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Gloucestershire Business News

Temporary relaxation of A-board rules

Businesses in Cheltenham which are disadvantaged by their location will be allowed to benefit from additional A-board advertising, as part of recovery from the effects of the lockdown.

The relaxation of A-board enforcement by Cheltenham Borough Council is a commitment set out in the licensing recovery plan and follows the government's 'safer public places - urban centres and green spaces' guidance.

For a period of up to six months, businesses that are disadvantaged due to their location will be allowed to use an A-board, provided it doesn't cause a significant obstruction to the highway and is placed directly outside the business. Under normal circumstances, all businesses would need a permit from the council to use an A-board or face potential enforcement action.

The council's policy defines disadvantaged as businesses that:

  • Do not have full street level frontage eg where a business is located at basement or first floor level
  • Are located in a low footfall area, for example on a side alleyway or on private land which is not a public right of way

The council expects unlicensed A-boards placed on the public highway under any other circumstances to be removed and an application for a permit to be made.

Cllr Andy McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: "The council is committed to doing what it can to support businesses recover from trading restrictions imposed by the government.

"In adopting the temporary relaxation of licensing enforcement for A-boards, we are seeking to achieve a balance between supporting disadvantaged businesses, but keeping the town free of unnecessary clutter to promote social distancing and public safety. Our approach supports the government advice on safety in public spaces."

Business owners that are deemed disadvantaged can consult the council's guidance on using the public realm to trade safely during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure they have sufficient space to place an A-board on the highway.

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