Noise pollution: Westminster City Council v French Connection Retail Ltd

At the Divisional Court in London on 29 April 2005, French Connection Retail Ltd were brought before the court regarding an alleged breach of section 62(1)(b) of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

This provides that "a loud-speaker in a street shall not be operated ... (b) ... for the purpose of advertising any entertainment, trade or business; and any person who operates or permits the operation of a loudspeaker in contravention of this subsection shall be guilty of an offence ...". French Connection had affixed small devices to the windows of one of its shops which faced onto a street in order to broadcast pop music and advertisements.

On appeal, this was found to be functioning as a "loud-speaker in the street" since the outer face of the window was in the street, and therefore in contravention of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, which seeks to prevent the public, enjoying a public right of way, from being assaulted by noise. The case has therefore been remitted with a direction to convict French Connection.

See French Connection case


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