Q&As

Under what power (via Highways Act 1980 or other legislation or means) can the local authority, who is also the highway authority, issue a licence/lease for a company to erect billboard size advertising on highway land, ie a roundabout?

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Published on LexisPSL on 26/03/2021

The following Planning Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Under what power (via Highways Act 1980 or other legislation or means) can the local authority, who is also the highway authority, issue a licence/lease for a company to erect billboard size advertising on highway land, ie a roundabout?
  • Consultation
  • Highways Act Powers

Under what power (via Highways Act 1980 or other legislation or means) can the local authority, who is also the highway authority, issue a licence/lease for a company to erect billboard size advertising on highway land, ie a roundabout?

The advertisement control system in England consists of rules made by the Secretary of State, as part of the planning control system.

Custom and practice has changed in the UK over the last 20 years or so and advertisers increasingly favour outdoor advertising, but this is subject to property law and planning controls. For further details, see Practice Note: Outdoor advertisements and signs—guidance for advertisers.

The present law is contained in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, SI 2007/783, which have been in force since 6 April 2007.

Guidance is also available in the National Planning Practice Guidance published on 6 March 2014 and last updated on 22 July 2019.

Advertisements are controlled with reference to their effect on amenity and public safety only and the regime is less onerous than the system for obtaining planning permission for development.

For planning purposes, ‘advertisement’ is defined in section 336(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) (as amended) as:

‘…any word, letter, model, sign, placard, board, notice, awning, blind, device or representation, whether illuminated or not, in the nature of, and employed wholly or partly

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