Outdoor Advertisements


For outdoor advertisements that require express advertisement consent from the Local Planning Authority, two key assessment criteria are relevant; amenity and highway safety. Amenity can have a very broad meaning, but generally tends to involve the impacts of the signs on neighbours' residential amenities (generally meaning their quality of life) and on visual amenities (which generally equates to its visual and aesthetic impact on the character and appearance of the area). Highway safety normally involves primarily how distracting a sign is to the safe use of highways in the area by different modes of transport, or the extent to which it obscures views needed for the safe movement of traffic.

Below is a brief guide to the most common types of adverts that are sought, their benefits and common planning issues with them. After reading and considering your development options, why not give us a call? We would be delighted to discuss your proposal for free, possible issues and ways to get the advertisements you are seeking (click HERE for more information on this).


Fascia signs and projecting signs

This is the most common type of advertisement sought. For anyone using a business premises where customers can visit, making the right first impression can be crucial. It is also important for drawing potential customers to your premises by grabbing their attention and interest. So eye-catching, professional looking and attractive signs are a key part of any successful publicly accessible business premises. 


The general principle here is that the high quality the area is in terms of character and appearance, the higher quality the signs need to be. This can be a problem if the proposal site is part of a historic shopping parade, as these often have heritage designations (such as Listed Buildings and/or Conservation Areas). Fortunately, our experience with such schemes can help obtain permission in such sensitive locations.


Placards, Poster Boards and Bill Boards


For maximum visual impact, nothing can compare with a large poster or bill board. This will certainly grab the attention of potential customers. Unfortunately, it will also grab the attention of the Local Planning Authority. Such signs can be deemed to be visually cluttering the streetscene, and can be deemed as too distracting to drivers. Given this, the suitability of sites for these types of adverts is relatively limited. Notwithstanding this, in particular areas where they do not detract from the streetscene, and where they can be suitably positioned and illuminated, consent can be obtained for these types of advertisements.


Free Standing Signs and Totems


Free Standing Signs typically consist of a single side of advertisement space, with two poles supporting the sign so that it is at an appropriate level for viewing. Where there is space for these types of signs, they can be used to give a suitable "welcome" to customers, draw attention to a premises that may not be visible to the public, and offer a directional benefit. Where they are suitably sized, positioned and illuminated, these types of signs can be appropriate in most locations.

Totems can be an excellent way of raising awareness of your brand, especially in busy pedestrian areas with high footfall. They come in many shapes and sizes, the most typical being two-sided (such as the free-standing tourist maps often seen in town and city centres) or cylinder shaped, with several different posters around its circumference. They can be made of high quality contemporary materials, and thus contribute to the townscape of an area, but also can contribute to visual clutter, so are not necessarily appropriate in areas with a large amount of existing street furniture.


Banners, Flags and Captive Balloons

These more esoteric forms of advertising are worth considering, for nothing else their novelty value is bound to catch people's eyes. It is difficult to generalise on where advertisement consent is likely to be granted, as they are so unusual, and the Local Planning Authority will consider them on a case by case basis (as is true of all planning applications). If these, or other unusual types of signs are of interest to you, please contact us and we will happily discuss the likely planning merits issues regarding them.

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