EXCLUSIVE: Ex-soldier in row with council over Union Jack tribute (From St Helens Star) I had a look, couldn't find it elsewhere. A former soldier is battling over the right to fly the Union Jack in his garden... [he] served with the 1st Battalion, Duke of Lancasters regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan... [his 10ft flagpole] I put up the flag as a memorial to mates I lost in Afghanistan... but it seems some of my neighbours have complained to the council, who sent me a snotty letter saying I have to take it down. "It says its not suitable for the area. They claim its in breach of planning control and any development should respect the character of the local site... A council spokesperson explained: We are in talks with Mr ONeill to resolve the issue. In itself the story is not untypical, what I found interesting was one of the posts at the bottom. Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what planning restrictions apply to (a) the erection of flag poles and (b) the flying of national flags; and if he will make a statement; Keith Hill: Under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 ("the regulations"), prior local planning authority consent is not required, in respect of a site where planning permission has been granted for residential development, so long as the flagstaff is vertical, does not exceed 4.6 metres in height, and is not within a conservation area, area of outstanding natural beauty, National Park, the Broads area or an area of special control under the regulations. The flag advertisement can only be displayed for the period of one year. Otherwise express consent from the local planning authority is required. National flags are exempt from control under the regulations provided each flag is flown from a single vertical flagstaff and it does not have anything else added to the design of the flag or any advertising material added to the flagstaff. We shall be amending the Regulations to exempt from control national flags however they are flown from a flagstaff. Be nice if that is accurate and anyone who wants to fly a union jack can tell local muppets to get stuffed.