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It is an offence for a person to distribute any free printed matter without the consent of Colchester Borough Council on relevant land

Relevant land is defined in section 86(4) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as land to which the public are entitled to, or permitted to have access with or without payment, that is open to the air and under the direct control of Colchester Borough Council and any highway within the area of Colchester Borough as defined in section 86(9) of the 1990 Act In the designated areas. 

The designated areas are:

  • all areas contained within the Town Centre
  • all areas marked as public car parks
  • Upper and Lower Castle Park
  • Areas identified as Bulky Goods Comparison Retailing
  • areas identified as Local Shopping Centres
  • areas identified as  Food Superstores
  • Tiptree - Areas identified as  Rural District Centres
  • East Colchester - Areas identified as local shopping Centres
  • West Mersea - Areas identified as Rural District Centres.

Although leaflets have been used as an example the list can be extensive and include:

  • balloons
  • badges
  • flags
  • anything with a printed logo or motif. 

Why have we introduced this restriction?

We have implemented the restriction on the distribution of free printed matter in the town centre of Colchester and in secondary retail areas and car parks to reduce the impact of litter from businesses.

The effects of leaflet distribution can be seen on the streets and in the hedge rows and rivers, and is costly to clear. Businesses are encouraged to use other means of advertising, for example through a business pack. 

This legislation is primarily in place in Colchester town centre but other areas within the borough are also included.

Fixed penalty notice

A £75 fixed penalty notice can be issued to any individual identified participating in this activity along with the business being promoted.

If convicted in Court, a £2500 fine exists.

Political parties, religious and charitable organizations are exempt from the legislation and can seek permission from us if they wish to do so.

For more information on exceptions to rule, contact us here or by calling 01206 282700