Opening your own shop is always an exciting step. You’ve laid the groundwork, found the perfect premises to set up and prepared your interior and stock. The next task is to put up your shop sign and you’re ready to go. But one question people often ask is whether they need planning permission for a shop sign.
Why is a shop sign important?
Not only does signage show people how to find the shop and see what you sell, it is also an important part of your branding. A shop sign says a lot about what people can expect from your business, so always ensure it’s clear, attractive and fresh.
Do I need planning permission for my shop sign?
In a word, yes. Not many people are aware that when they install shop signage on their building that they need planning permission. This is a legal requirement and crucial for safety purposes. However, any shop signs smaller than 0.3 metres squared do not require permission.
Planning permission is also needed when installing light boxes and illuminated signage, regardless of the size.
How do I gain planning permission?
Your local planning authority, normally a borough, district or city council, will consider your location and the type of signage and its local planning office or website is the place to call with any questions or concerns.
It always helps to be compliant and reasonable. On the whole, local authorities want to work with you to support your business and boost the local economy. What they will check for is that your signs are safe and that the design is clear and professional - something that everyone should strive for when creating a sign.
What do I need to consider with regards to planning permission?
There are a few standard conditions that are explored, all of which shouldn’t be too difficult to adhere to. These are set out by The Department for Communities and Local Government and state that signage should be clean, tidy and in a safe condition. It should be able to be removed easily and safely if requested by the authorities. You will need permission from the owner of your property / site where the shop is situated. Finally, shop signs should not, under any circumstances, hinder or obscure the visibility of public signs.
What will happen if I don’t get planning permission?
If you do install a shop sign without planning permission, at best you will ask for it to be taken down, and at worst, you could face heavy fines and legal action. Therefore it makes sense to apply for planning permission before you install the shop sign. This ensures that you not only have the correct permissions in place, but also helps to avoid any unnecessary costs should you not be able to go ahead with your preferred sign.
Signage providers such as FASTSIGNS can work with you to create a good quality sign. If you would like to find out more, view our shop signs here and get in touch if you have any questions.