ADVERTISEMENTS REQUIRING EXPRESS CONSENT
Applying for Consent:
You can normally obtain a standard application form from the planning authority and it is always a good idea to discuss your proposal before you make your application, in case there are particular matters which you need to take into account. For a checklist of requirements go to Advertisement Checklist.
It will be necessary to submit illustrative drawings and other details about the type and appearance of the advert you are seeking permission for. This should include details of size and design, any illumination proposed and colours to be used.
Your application should be accompanied by the appropriate planning fee.
Consideration of the Application:
The planning authority may only assess your application having regard to two issues, interests of amenity and interests of public safety.
(Advice on these terms is
given in Circular 03/2007 PPG.19. See Circulars & PPG’s)
These terms are open to interpretation, depending upon differing circumstances. 'Amenity' is usually considered in relation to visual amenity; i.e. the visual effect of the proposal on the local environment. A large sign permissible in one area may be refused or size limited in a more sensitive area.
Clearly, high amenity areas such as Conservation Areas will attract a much higher degree of attention to signage than elsewhere. That is why you see major high-street retailers and restaurant chains, adopting lower profile or semi-vernacular signage in some areas, in order to blend in better with the local environment.
In all cases the content of the advertisement is not an issue for the planning authority. Offences to public decency are not planning matters.
The Advertising Standards Authority operates a voluntary Code of Conduct for matters of content.
'Public Safety' considerations do not include any consideration of content. The issue for the planning authority in this case is whether the positioning, size etc of the advert is such that it could prejudice the safe operation of any form of transport or traffic (including pedestrians) on land, water or in the air.
A poorly located hoarding could limit sight lines for traffic, or the advert could be in a position that is distracting or confusing. The planning authority will normally consult the Highways Department and other relevant bodies where road safety is likely to be an issue.
If permission is granted the consent lasts for 5 years. A longer or shorter period may be granted depending upon the circumstances.
The advert may remain in position after that period unless the decision notice formally requires its removal.
The authority may seek to take 'discontinuance action' if conditions in the consent notice are breached.
Refusal of Advertisement Consent
If the Council refuse consent, fail to give a decision within 8 weeks (or such longer period as may be agreed), or apply a condition on a grant of consent which you consider unacceptable, you may appeal to the Secretary of State.
An appeal must be lodged within 8 weeks of the date on which you received notification of the planning authority’s decision.
Appeal forms are obtainable from:
The appeals procedure is outlined at APPEALS.
Anyone who displays an advertisement, or uses an advertisement site, or knowingly permits someone else to do so, without the consent required for it is acting illegally. It is then immediately open to the planning authority to bring a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court for an offence under section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. But, unless an offence is especially flagrant or repeated, the planning authority may not initially consider it necessary to prosecute for an advertisement offence.
Instead, they may invite the advertiser to apply for the consent they believe he needs, and, if consent is refused, there will be a right of appeal to the Secretary of State. The continued display of any advertisement after consent has been refused, and any appeal dismissed, may well result in prosecution. The maximum fine on conviction of an offence is presently £2,500, with an additional daily fine of one-tenth of the maximum penalty on conviction of a continuing offence.
It is illegal to display any advertisement (even if it has deemed consent) without first obtaining the permission of the owner of the site, or any other person who is entitled to grant permission.
Any form of fly-posting (that
is, displaying an advertisement without consent) is an offence which is
immediately open to prosecution, or to the removal or obliteration of any
fly-posting material if the district council or