The presence of advertisements in the form of A-boards, including other similar forms of advertisements e.g. board sleeves, banner flags and mannequins can -

  • cause an obstruction of the highway
  • pose a hazard to pedestrians
  • damage street furniture
  • block or restrict access and passage for maintenance of the street scene

For this reason we encourage displays and signage that are displayed lawfully and with the consent of the Council if displayed on the highway, while also ensuring when displayed these enhance neighbourhoods.

It is also important to ensure that pedestrians and highway users can easily navigate around the City and advertisements don’t pose unnecessary trip hazards or obstruct customers and visitors, in particular -

  • the visually impaired
  • wheelchair-users
  • the less mobile
  • those with prams, buggies or mobility scooters

Action against unlawful A-boards

We will respond to any information provided in confidence and will investigate reports and contact those responsible for any unlawful advertisements. If any fail to be removed following an initial warning having been issued, these may be removed. 

Enforcement action will be taken against any business who benefits through the publicity of goods, trade, or other concerns in one or more of the following forms:

  • removal and seizure of any advertisements – subject to the payment of charges for the removal, storage and if unclaimed disposal 
  • decision to serve a fixed penalty 
  • prosecution 

Removal of advertisements 

If any A-board is deemed to be causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway, or we are unable to establish the person who displayed, or who is benefiting from any advertisement this will be immediately removed without notice and destroyed. 


You should always take steps to minimise the risk of enforcement action by contacting our Major Projects Team and Planning Department, to check whether you need permission before displaying any advertisement relating to your business and if consent would be given to allow you to place your advertisement on the highway, public land or open spaces. 

Until you have contacted us you must ensure advertisements, whether your advertisement is an A-boards, banner or other forms of advertisements these are not displayed on any highway, public land or open spaces.  

Charities and community events 

If you are holding a community event or for charitable purposes, consent may be granted to display advertisements and temporary notices.

If you wish to enquire whether consent is required and permission would be granted, you can do so by contacting our Planning Department and Major Projects Team. 

If consent is obtained, you must obtain confirmation in writing for the advertisements to be displayed on the highway, public land or open spaces.  

Find out more information about planning applications

Report A-boards 

If you wish to report any advertisements in the form of A-boards you think are being unlawfully displayed, please contact us by calling 01482 300 300.