Fears that county roundabouts will become 'Las Vegas strip' after sponsorship decision

Unauthorised signs have been placed on some Shropshire roundabouts for many years without the council taking enforcement action to get them removed, a committee heard.

Advert on a roundabout
Advert on a roundabout

As councillors approved a plan to make money out of placing sponsorship signs on roundabouts, a committee heard of the anger of one parish council that has been lobbying in vain for Shropshire Council to remove signs that had been there for years.

The council revealed the idea last year when it said selling advertising space on roundabouts, lampposts, signs and verges could bring in nearly £400,000 a year.

Councillor Richard Marshall (Worfield) said the situation where no enforcement action had been carried out in 13 years at the roundabout at Sutton Maddock, near Shifnal, made the council look "extremely silly."

Councillor Marshall told the Southern Planning Committee on Tuesday that Sutton Maddock Parish Council has objected to proposals to put paid for adverts on the junction of the A442 Bridgnorth Road, the B4176 and B4379, on the grounds of public safety and amenity.

"The main concerns are that there are four unauthorised signs there already.

"We find ourselves looking extremely silly."

He added that the parish is looking for guarantees that the unauthorised signs will be taken away and the replacements won't end up looking like "Las Vegas strip."

The committee was told by a planning official that the situation is by no means ideal but "we are where we are."

A part of the planning conditions for placing signs would be the removal of those that have been placed there without authorisation, councillors were told.

Plans to place four sponsorship signs on the junction of the A442 Cann Hall Road, Mill Street and B4363 Wolverhampton Road, in Bridgnorth, were deferred to give Bridgnorth Town Council the chance to keep looking after the roundabout.

The town council has maintained the roundabout for around 20 years but an agreement has now lapsed and the maintenance bill is set to fall on Shropshire Council, the meeting was told.

Councillor Marshall said the roundabout had "lovely signs" and the town council has meticulously maintained roundabouts in the town. "They are absolutely immaculate," he said.

The councillor said he was worried that Shropshire Council would end up losing money because the cost of maintaining the roundabout would be more than they could get through sponsorship.

Councillors were asked to defer the decision rather than refuse it.

But for another two roundabouts, one at the junction of the B454 and B4363 Wolverhampton Road, in Swancote, near Bridgnorth, and the other at the junction of the A454 and B4176, Hilton, Claverley, they agreed to press ahead.

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