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Advertising Sign Permits

Whether you are an individual or business you will need to apply for a permit before putting up advertising signs within the road reserve or other public places. Advertising signs include signage such as exterior, under-awning, a-frames, real estate signs and temporary signs.

The purpose of the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code is to ensure that the scale, type, design, location, materials, style and illumination of an advertising sign that is placed on, over or is viewable from a public area in our city is compatible with the design and character of the buildings, land use and streetscape.

 

Policy No 042 – Outdoor Advertising Signs Code

Do I need a Sign Permit?

Individuals or businesses wanting to display advertising signs within the road reserve or in any of our public places are required to obtain a sign permit before erecting any signage. Advertising signs exhibited in other areas that can be seen from a roadway or public place, including private property, may also require a permit.

If you need to submit an application to the Development Consent Authority, we encourage you to include information about proposed advertising signage as part of the development application. This ensures signage is integrated into the designs.

Signage Information

We have put together some information on our Signs Code and common signs. This includes when a permit is required and conditions of signage permits.

Outdoor Advertising Signs Code

The purpose of the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code is to ensure that the scale, type, design, location, materials, style and illumination of any advertising sign on, over or viewable from a public area in the Darwin Municipality is compatible with the design and character of the buildings, land use, streetscape and amenity of its location.

Signs that may be erected without a permit

Under the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code particular advertising signs on private land do not require a Council sign permit. These signs may be erected without a permit provided they comply with the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code.

Signs requiring a permit

The following signs require a Council permit:

  • Signs on private land that does not meet the requirements of the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code i.e. more signs than permitted or exceed size limits.

  • All signage situated on or over Public Land and includes:

    • Permanent signs

    • Signs attached to, or hung from awnings

    • Moveable signs (A-frame)

    • Real Estate signs

    • Temporary banners

    • Blue Finger signs

Council may take legal action if an advertising sign that requires a Council permit is erected without a permit.

Fees

An annual fee applies to all signs displayed on or over public land. Signs on private property incur a once off application fee.

Signs prohibited in the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code

The Outdoor Advertising Signs Code prohibits certain types of signs in zones where the surrounding amenity may be affected.

An application for a permit for an advertising sign that is prohibited within a zone will not be accepted or considered by Council. This includes but is not limited to:

  • All Third Party Advertising (advertising away from the business premises)

  • Vehicles which have been adapted for and used as an advertising sign

  • Trailers which have been adapted for and used as an advertising sign when stationary in any public place

Promotional advertising

Promotional advertising includes information about the services or goods produced, provided or sold as a major activity on the premises, or information about events or activities substantially carried out on the premises. Promotional Advertising is not Third Party Advertising.

When you wish to erect a new sign

Prior to erecting any sign, familiarise yourself with the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code to determine whether the proposed advertising sign/s require a permit. Permanent structures that are proposed to be erected in the Darwin Municipality including advertising signs may require Building Approval.

Signs displayed without a permit

It is an offence under Part 8 of City of Darwin By-laws for a sign which requires a permit, to be displayed without a valid Council permit. Council officers may remove such signs with or without written notification. Infringement Penalty Notices may also be issued for this offence. A fee may be incurred for the release of a sign removed by Council officers.

Different types of signs

The attached drawing gives examples of advertising signs.

Moveable Signs

Moveable signs are advertising signs intended for temporary display which is self-supporting and includes A-frames and sandwich boards but does not include a free-standing sign or a real estate sign.

Do I need a permit?

All moveable signs on public land require a Council permit, this permit is to be renewed annually.

Moveable signs on private land may or may not require a Council permit depending on whether the signs meet the conditions of the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code.

Sign Sizes

When displayed in a business zone the height of a moveable sign should not exceed 1.2 metres above ground level (including supporting legs), should not be wider than 0.8 metres and should not exceed 1min area.

When displayed in industrial zones the height of a moveable sign should not exceed 1.8 metres above ground level and should not be wider than 1.2 metres.

Display of Moveable Signs

Moveable signs will only be permitted on public land in business and industrial zones and can only be displayed during business hours.

Moveable signs cannot be erected on a public place in the following areas:

  • Residential zones

  • Community zone

  • Organised Recreation zones

  • Rural zones

Moveable signs are prohibited within the Mall for businesses that do not have direct frontage at ground level.

Conditions to Disply a Moveable Sign

  • Moveable signs must be safe and secure and positioned in a manner that does not pose a risk or danger to persons or property

  • Moveable signs shall not obscure the view of pedestrian or vehicular traffic

  • Moveable signs must not obstruct, clutter or detract from landscaping, furniture or artwork

  • A clear pedestrian path with a minimum width of 2 metres must be able to be maintaned adjacent to any moveable sign to ensure pedestrian safety

  • Moveable signs are to be displayed during business hours only and are not to be used for the display of merchandise

  • Moveable signs are to be removed outside of business hours

  • Moveable signs are to be removd during periods of high winds and/or cyclones

  • Moveable signs must be located directly outside the premises in question and not across the road or on a median strip or in any other position away from the premises

Public Liability Insurance

It is a condition of any application received that:

  • A copy of current public liability insurance is provided to Council; and

  • Confirmation in writing that the applicant agrees to indemnify Council for any claims for both property and personal injury arising from the placement of the sign on public land within the Municipality of Darwin.

