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Advertising and displays

We do not allow the placing of advertisement or sign boards (also known as ‘A’ boards) on the public highway. This includes placing them on top of cellar lights or private manhole covers and tying them to the front of the property, bollards and street furniture.

Menu boards are also not permitted, even if the restaurant or public house has a tables and chairs licence.

Shops may apply to the council for permission to have a display of goods on the highway.

We welcome displays in public areas but the materials used and the messages must be appropriate to a city of learning, culture, tourism and enterprise. We prefer displays to be attached to or supported by buildings next to the highway rather than on road or pavement furniture.

Application to place a banner, Christmas tree or festive lights on the highway (pdf 25KB)

Policy for the erection of festive decorations, banners and flower baskets on the highway, highway furniture or highway equipment:

  • Details of all advertising and locations must be validated by the council to ensure that only appropriate material is being displayed
  • Technical and structural details of all proposals must be approved by the Head of Highways and Parking Services by written agreement before the fixtures are put up
  • Displays will be licensed for a specified period. The agreement will need to be renewed annually for festive displays
  • All work will be the responsibility of the body promoting the display, which must show that it has public liability insurance to indemnify the council with a minimum of £5 million cover for any one incident or as specified in the agreement
  • The features will be removed immediately pon request by the council or will be removed by Medway Council's Highway Services at the promoter's expense if there is concern about safety or security
  • The erection of displays or banners above the carriageway (crossing the road) will only be permitted in pedestrian-dominated streets
  • Banners or displays attached to pedestrian railings will need special consideration
  • No spans are to be fixed to lighting columns unless the columns have been specifically designed to carry the load or it is shown by calculation that the columns can carry the additional load and:

    - the minimum height above vehicular access is 16 feet 5 inches (5m)

    - the minimum height above non vehicular access is 8 feet 2 inches(2.5m)
  • Displays must not be fitted unless the site, structure or column has been approved by a qualified engineer (this includes mounting bolts on the face of buildings)
  • Any attachments must not hinder the normal maintenance of any highway fixture
  • All fixings used to secure the attachments to council equipment must be free from corrosion and must be removed at the end of the agreement period. Any damage to council equipment must be made good at the promoter's expense and immediately after the removal of the apparatus
  • Drilling into council equipment is not permitted unless all alternatives have been investigated. The express permission of the Head of Highway and Parking Services is required. The promoter will be responsible for the full cost of repairing or replacing any damaged highway equipment
  • All text on displays and banners must be of a sufficient size and clarity to ensure drivers can focus on the task of driving rather than trying to read the advertising
  • Only banners/displays for organisations that are working in partnership with Medway Council, or are sponsored by a Council department, will be permitted to be erected

All displays must be erected in compliance with the following codes of practice and statutory regulations:

Displays or banners may require planning permission, advertising consent or advertising consent (where the display or banner will be attached to a listed building) in addition to a licence.. It is the responsibility of the body promoting the display or banner to make sure it has all necessary consents before putting up the banner or display.

Where the necessary consents have not been obtained before the erection of a banner or display, the council, as the planning authority, may enforce its removal at the expense of the body promoting it. The carrying out of unauthorised work to a listed building and the display of unauthorised advertisements are criminal offences and failure to obtain the relevant consent before undertaking work may result in prosecution.

Applications need to include:

  • an agreed set of inspection and emergency procedures
  • if appropriate, evidence to show that the local electricity company has issued a certificate of unmetered supplies
  • proof that the qualified engineer has adequate professional indemnity

If electrical work is needed:

  • the council must approve the contractor appointed to carry out any electrical connections to highway equipment
  • each electrical installation must be tested and the electrical test certificates and test results passed to the council on the day following installation and before the display is switched on
  • a qualified electrician must certify the electrical installation
  • no installation will be permitted where it may be in conflict with any adjacent traffic signal system
  • the installer must provide evidence of continuing maintenance procedures to ensure the safety of the display