Displaying an advertisement often requires “advertisement consent”. The rules about which ones do and do not require consent can be found in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. The provisions are quite complicated, but basically adverts which do not relate to the premises on which they are displayed or which are illuminated are more likely to require consent. The government’s leaflet, “Outdoor advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers” explains the rules in more detail.
If an advertisement requires consent, the procedures for obtaining this are similar to those for making a planning application, but the advertisement consent regime is different from the standard planning permission one in some respects. A different application form is required. An application can only be refused on grounds of amenity or public safety. An advertisement application can be for a specific advertisement or for the use of a site for advertising – this latter provision allows the erection of hoardings where the advertisement displayed is changed regularly. If consent is granted for an advertisement, it is normally given what is called “express consent” for a period of 5 years and after that it has what is called “deemed consent”. When the express consent period has expired, the planning authority can serve what is called a “discontinuance notice” on the advertisement requiring its removal in the interests of amenity or safety. If a discontinuance notice is served, there is a right of appeal against it.