Signs displayed without a permit

It is an offence under Council By-law 188 for a sign to be placed on public land without a valid permit. Council officers may remove such signs with or without written notification. Infringement Penalty Notices may also be issued for this offence. A sign removed by Council officers may incur a fee for the return of the sign.

Real Estate Signs

Do I need a permit?

All signage placed on or over public land requires a permit.

A real estate sign advertising a property for sale, auction or lease may be erected on the fence line or on private property within the Darwin Municipality without the need to obtain a Council signs permit, only if the sign complies with the following conditions:

  • Any real estate sign does not exceed 2.5m2 per residential premises;

  • Any real estate sign does not exceed 4.5m2 for a new residential development comprising four or more units, advertising the sale of all the units;

  • Any real estate sign does not exceed 4.5m2 in industrial and business zones;

  • There is only one sign per business per street frontage; and

  • The sign/s are removed within one day after the sale (settlement) or lease of the property.

Real estate signage applications for signage to be placed on a road reserve may only be approved if Council considers it unreasonable that the sign be placed on the fence line or on private property.

Council’s signs application form is to be used when lodging a real estate sign application.

Temporary open for inspection/auction signs

Temporary open for inspection/auction signs that are placed on road reserves within the Darwin Municipality require a Council permit. The permit will be issued to the real estate company and includes all of the open for inspection/auction signs for that business. This permit is renewable annually.

The following conditions apply to temporary open for inspection/auction signs:

  • They are displayed only during the times the premises are open for inspection or in the case of an auction sign, only during the auction;

  • They are not placed on median strips, in the middle of the road or the carriageway;

  • They are not placed so as to impede pedestrian or traffic flow; and

  • They are not placed so as to obscure a driver’s view.

Council’s real estate open inspection/auction signs application form is to be used for the temporary open for inspection/auction signs to be placed on road reserves.

Other conditions

Star Pickets – are prohibited on both the Northern Territory Government roads and City of Darwin roads, due to safety reasons and to protect underground services.

Illumination – these signs are prohibited in residential areas.

Public Liability Insurance – is a condition of any application for signs to be placed on or over public land. We require a copy of the current insurance and confirmation in writing that the applicant agrees to indemnify Council for any claims for both property and personal injury arising from the placement of the sign on public land within the Municipality of Darwin.

Signs displayed without a council permit

It is an offence under Council By-law 188 for a sign to be placed on public land without a valid Council permit. Council officers may remove the sign with or without written notification. Infringement Penalty Notices may also be issued for this offence. A sign removed by Council officers may incur a fee for the return of the sign.    

 

Election Signage

Definition

Election advertising means advertising erected in association with the holding of a Local Government, Northern Territory or Commonwealth election.

Do I need a permit?

Permits are not required for election signs that comply with the Outdoor Advertising Signs Code. Those that do not comply, do require a permit.

Conditions to display election signs

A permit is not required for election advertising signs provided they are:

  • Erected on a temporary basis not more than six weeks prior to an election and removed within one day after it, subject to any law relating to election advertising;

  • At no time place on public land other than a designated polling place including Council land, northern Territory Government land and Commonwealth land;

  • Not placed so as to obscure the view of vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic;

  • No greater than 1.5m2 in area; and

  • Not illuminated or animated.

Signs directing people to designated polling places for the purpose of an election are also exempt from the Signs Code provided the signs:

  • Are erected on a temporary basis not more than one day prior to an election and removed within one day after it, subject to any law relating to election advertising;

  • Are at no time placed so as to obscure the view of vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic; and

  • Do not include any advertising.

Fees

Should a permit be required, an application fee in accordance with current Council fees and Charges is payable at the time of application.

Signs displayed without a permit

It is an offence under Council By-law 188 for a sign to be placed on public land without a valid Council permit. Council officers may remove the sign with or without written notification. Infringement Penalty Notices may also be issued for this offence. A sign removed by Council officers may incur a fee for the return of the sign.

Election Signs on Northern Territory Government Roads

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure's Election Signage Policy does not prevail over City of Darwin's Outdoor Advertising signs Code.

Election sign authorisation/regulations

Queries relating to Electoral Signage authorisation should be referred to Northern Territory Electoral Commission on 1800 MY VOTE.

 

Fees

You will find fees associated with sign applications on our fee schedule (see page 8)

Banner Site Bookings

There are a number of banner sites around town that can be booked for promotions such as events and community messages. Find out more.

Application forms

The below forms advise what is required in your signage application.

Application for a Sign Permit

Application for a Moveable Sign Permit

Application for a Blue Finger Sign Permit

Application for Real Estate Open Inspection, For Sale & Auction Signs Permit

Permit Renewal for a Sign on Public Land 

More Information

08 8930 0683

darwin@darwin.nt.gov.au

Last modified 
13 Jul 2018

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