Malaga council is taking advantage of an update to its 1999 regulations which apply to advertising signs in the city, and plans to restrict certain types of publicity in some districts. The aim is to reduce the visual impact of these signs, especially in the historic city centre and on protected buildings. The new regulations will also apply to huge adverts on the outside of buildings that are under construction or being restored.
In general, large tarpaulins which show advertising and cover scaffolding will no longer be allowed, although there are some exceptions. For example, nobody can put up a tarpaulin which advertises a brand of alcoholic drink, but those with a picture of what the new or restored building will look like when it is finished will be allowed.
The Councillor for Land Regulation, Raúl López, was unable to give a date when the new rules will come into effect, but said the council has been working on this plan for a year and it should be ready before long.
The new regulations will also cover advertising signs on the roofs of buildings such as apartment blocks, which may not be popular with some communities of owners as they receive a payment from the advertisers. The signs will not be banned, but their size will have to be “reasonable”, said López.
The size and location of signs for businesses will also be regulated, especially in the historic city centre, which is classified as a Site of Cultural Interest. Companies will no longer be able to cover their window or front with unrelated advertising: “It’s one thing to have a shop window, but covering it with publicity is something very different,” the councillor said.
When the new regulations come into force they will apply immediately to new advertisements, but there will be a six-month period of grace in which to remove existing signs, posters, stickers and other inexpensive elements, and to take down installations which can easily be dismantled. If this is the only way of identifying a business the period will be extended to one year, and if works have to be carried out in order to comply with the new rule then it could be possible to extend the period to three years.
The updated version of the rules will also regulate new forms of publicity such as digital announcements and dynamic screens, and the council wants to speed up the application process for a permit to display publicity which is visible from the street. Instead of needing a licence beforehand, the applicant will just have to present a declaration of responsibility and the council will check afterwards whether the sign is in line with the regulations.