Advertising and Signage

Certain types of signs for businesses and other purposes may not require planning permission (known as exempt development) if the proposed sign meets the relevant development standards set out in Advertising and Signage Exempt Development Code in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

Development standards

Specific development standards must be met when constructing, installing or displaying the types of signs identified in the State Policy.

The State Policy identifies specific development standards relating to:

Typical signage on a commercial property

General development standards for advertising and signage under exempt development

Generally to be considered exempt development, the sign must:

  • have consent in writing from the owner of the land on which the sign is located; if the sign is located over adjoining land, the consent of the owner of the adjoining land is also required
  • be approved under section 138 of the Roads Act 1993 if the sign or part of the sign projects over a public road (including a footpath)
  • not be carried out on or in relation to a building being used as a restricted premise
  • not cover any mechanical ventilation outlets located on any building in which the business is carried out not obstruct or interfere with any traffic sign
  • all signage must be securely fixed to the building in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards.

Please refer to these provisions of the State Policy for general development standards relating to advertising and signage as exempt development.

Maximum number of business identification signs

There is a limit on the number of business identification signs that can be installed on any premises. There must not be more than:

  • three signs if the building has just one commercial tenant
  • six signs in total on any building
  • one sign in relation to a home business, home industry or home occupation in a residential zone.

View Further development standards for business identification signs.

Other considerations

  • If you propose to remove or prune any existing trees or vegetation, you should contact your council first to make sure you don’t need approval for this.
  • Works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • Any structures that would be located on public land, or on or over a public road (including temporary structures), must have separate approval from the relevant council, or Roads and Maritime Services under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Generally, exempt development cannot be carried out on: