the Highways Act 1980.
“I took this matter up with the county council. They have been lenient and lax in the past but they are pursuing it more vigorously, especially in the market towns in Wealden and elsewhere. It has been tougher in the seaside towns over the years.
Obtain a licence
“The word they use is that they will tolerate one ‘A’ board or one sign but, despite that, everyone who has such signs is asked to register so they can obtain a licence.”
Cllr Dowling said such licences would be free.
However, he said, the cost for a two-year licence for more than one sign was £130 and £260 for merchandise and furniture for a two-year period.
He added: “The county council stresses that it wants to be cooperative with traders and does not want to be awkward about it but they do want people to comply.
“Anyone who has a single sign or a single ‘A’ board, they will not be charged.
“This is not unique to Uckfield…it is all around the market towns across the county.”
• In June, this website reported that the Town Mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, had raised concerns about the imposition of the charges and its effects on businesses. See here