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Adverts and signs

Find out about the advertisement control system including control of estate agents’ boards.

Published: 29 December 2020

Last updated: 19 November 2021

The advertisement control system covers a wide range of adverts and signs including shop signs and estate agents’ boards, and adverts on hoardings and flags. 

You will need advertisement consent for most kinds of outdoor advertising. This includes Illuminated advertisement signs such as fascia signs, projecting signs and advertisement hoardings.

However, certain types of signs do not need our permission as they have what is known as ‘deemed consent’. For further information, see the planning portal and read national planning practice guidance on advertisements

If the building is listed, listed building consent will also be required for the proposed advertisement (whether illuminated or not). 

A canopy to a shopfront with no advertisements requires planning permission.

How to apply

You can find out how to apply for advertisement consent and read the checklist of documents you need to submit here.  

In assessing advertisement applications, we will consider amenity and public safety, We will look at factors such as design, size, materials, illumination, the relationship of the advert to the existing building and the impact on the street scene.

The following supplementary planning guidance note has been produced to assist property owners considering displaying advertisements

Document
Shopfronts, blinds and signs
Shopfronts, blinds and signs PDF, 990.42 KB, 17 pages

Estate agent boards

Certain parts of Westminster are covered by a Regulation 7 Direction, which controls the display of estate agent boards.  This removes deemed consent  which means anyone who wants to display such boards in these areas must apply for Advertisement Consent. 

The leaflet and map below gives more information and shows those parts of Westminster affected by this Direction: : 

View a map of Regulation 7 areas.