Signage and Advertising – UK Guide to Planning Permissions

Outdoor Advertisements and Signs:
A Guide For Advertisers

The rules and regulations relating to outdoor advertisements and signs are rather complicated so we have put together some information to help keep our customers within the required standards. Our project managers will guide you through your outdoor campaigns and signage projects, for more information please call 0203 488 3033

Temporary Notices

Temporary notices up to 0.6 square meters relating to local events, such as street parties and concerts, may be displayed for a short period. There are different rules for estate agents’ boards, but, in general, these should not be bigger than 0.5 square meters.

Professional Adverts and Signs for Business

The planning regime for larger, professional adverts, signs for businesses and so on is complex though all outdoor advertisements must comply with five ‘standard conditions’. They must:

  • Be kept clean and tidy.
  • Be kept in a safe condition.
  • Have the permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed (this includes the Highway Authority if the sign is to be placed on highway land).
  • Not obscure, or hinder the interpretation of, official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs, or otherwise make hazardous the use of these types of transport.
  • Be removed carefully where so required by the planning authority.

There are 9 classes of advertisements excluded from direct control of the planning authority. These include:

  • Advertisements on enclosed land.
  • Advertisements on moving vehicles.
  • Advertisements which are an integral part of the building’s fabric.
  • Advertisements displayed on items such as petrol pumps or vending machines.
  • Advertisements displayed inside a building.

There are 16 other classes of signage/advertisements also permitted without planning consent.

However these must comply with certain conditions such as length of time to be displayed, height of signage and use of signage. For example Class 5 in that guide allows you to advertise what goods or services you sell at your own premises with some restrictions on letter height, height of signage, illumination etc.

Generally you will need planning permission for:

  • Virtually all posters.
  • Some illuminated signs.
  • Some fascia signs and projecting signs where top edge is more than 4.6M above ground level.
  • Most advertisements on gable ends.

For further detailed information see below.

This PDF guide can be downloaded via the following external page link and aims to explain to those wanting to display an outdoor advertisement how the system of advertisement control works in England.

The booklet is arranged in separate sections and there are numerous illustrations which may show you how the system affects the type of advertisement you want to display.

This booklet is only a guide and not a definitive source of legal information. It does not include every condition or limitation for every Class of those Advertisements which are normally permitted. This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.

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