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Advertisement consent

The advertisement control system covers a very wide range of advertisements and signs, details of which can be found on this page.

Advertisements can be an important part of the local scene, particularly in commercial areas. Well-designed advertisements can add brightness and bustle to commercial areas. However, cluttered, poorly designed, over-sized or brightly lit advertisements can have an adverse effect on the environment.

The standard conditions in the regulations for all advertisements requires them to be kept clean and tidy and in a safe condition. They must have the permission of the site owner including the council on highway land. They must not block the view of road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs and they must not be so permanent that they cannot be removed if required.

Consent for adverts

Although many signs can be displayed without express consent, we have powers to control the most prominent outdoor advertisement under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. Consent will be required unless the advert is allowed for in the Advert Regulations.

For the purposes of advertisement control, the definition of an advert is wider than what may normally be expected and includes:

  • posters and notices
  • placards and boards
  • fascia signs and projecting signs
  • models and devices
  • advance signs and directional signs
  • estate agents' boards
  • captive balloon advertising (not balloons in flight)
  • flag advertisements
  • price markers and price displays
  • traffic signs town and village name signs.

What we must do

Our responsibilities are set out in the Advert Regulations 2007.

What happens next

Once an application has been received, we will aim to determine an advertisement consent application within eight weeks.

Your right to appeal

If we refuse to grant advertisement consent, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Portal has more details on how to appeal on the decision notice.


You can work out your fees on the Planning Portal: fee calculator.

How do I obtain advertisement consent?

To obtain consent you need to apply to the planning authority for the area where the advert or sign is to be displayed.

You can obtain application forms from council offices or on the website. You will need to pay a fee and submit copies of application forms, scaled plans and other relevant documents. A full list of documents required is provided on the validation checklist that comes with the application form.

For more details, please contact us.

Contact us
03000 262 830
Our address is:
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL