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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Legal battle over ageing advert
A faded advert, emblazoned on the side of a London building for nearly a century, has been at the centre of a lengthy court battle.

The High Court has ruled the lettering for the long-defunct Sunday Evening Telegram newspaper at 48 Battersea Rise, London is no longer an advert.

The ruling came after a company wanted to use the site for new slogans - claiming there was already a precedent.

Wandsworth Council then prosecuted Clear Channel for running the ads.

Clear Channel argued the advert was legal under old planning regulations.

Faded message

Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Sullivan unanimously ruled: "Once an ad does not mean always an ad."

The ageing advert declares: Spend a Happy Sunday with the National News Sunday Evening Telegram.

Clear Channel had argued it did not need permission to run adverts on the site as there was "deemed consent" under clause 13 of regulations in the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act.

Clause 13 stated that, subject to certain exceptions, new ads were allowed on sites where adverts had been displayed on 1 April 1974.

A district court judge had ruled in favour of Clear Channel but the High Court upheld an appeal by Wandsworth Council.

Mr Justice Sullivan said he could not accept the faded advertisement was still being "employed for the purposes of advertising" on 1 April 1 1974.

The newspaper had "ceased to be available since about 1921," he said.

"I don't accept that once an ad always an ad.

"A wall on which words were painted over 80 years ago and where the paint has simply been allowed to fade with the passage of time cannot, in ordinary English, be said to being used for the display of advertisements."

Lord Justice Latham agreed and Clear Channel was ordered to pay 13,667 towards Wandsworth Council's legal costs.

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