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Advertisement Regulations and the Need for Advertisement Consent

This page gives advice on what an advertisement is, details of the Advertisement Regulations, do you need advertisement consent, how to apply for consent should you need it, and the implications of displaying an unauthorised advertisement.

The advertisement control system is set out in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007. A copy of the Regulations and the associated Circular can be downloaded below. On the 12th October 2012, central government altered the regulations in relation to flag advertisements. This legislation is also included below.

Advertisement regulations (statutory instrument 2007-783) (PDF Document, 171.73 Kb)

12 Oct 12 : Amendments to Advertisement Regulations in relation to Flags (SI 2012 2372) (PDF Document, 54.03 Kb)

Circular 03-2007 : town and country planning (control of advertisement) regulations 2007 (PDF Document, 460.63 Kb)

The Local Planning Authority is responsible for the day to day operation of the advertisement control system. It also has the responsibility for deciding whether a particular advertisement gains consent or not.

The advertisement regulations is similar to the planning system in that you complete application forms, supply these with a fee and detailed plans showing the proposal to the Local Planning Authority. The Local Planning Authority then considers these proposals, carries out the necessary consultations and determines the application (including the issuing of a decision notice). There is also an appeal service for applicants who are unhappy with the decision issued by the Local Planning Authority.

The Council recognises the value of informing and directing the public through the use of Advertisement signage. However, it also recognises that signs both individually and cumulatively can cause visual harm to the area and overly distract drivers. In considering applications for advertisement consent the Council will take into account the likely impact of the sign on visual amenity and on road safety. The nature of material advertised is not a planning matter.

The Council wishes to encourage the use of high quality materials and design in shop fascias and advertising throughout the Borough. A shop fascia is an important element of the shop frontage and should be considered as an integral part of the design of the premises itself.

What is an advertisement?

The Advertisement control system covers a wide range of advertisements and signs, all of which communicate information or a message to passers-by. The most common forms of advertisement are:

  • posters and notices,
  • placards and boards,
  • fascia signs and projecting signs,
  • pole signs and canopy signs,
  • models and devices,
  • advance signs and directional signs,
  • estate agent boards,
  • menu boards at restaurants and cafes,
  • captive balloon advertisements (not balloons in flight),
  • flag advertisements,
  • price markers and price displays,
  • traffic signs,
  • town and village name-signs and
  • notices announcing the visit of a travelling fair.

Advertisements may be permanent or temporary and depending on how long the advert is to be displayed for may affect whether or not the advert requires advertisement consent.

When do I need advertisement consent?

The regulations for the display of advertisements are complex. If the land on which you wish to erect an advertisement is located within in an Area of Special Control of advertisements then you would be required to submit a full planning application for your proposal. There are parts of the Borough which are designated as an Area of Special Control.

If you are contemplating displaying or erecting a sign, it is best to check with us first. We will be able to advise you on what (if any) permission you will require to display an advert. This can be done by completing a one stop shop enquiry form and returning it to the planning section.

For further details on the need for advertisement consent (and other pre-application advice) please go to the Do I need planning permission (Pre-application advice) page of the website.

Advertisements are essentially defined as being one of three types.

  1. Advertisements which are deliberately excluded from the planning authority's control,
  2. Advertisements which benefit from deemed consent and
  3. Advertisements which always require consent from the local planning authority.

You will only need permission for advertisements which fall into category 3 (unless they are located in an Area of Special Control).

Central Government have produced useful guidance to supplement the 2007 Regulations which can be downloaded below

Outdoor Advertisements and Signs : A Guide for Advertisers (PDF Document, 1.04 Mb)

How do I apply for advertisement consent?

There are essentially three ways you can apply for advertisement consent.

You can apply online using the Planning Portal. This enables you to submit your application electronically.

You can also download a copy of the application form and guidance notes below. These documents relate to an application for Advertisement Consent only. If you require another form of permission as well, please go to the how to submit a Planning (or associated) Application web page.

Application form 12

Notes for guidance

Checklist for Application Form 12 (PDF Document, 28.23 Kb)

Further information on the Council’s validation document can also be found on the how to submit a Planning (or associated) Application web page.

Alternatively a paper copy of the forms can be collected from the Council Offices or sent out to you on request.

Conditions on the display of an advertisement

The Regulations specify five standard conditions which all outdoor advertisements must comply with. These are as follows:

  1. be maintained in a clean and tidy condition,
  2. be maintained in a safe condition,
  3. be removed carefully where so required by the planning authority,
  4. have the permission of the owner of the site or any other person with an interest in the site on which they are displayed (including the Local Highway Authority where appropriate) and
  5. not obscure, or hinder the ready interpretation of official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs, or otherwise make hazardous the use of these types of transport.

Display of unauthorised advertisements

The display of an unauthorised advertisement is an offence and can be subject to prosecution in the Courts where substantial fines can be imposed.

It is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to display an advertisement first checks with the Local Planning Authority and, when required, obtains the relevant permission first.

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