Advertising Signs

The control of advertising signage is very important as they can have profound impacts on landscape, streetscape, amenity and traffic management and safety.

Clause 52.05 of the Planning Scheme outlines the controls relating to advertising signs. These provisions are consistent across the State and specify four different categories of advertising signs:

  • Category 1 applies to business areas
  • Category 2 applies to office and industrial
  • Category 3 applies to high amenity areas
  • Category 4 applies to sensitive areas


Each category identifies advertising signs that do not require a planning permit, those that do require a permit, and those that are prohibited. As you move from Category 1 to Category 4, the level of control over advertising signs increases.

The zoning of the land, or an overlay control affecting the land (such as the Design and Development Overlay) identifies the category of advertising sign control that is applicable to the land. If there is a conflict between the category specified in the zone and an applicable overlay, then the more stringent control prevails.

Certain types of signs, such as traffic signs and “for sale” signs located on the land for sale, do not require a planning permit under specific circumstances, regardless of the category of advertising signage applicable to the land.

Therefore, whether a planning permit is required or not for the erection and display of advertising signage is dependent upon the location of your property, the zoning and types of overlay that apply to the land, and the type and form of advertising signage sought to be displayed.

Due to the complexity of the controls relating to advertising signage within the Hepburn Planning Scheme, it is imperative that you confirm permit and information requirements with Council’s Planning Unit before you erect and display any advertising signs. Please note that substantial penalties apply for the erection and display any illegal advertising signs.

Clause 52.05 of the Planning Scheme contains decision guidelines that should be considered when assessing an application for advertising signage. A summary of these decision guidelines is below and these should be addressed by the applicant when preparing a planning permit application:

  • The character of the area
  • Impacts on views and vistas
  • The relationship to the streetscape, setting or landscape
  • The relationship to the site and building. Signs should not detract from the appearance of a building on which they may be displayed
  • The impact of structures associated with the sign
  • The construction, design and quality of signs
  • The impact of any illumination onto adjoining land or roadways
  • The impact of any logo box associated with the sign
  • The need for identification and the opportunities for adequate identification on the site or locality
  • The impact on road safety
  • Any prospective applicant should refer to Clause 52.05 of the Hepburn Planning Scheme prior to lodging an application for signage.


The Hepburn Planning Scheme can be accessed from the following link

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