Barratt Homes, one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, has been fined almost £15,000 for putting up illegal advertising posters in Swindon.
The firm, appearing under the name of BDW Trading Limited, admitted nine counts of illegal advertising at Swindon Magistrates Court.
It was prosecuted by Swindon Borough Council after officials identified 25 posters without the required planning consent in July last year on the town’s new East Wichel housing development.
The council launched a formal investigation when, five months after the company was told to remove the adverts by the council’s planning enforcement team, they remained in place. A notice was issued under section 225 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the signs to be removed or destroyed.
The adverts were eventually removed in February this year, except for a number which the company had applied for retrospective planning permission.
Magistrates fined the housebuilder £1,857 for seven counts of the illegal advertising and £1,000 for the two further counts. BDW was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,590.
The council’s cabinet member for a safer, stronger borough, Cllr Vera Tomlinson, said: “This prosecution sends a strong message to all businesses that we will not tolerate illegal advertising in Swindon.
“Advertising on the public highway or on public land requires planning permission and if firms ignore this we will prosecute them.”