Publication - Publication

Planning Advice Note 80: control and management of fly-posting

Published: 28 Dec 2006

Planning Advice Note (PAN) 80 provides advice on how local authorities can effectively control and manage illegal poster advertising (flyposting) in urban and rural areas.

32 page PDF

2.2 MB

32 page PDF

2.2 MB

Planning Advice Note 80: control and management of fly-posting

32 page PDF

2.2 MB


45. Better control and management of fly-posting will support substantive wider measures to enhance quality of place and the appeal and attractiveness of our cities, town centres and rural areas supporting a quality sense of welcome and well-being for visitors and residents alike.

46. Delivering better control requires partnership working, both internally and externally to the local authority, and concerted action over an extended time period. A clear strategic approach based on active control, prevention and enforcement along with education and partnering arrangements have been demonstrated to be most effective. The balance of measures will be different from local authority to local authority, depending on the local circumstances and scale of the issue, but good communication and a clarity of intent to act to control and manage fly-posting are important in building support and changing a cultural mindset that considers fly-posting as legitimate for event advertising and socially acceptable.

47. A number of trials and pilot schemes are underway at present, working with external advertisement agents to provide licensed poster sites and drums, that allow a more open and collaborative approach with those seeking street advertising such as the entertainment and leisure industries and clubs and other groups. These approaches are unproven and may not offer a viable or universal way forward particularly in rural areas but equally may offer value in high-intensity areas where the problems of management are most acute.

48. Approaches are almost inevitably location and area specific (what works in one place may not work in another) and authorities should be aware of the 'basket of measures' that can be adopted. Measures need to reflect the scale and nature of the fly-posting problem, the range of companies or individuals responsible and the breadth of resource that can be committed. The key measures include:

  • Strategic approach and partnering
  • Prevention and active discouragement
  • Removal of fly-posting
  • Enforcement and prosecution
  • Development of legal poster advertising sites
  • Education and awareness

49. Fly-posting is illegal and controlled under a range of legislation, primarily through the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 and the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (Scotland) Regulations 1984. Fly-posting constitutes an environmental crime, along with a wide range of issues (graffiti, littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling) and is damaging to quality of place and the well being of communities. A clear strategy, linked to early preventative action and pro-active enforcement can ensure fly-posting is controlled thereby avoiding it becoming a significant negative issue and a detriment to local amenity.


Enquiries about the content of this Planning Advice Note should be addressed to Kristen Anderson, Development Department, Planning Division 3,
Area 2H, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ
(0131 244 7091) or by email to: .
Further copies may be obtained by telephoning 0131 244 7543. A copy of this PAN is also available on the Scottish Executive planning website at

Useful contacts

This section gives a summary of organisation websites, which may be helpful when considering the control and management of fly-posting.

Association of Town Centre Management (Scotland), c/o Andy Kennedy, Stirling Council, Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET, Tel: 01786 442534,

Town centre managers work with public and private sector partners, on a number of issues including fly-posting, to helping town and city centres realise their roles both as prosperous locations for business and investment, and as focal points for vibrant, inclusive communities

Business Improvement Districts

c/o Ian Davison Porter, Project Director, Scottish Executive, Area 3-J Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ Tel: 0131 244 4075.

CABE Space, 1 Kemble Street, London WC2B 4AN, Tel: 020 70706700,

CABE Space is dedicated to encouraging excellence in the planning, design, management and maintenance of parks and public space in towns and cities. They work with local authorities and other stakeholder groups involved with the delivery of parks and public spaces, providing advice and best practice.

Cleaner, Safer, Greener, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now Department for Communities and Local Government) Eland House

Bressenden, Place, London SW1E 5DU

Tel: 020 79444400,

Cleaner Safer Greener Communities website gives best practice guidance to help creating quality public spaces and advice on tackling those 'cleaner, safer, greener' issues.

Companies House, 37 Castle Terrace,
Edinburgh EH1 2EB, Tel: 0870 3333636,

The Registrar of Companies for Scotland holds publicly available information on incorporate and limited companies, which may be useful for identifying companies involved in or benefiting from fly-posting.

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA), Rosebery House

9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5XZ,
Tel: 0131 4749200,

COSLA is the representative voice of Scottish local government.

DEFRA, Information Resource Centre, Lower Ground Floor, Ergon House, c/o Nobel House,
17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR,
Tel: 08459 335577,

DEFRA is a Government department bringing together the interests of farmers and the countryside; the environment and the rural economy. DEFRA's website provides useful background reports on Government committees of relevance to fly-posting. (The Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department SEERAD is responsible for advising Scottish Ministers on policy relating to agriculture, rural development, food, the environment and fisheries, and for ensuring the implementation of those policies in Scotland.)

ENCAMS (Environmental Campaigns), Elizabeth House, The Pier, Wigan WN3 4EX, Tel: 01942 612621,

ENCAMS is an environmental charity that campaigns on issues such as graffiti, fly posting, abandoned vehicles and gum dropping. The organisation has published a wide range of useful advice on controlling fly-posting, running environmental campaigns, performance indicators and policy.

Keep Scotland Beautiful, Islay House, Livilands Lane, Stirling FK8 2BG, Tel: 01786 471333,

Keep Scotland Beautiful has been operating as an organisation to improve the quality of local environments in Scotland for over 40 years. The group has been at the forefront of anti-litter, waste and marine issues to encourage good practice and sustainable development.

Nominet, Sandford Gate, Sandy Lane West, Oxford OX4 6LB, Tel: 01865 332211,

Nominet is the internet registry for .uk domain names, which may be useful for identifying companies involved in or benefiting from fly-posting.

Outdoor Advertising Association of Great Britain, Summit House, 27 Sale Place, London
W2 1YR, Tel: 020 79730315,

OAA is the trade association representing the outdoor advertising industry throughout the UK and promoting standards of best practice in the outdoor industry.

Selected references

Arup Economics (1999), Control of Fly-posting:
A Good Practice Guide

Association of Town Centre Managers (2003),
Fly-posting Policy

Coventry City Council, Flyposting Policy

ENCAMS (2003), How to Run an Effective Campaign

ENCAMS (2004), Local Environmental Quality Survey
of England 2003/2004

ENCAMS (2005), BVPI 199 Cleanliness Performance Indicator: Guidance Manual

ENCAMS (2005), Fly-posting Knowledge Bank

ENCAMS (June 2003), MP's Pack: Handbook

ENCAMS, Flyposting Policy,

ENCAMS, Flyposting: On the Ground Survey

ENCAMS, Flyposting: The Local Authority Perspective

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (July 2004), Environmental Crime: Fly-tipping,
Fly-posting, Litter, Graffiti and Noise

Leeds City Council (2005), Flyposting on Street Furniture: Placards

Leeds City Council, S topping Illegal Flyposting Brochure

Outdoor Advertising Association (2000), OAA Charter: Standard of Best Practice

Scots Law Times: (2001) Issues 22: 29.06.01,
La Belle Angele v City of Edinburgh Licensing Board

Scottish Executive (1999), Planning Advice Note 59: Improving Town Centres

Scottish Executive (2001), A Policy Statement for Scotland: Designing Places

Scottish Executive (2006), Scottish Planning Policy 8: Town Centres and Retailing

Scottish Office Circular 10/1992 Planning and Compensation Act 1991 Control of 'Fly Posting'

Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (Scotland) Regulations 1984