Guidelines for Advertising Signs

Illegal Advertising Signs

In recent times Sligo County Council has noted the increase in advance advertising on the outskirts of Sligo’s towns and villages and while advertising is an accepted part of business it can often detract form the appearance of an area or building and may have road safety implications. It is the policy of Sligo County Council to strictly control all advertising signs under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 & 2003.

Legal Requirements for Permanent Advertising Signs

Permanent advertising signs on public roads require a licence under section 254 of the Planning Act 2000. This includes finger post signs, advertisement structures, and hoardings. The cost of finger post sign licence is €50 (with an fee of €25 per sign per annum thereafter). The application fee for other signs types is €634.

Advertising structures on private lands generally require planning permission, irrespective of whether it is visible from a public place or not. The advice of a planner should be sought prior to erecting any type of advertising structure. The cost of applying for planning permission for advertising structures on private land is €80 or €20 per square meter (or part thereof of advertising space to be provided, whichever is the greater).

Finally, Section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act, 1997 prohibits the erection of articles and advertisements on certain structures, which are visible from a public place, unless the permission of the owner or occupier is given in advance and in writing or exempted under any other enactment. Structures for the purposes of this legislation include any land, door, gate, window, tree, pole or post.

Temporary Advertising Signs not Requiring Licences

The Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 exempts certain types of temporary advertisements as long as they:

  • Do not exceed 1.2 square meters in area
  • Are erected no more then 2.5 meters from the ground and are not glued or pasted to any structure and
  • Are removed within 7 days of the event taking place.

Exemptions pertain to advertisements relating to any local event of a religious, cultural, educational, political, social, recreational or sporting character not promoted or carried out for commercial purposes.

On-the-Spot Fines

(€150.00) are issued where temporary signage is erected without the prior consent of the landowner and where the event being advertised is for commercial purposes. The exception to this is the advertising of a Circus or Funfair, (exempted under Class 17 of the Planning & Development Regulations 2001). In certain cases, the promoter of a commercial event may write to the Director or Services asking for permission to promote a certain event.

If it is an exempted advertisement, but if the specific conditions regarding exemptions are not adhered to then a fine is issued - i.e. if the advertisement is not taken down within 7 days of the event taking place.

Finally, the Protection of the Environment Act 2003 requires that an article or advertisement carries the name and address of the person who is promoting or arranging the event or in any other case carries the name and address of the person on whose behalf it is exhibited.