Advertising board licence

You need a licence if you want to place an advertising board (or A-board) on the public highway.

If you want to place an advertising board (or A-board) on the public highway in Hammersmith & Fulham outside your business you must apply to us for an advertising board licence. You may also require planning permission.

Advertising board licences are valid for 12 months.

If you need any advice please contact or 020 8753 4807 or 020 8753 3447.

If you want to place an advertising board on the public highway you must ask the planning team whether advertising consent is required before applying for a licence. You can find information about applying for planning permission in the planning section of our website. An application for advertising consent can be made via the planning portal website.

To apply for advertising consent there is a fee of £132. Consent lasts for five years after which it must be renewed if the advertising board is still required.

If advertising consent is required, please allow approximately eight weeks for the application process which will include a one-month consultation period.

You will be given a planning reference number which is required with your highways advertising board licence application.

If the planning team confirms you do not need advertising consent, you will need to obtain written confirmation of this and enclose it with your highways advertising board permit application.

How much does it cost?

The annual fee for placing an advertising board on the public footway is £220.

Licence fees are paid for at the time of application by debit or credit card.

In order to expedite the application process, we encourage applicants to submit the application for the licence immediately after the application for advertising consent, but if advertising consent is not granted, the fee for the highway licence will be refunded.

Apply online via My Account

Apply for an A-board licence

Application for A-board licences is via My Account where you must sign in (or create an account if you do not already have one) to then proceed to apply. 

What do I need to include with my A-board licence application?

  • Full details of the applicant including contact details (preferably business details)
  • A plan clearly showing the exact location for the A-board, including a scale drawing indicating the dimensions of any tables and chairs, width of pavement and proximity to the kerb
  • Design of the proposed A-board, including dimensions and materials.  Manufacturer’s brochures and photographs will be sufficient in most cases
  • Payment for licence fee (this will be part of the online application process).
  • Evidence of relevant public liability insurance to a minimum value of £5 million
  • Planning reference number for advertising consent (or written confirmation from the planning team that the A-board does not require advertising consent)

To be granted advertising consent and a highway licence, you’ll need to meet certain conditions. These can be found in the conditions of use and terms and conditions below.

If you don’t follow the conditions of your highway licence, you could face a fine, having your licence revoked and your A-board removed.

Renewing your licence

If your A-board licence is about to expire or has expired, it is your responsibility to apply to renew it as the renewal of a licence is not automatic.

A-board licences must be renewed from the expiry date of any previous permit for the same location. This permit is valid for 12 months, but it cannot be varied or suspended during this period.

Any renewal period will be back-dated to start from the expiry date of the previous licence, to ensure that your advertising board continues to be authorised to your permitted area of the public highway.

If you need any advice please contact or 020 8753 4807 or 020 8753 3447.

Display your advertising board permit

You must display the licence reference so that is can be easily viewed by a council inspector from the public highway. If you don’t, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice (fine).

Your licence will be issued as an email with your business name, the location of where the advertising board should be located, licence number and validity dates. If you have not received this before you want to place your advertising board on the highway, contact a member of the licencing team on the numbers provided above.

You must not place anything on our highway until you have received your licence.

Conditions of use

The licensee is entirely responsible for the advertising board for the duration of the time they are on the highway, including delivery and collection. The licensee must adhere to the terms and conditions set out below.

Failure to follow these terms and conditions may lead to enforcement action including fixed penalty notices (fines) or prosecution. If any of the requirements of this licence are not complied with, measures may be taken to mark, guard, light or remove the items and to clean or repair the highway.  The licensee will be liable for all the costs incurred.  The council operates a zero-tolerance policy for all safety issues.

Inspectors regularly check the highway to ensure all activities taking place are legitimately licensed, meet all the terms and conditions licence and are promptly removed after their expiry date.

When your advertising board licence expires, you are required to remove your licensed highway item. A reminder email is sent to all licence holders advising that a licence is about to expire. Where a licence is required to continue, it is the licensee’s responsibility to renew it before its expiry date.

When you apply for your highway licence, you must ensure that you provide your trading address or project office address where official correspondence can be sent and read by the licence holder.  Your trading address or project office address may be different from your work site address, so please ensure that you provide the correct address for us to contact you.  Failure to provide the correct contact address may cause your licence application to be refused or an existing licence revoked.

You must include a responsible manager’s contact phone number for both landline and mobile numbers, plus an email address.

If there is a change in the person responsible as named licence holder, then the council’s highway licence team must be advised of the replacement person’s name, contact phone numbers and email address.

Expired highway licence references must be removed from site and replaced with a current licence as appropriate. It is confusing for the public and council inspectors if several licences, current and expired, are all displayed at the same time at the same location.

Highway licences are not transferable between existing and replacement businesses. If a new business takes over responsibility for items on the public highway, the replacement business must apply for a new licence.

If the public highway is damaged either by any licensed items placed upon it, the costs incurred by the council to carry out repairs are to be paid by the licensee. This would include any repair costs or officer time fees in excess of any damage deposit required as part of a licence application.

Terms and conditions

1. A-boards are to be no larger than 650mm x 1100mm x 800mm.

2. Unobstructed minimum width to be maintained in accordance with licence agreement and location of board:

  • minimum width of 3.5m of clear and unobstructed footway will usually be required in Town Centres - views these on the Local Plan map
  • on other streets a minimum of 2m of clear and unobstructed footway will be required. In exceptional circumstances this could be reduced to 1.8m with council agreement following collaboration with local disabled resident groups.

3. If a business has its own forecourt the board should be placed within that.

4. Only one A-boards will be permitted per business or per business frontage. The board must be placed within the frontage of the building.

5. The board must relate to the business outside which it is placed.

6. There are restrictions on the location of an A-boards. Boards must not:

  • be located within 500mm of the kerb edge, in the middle of the footway, adjacent to building emergency exits or on the carriageway
  • obstruct access to bus stops, taxi ranks or other frontages
  • obstruct access to any service covers or apparatus
  • be placed on or near tactile paving or dropped kerbs
  • obscure the visibility of highway users on or near a junction, or obscure any traffic signs or road markings

7. All A-boards will be the owner’s responsibility when placed on the highway and the highway authority will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to highway users as a result.  There must be sufficient public liability insurance for a board be in place.

8. An advertising board must be kept clean and tidy, in good condition and appear professionally made with no content likely to cause offence. The board must always contain the company name.

9. You must display the licence reference so that is can be easily viewed by a council inspector from the public highway.

10. Boards not to be illuminated/powered or with amplified speakers.

11. Boards must be freestanding, stable and not easily knocked over, and must not damage the highway.

12. Boards must be easily removed if required and are to be removed if requested by emergency services, a statutory undertaker or by the council, with reasonable cause, including the need to access the highway

13. Boards are to be removed from the highway at end of day’s trading.

Advertising board policy (pdf 89KB)

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