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Advertisement Consent

Planning Permission for Outdoor Advertising & Signs

Does Advertising Need Permission?

Small advertisements (less than 0.3 square meters) which are not illuminated, (or slightly larger temporary notices such as local events & street parties) may not require formal Advertisement Consent.

All advertisements must comply statutory provisions even if express consent is not required. There are three categories of advertisement consent:

  • Advertisements which do not require deemed consent or express consent
  • Advertisements which have deemed consent
  • Advertisements which require express consent

The Government has produced a guide for those wishing to display outdoor or illuminated adverts. Certain indoor advertisements are also included.

Professional assistance should be sought to determine whether Advertisement Consent is required and to give your application the best chance of success.

If you are considering an advert for your business, contact us today to discuss how we can assist.

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What is defined as an advertisement?

The relevant Act of Parliament defines an advertisement as:

“any word, letter, model, sign, placard, board, notice, awning, blind, device or representation, whether illuminated or not, in the nature of, and employed wholly or partly for the purposes of, advertisement, announcement or direction, and (without prejudice to the previous provisions of this definition) includes any hoarding or similar structure used or designed, or adapted for use and anything else principally used, or designed or adapted principally for use, for the display of advertisements.”


What determines whether Advertisement Consent will be granted?

The criteria used to determine whether advertisement consent should be granted are the ‘effect on amenity’ and the ‘effect on public safety’.

The considerations for public safety in determining Advertisement Consent applications include

  • Whether the advertisements obstruct or impair sight-lines,
  • Reducing clarity or effectiveness of a traffic sign or signal,
  • Be a distraction to road-users,
  • Are likely to physically impede vehicles (for example going around corners or under signage),
  • Whether any illumination will interfere with traffic signals,
  • Result in glaze or dazzle etc,
  • Require close study or include moving images,
  • Incorporate visual designs which are similar to traffic signs (red circles or triangles, chevrons, large arrows etc).

The considerations for amenity, include both aural and visual amenity and are concerned with the general characteristics of the area. For example, its historic, architectural, or cultural features, and whether the advert is in scale and in-keeping with these features.

These considerations can be open to interpretation. It is important to obtain professional advice and assistance to ensure any Advertisement Consent application has the best chance of success.

Let Plande help with your Advertisement Consent – contact us to discuss your requirements


Advertisement Consent and Areas of Special Control of Advertisements?

Local Planning Authorities have the ability to designate certain areas as ‘Area Of Special Control’. They are required to review these at least once every five years.

Areas with features of significant interest (e.g historic, architectural, cultural, or scenic) have a stricter degree of control of advertisement consent.  These are to  conserve ‘visual amenity’ or ‘views’ within that area so some deemed consent classes have smaller size limits.

In addition to designating such areas, the local planning authority also have the option to restrict deemed consent within a defined area or by issuing a discontinuation notice.


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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