An advertisement is defined 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”. This encompasses a wide range of possibilities including posters, fascia signs, projecting signs, pole signs, canopy signs, directional signs, estate agents boards, captive balloon advertisements, flag advertisements, price displays, traffic signs and place name signs.

Under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, permission is required to display most advertisements and signs. However, there are many exceptions and the regulations can be quite complicated. Some advertisements are outside the scope of the regulations whilst others may benefit from deemed consent under the regulations or may require express advertisement consent from the local planning authority. In addition, local planning authorities can designate areas as being of special control where the rights to display advertisements without express consent are greatly reduced.

It is a criminal offence to display an advertisement otherwise than in accordance with the regulations which could lead to a prosecution with a maximum fine of £2,500 in the Magistrates’ Court. In addition, the offence is of a continuing nature meaning that further prosecutions can follow with fines being imposed on a daily basis. A prosecution can be brought against the owner or occupier of the land or the person who benefits from the publicity generated.

If you have an advertisement in mind, we can advise whether and how the regulations might affect your proposal including making any necessary applications. If you have been refused consent for your advertisement, we can offer advice and assistance on the appeals process. We can also assist if you are prosecuted for the unauthorised display of an advertisement.

Please call us on 01252 617119 to find out how we can assist you.