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Signage and Advertising – UK Guide to Planning Permissions

Outdoor Signage and Advertisements: A guide to UK planning permissions 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.

Temporary Notices

Temporary notices up to 0.6 square metres 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 metres.

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.

Planning, Building and the Environment: Outdoor Advertisements and Signs – A Guide For Advertisers

Download PDF: Planning, building and the environment: outdoor advertisements and signs - a guide for advertisers.Published: 18 June 2007
Type(s): Manuals leaflets and booklets, Good practice and guidance
Site: Planning, building and the environment
Product code: 07HC04607
Price: Free

Summary: Download this PDF guide which 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.

Additional useful information can also be found here:

» Do you need permission?
» Adverts and signs: Planning permission

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