Site signboards

Issue date January 2017


For Oxfordshire County Council projects over £200,000 site sign boards are required.

For those projects considered to be prestigious or high profile the Service Provider (SP) should liaise with the Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Landlord (OCCCL) to see whether early installation of signage is required in advance of starting on site. In this instance it will be necessary to separately procure, supply and erect signage and also to obtain the necessary planning consent. In respect of capital projects signage should not be erected until Detailed Project Approval stage.

For the majority of project work the specification or bill of quantities should include supply and erection of the site signboard. The proposed design and wording should be included in the tender documentation to enable fabrication immediately following the Pre-start meeting.

SP should ensure that the signboard is provided by the principal contractor at the earliest possible stage in the contract.

Temporary site signboards will normally be constructed using timber and plywood. Permanent signing of buildings is to be produced and in accordance with OCCBrandGuidelines20November2015.pdf

Example within 10m of highway
Based upon a maximum area of 3.6m²
(calculated by 2m² plus 0.4m² for each firm or individual - 4 x 0.4m²)

Example within 10m of highway
Based upon a maximum area of 4.8m²
(calculated by 2m² plus 0.4m² for each firm or individual - 7 x 0.4m²)

Example 10m from highway
Based upon a maximum area of 7.2m²
(calculated by 3m² plus 0.6m² for each firm or individual - 7 x 0.6m²)

Issues concerning consent of temporary signs

It is normal practice for site signboards to be erected using 'deemed consent'. However if the signboard is to be erected prior to the ‘start on site’ the following must be taken into account:

Classes of advertisement benefiting from deemed consent

The rules enable certain 'specified classes' of advertisement to be displayed without application being made to the planning authority. If you are in any doubt whether your advertisement benefits from deemed consent, you are advised to consult the with the district or city council planning department as they are the authority for advertising consent.

Class 1: 'functional advertisements' by public

Class 3(C) permits firms or individuals who are carrying out building, engineering or construction work to advertise the fact at the site. One firm or individual may display their own advertisement board, provided it does not exceed 2 square metres; but if all those engaged on the contract rely on a single advertisement board, it can have a total area of 2 square metres, plus a further 0.4 of a square metre for each additional firm or person mentioned on the board.

Additionally, if the development project is known by a particular name, the size of the advertisement board may be increased to enable the name to be displayed. When this type of advertisement board is more than 10 metres away from a highway, it can have a total area of 3 square metres, plus a further 0.6 of a square metre for each additional firm or person mentioned on it. If the board is already being displayed, so that it is impracticable or inconvenient to add another name to it, any other firm, contractor or individual working at the site may display their own separate board for up to three months, provided that it is no larger than 0.5 of a square metre on each road frontage to the site of the project. Class 3(C) permits his type of advertisement board only during the time when the building, engineering or construction works are actually taking place on site.

Class 8: advertisements on hoardings around temporary construction sites

Class 8 permits the display, for three years only, of poster-hoardings which are being used to screen building or construction sites while the work is being carried out on site. The purpose of this consent is to bring about some environmental benefit on building sites, by enabling screening (and perhaps also temporary landscaping) of the site to take place, thus providing the advertisers with some financial incentive for this purpose. But the benefit of Class 8 is not available in any National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Area, the Broads, or Area of Special Control of Advertisements. Outside those designated and defined areas, this consent is limited to land being developed for commercial, industrial or business use, and is not available for any residential development. Advertisements permitted by Class 8 must not:

  • be displayed more than three months before the date on which the building or construction works actually start;
  • be more than 38 square metres in area
  • be more than 4.6 metres above ground level
  • be displayed for more than three years.

Additionally, the advertiser must send written notification to the planning authority of his intention to display such an advertisement at least 14 days before the display starts, and provide a copy of the detailed planning permission for the site. These advertisements may be illuminated in a manner reasonably required to fulfil the purpose of the advertisement.

The above gives us the ability to erect signboards for projects in the construction phase and is covered as a standard requirement on all capital projects but it also suggests that planning consent would be required for signs displaying an intent to carry out works at a future date. Consequently this could have significant cost in terms of design work, paperwork, fees, planning officer time, members time etc. It is suggested that such signage is limited to cover the construction phase only unless there are exceptional circumstances which warrant otherwise.