New guidance on advertising signs

Published Date: 

6 Oct 2017 - 13:54

Businesses are being reminded to check whether they need permission to put up advertising signs.

Argyll and Bute Council has produced a new set of guidelines to give clear advice to local firms and residents.

People planning to install new or replacement signage are being urged to check with the Council before going ahead.

Policy Lead for Planning, Housing and Regulatory Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “Signage, whether it’s on a building or a sandwich board on the street, comes under the control of the Council.

“While some types of signage may not need permission, in many cases businesses will need to apply for planning consent or pavement licences before going ahead.

“That’s why we have produced this guidance – it’s clear, straightforward advice on the circumstances in which permission is needed, and what’s required when making an application.

“It’s designed to be an easy-to-use tool that will help businesses get it right from the start, benefiting both them and members of the public.

“We want to make sure outdoor advertising is of high quality, well suited to the building or street and makes a positive contribution to the appearance and character of an area.

“Our new policy aims to ensure advertising is appropriate, in the right location and has a positive, not detrimental, impact on the area and make sure everyone is aware of what is permitted.”

The Advertisement and Signage Policy Technical Working Note is available to view at

As well as producing the new guidelines, Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning team will be working with business communities, community councils and organisations such as disability and access forums to raise awareness of the regulations on displaying advertisements and signs and why they are needed.

Some concerns have been raised about a growing number of A boards in town centres and whether these impact on safety, accessibility of town centres, and look of the centres, particularly where there are duplicate and unnecessary signs.

The Council wants to work with those advertisers to ensure they are aware of the regulations and how to comply.

Councillor Kinniburgh added: “The Council can take enforcement action but this would be a last resort in cases where signs have a detrimental impact on road safety or pedestrian access, or have a significant adverse impact on the character or appearance of an area.

“I would urge businesses to check our updated guidelines to keep themselves on the right side of the regulations. If in doubt you can get specific advice from the Council’s pre-planning application service.” This can be found at