A ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ mural which has been painted on the side of a house in Nantyffyllon, Maesteg will be allowed to remain if the householder applies for retrospective advertising consent.
The decision has been made after Bridgend County Borough Council received new information confirming that, while the site is located at a difficult junction with multiple turning options for vehicles, official accident statistics provided by South Wales Police have not revealed a significant increase in incidents since the mural has been in place. As such, it is no longer deemed to pose a potential distraction to drivers.
Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Following the receipt of this new information and in line with our original correspondence on the issue, I would personally be happy for the mural to remain once the householder has applied for retrospective consent.”
Responding to criticism over the planning action, Cllr Young added: “It wasn’t so long ago that Bridgend County Borough made national news headlines after a car wash advert featured an inappropriate image of a woman, while residents with longer memories may also recall the far right imagery which once decorated the side of a house in Maesteg.
“These things might still be there now if planning rules weren’t in place to deal with them, but the flip side of this is that you can’t simply choose to apply the rules only when it suits you.
“In planning terms, the mural has to be considered an advert because the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 defines ‘advertisement’ as being ‘any word, letter, model, sign, placard, board, notice, awning, blind, device or representation’ which is used ‘wholly or partly for the purposes of advertisement, announcement or direction’.”
“As unauthorised adverts constitute a criminal offence in law, the rules have to be applied evenly, especially in situations like this one where complaints have already been received.
“That’s not to say that every unauthorised advert has to be removed, as demonstrated not only by this case but also in a similar issue involving a Cofiwch Dryweryn advert located in Bridgend town centre.
“Cofiwch Dryweryn remains a very important part of our Welsh culture and history and should be remembered as such, but not in a manner which breaks the law and forces the local planning authority into a position where it has no other course than to take action.
“Our planning team is contacting the householder to discuss this further, and remains available and happy to provide further advice and support.”