North London businessman fined over unauthorised car billboards

A north London businessman who used parked cars as advertising billboards has been fined and ordered to remove the vehicles following a successful prosecution by the London Borough of Barnet's enforcement team.

Illegal billboards: council fines businessman (pic: London Borough of Barnet)
Illegal billboards: council fines businessman (pic: London Borough of Barnet)

Tony Shaw had parked up to six cars, each fitted with a large billboard on the roof, on busy roads and prominent locations across the borough to promote his waste removal business.

After Barnet Council planning enforcement officers launched their investigation in April, they were able to establish that the cars were never moved and were often covered with an accumulation of dust and debris. Some were found to be untaxed.

Despite the cars being used principally as advertising billboards, the council told Willesden Magistrates’ Court earlier this month that Shaw failed to apply for any planning permission.

In court, Shaw pleaded guilty to all six offences. He was fined a total of £2,100, ordered to pay £2,800 in costs and a victim surcharge of £50 and told he must remove the cars.

"It’s totally unacceptable to use cars in this way to advertise," said Barnet Council planning committee chairman Melvin Cohen after the hearing.

"They’re unsightly, tie up parking spaces and break planning rules. I hope this prosecution sends a very clear message to anyone else considering a similar approach to advertising."

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