Advertisements and signs

The council decides whether particular outdoor advertisements or signs can be displayed in the Vale.

The advertisement control system is designed to ensure outdoor advertisements and signs do not harm the attractive environment of the Vale or cause highway safety problems. It's based on rules in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007. Government advice on the display of advertisements is also in Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) Note 19 Outdoor Advertisement Control (see downloads section of this page).

A Government booklet 'Outdoor Advertisements and Signs, A Guide for Advertisers' explains how the advertisement control system works (see downloads section of this page). It covers:

  • How the advertisement control system works
  • What advertisements are normally permitted
  • What advertisements need specific consent and how to obtain it.

In summary, the council deals with two main types of outdoor advertising:

  • Advertisements for which deemed consent exists, meaning that we do not need to grant consent for them so long as the advertisements conform to the regulations
  • Advertisements for which consent from the council is always needed.

An advertisement includes posters, notices, placards, A-boards, estate agents boards, banners, fascia signs, projecting signs, pole signs, canopy signs, directional signs, price displays, signage on vehicles and captive balloons, and flags.

You are advised to consult the Guide for Advertisers booklet to see if your proposal needs consent. If you're not sure whether you need the council's express consent please contact Planning for advice (see the contacts section of this page).

Some signs can be displayed, subject to caveats, without the need for express advertisement consent from the council. These include:

  • Signs on enclosed land which are not readily visible from any public place
  • Signs on moving vehicles which are not used principally for the purpose of displaying signs
  • Temporary signs relating to pending elections
  • Non-illuminated signs inside a building and not within 1 metre of any external door or window
  • Traffic signs
  • National flags of any country displayed on a vertical flagstaff
  • A flag attached to a single flagstaff projecting vertically from the roof of a building
  • Temporary 'For Sale' and building development signs located on the land or building in question
  • Signs on hoardings which enclose land on which building operations are taking place or are about to take place
  • Small non-illuminated signs and plaques at ground floor level on business and institutional premises
  • Non-illuminated signs at ground floor level on business premises
  • Non-illuminated signs on the forecourt of business premises
  • Illuminated signs on business premises within a retail park facing a communal car park wholly bounded by the retail park
  • Illuminated signs on business premises when each character of the sign but no part of the background is illuminated from within
  • Non-illuminated signs on bus shelters
  • Small non-illuminated neighbourhood watch signs
  • Small non-illuminated signs giving direction to a site where residential development is taking place.

Express advertisement consent is required from the council for many of the above types of signs if the site lies within a Conservation Area or the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In addition listed building consent will be required to display any signage on a listed building. Carrying out alterations to a listed building, including displaying advertisements without the necessary consent, is a criminal offence.

You are strongly advised to contact Planning if you are in any doubt about whether the sign you propose to display requires express advertisement consent or listed building consent.

If the council refuses consent for your advertisement, or asks you to remove an existing advertisement, you can appeal against the decision. Details of how to do this are given in the Guide for Advertisers.

Last reviewed: 30 - 06 - 2016

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