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Advertising board code of conduct introduced in Lichfield and Burntwood

Andy Haynes, Implementation Manager for Lichfield District Council, with an a-board

Andy Haynes, Implementation Manager for Lichfield District Council, with an a-board

A new code of conduct has been put in place for Lichfield and Burntwood businesses using advertising boards outside their premises.

The a-boards are used by a variety of companies to advertise their services and goods, but many of the signs can cause problems for pedestrians.

Lichfield District Council is keen to reduce the amount of a-boards and free standing pavement displays used across the district – but they are keen for those businesses who like to use them to be able to do so without causing problems for people with sight or mobility problems and parents pushing buggies.

Councillor Neil Roberts, Cabinet Member for Development Services, said:

“In this time of economic uncertainty, it’s even more important for local councils to support their business community. That said, we want to make sure residents and visitors of our city and town centres are not tripping over advertising displays. We think this code strikes a good balance and we hope businesses will support our efforts to make the pavements safer.”

The council has created a leaflet called Striking the Right Balance to give guidance to local businesses within the district. To download the leaflet visit

The code of practice for a-boards, retail displays and street cafés in Lichfield district:

  1. A-boards/displays must not obstruct entry to premises – especially for the emergency services.
  2. As a guide, a-boards/displays should be placed against the building, or within at least one metre of it.
  3. A-boards/displays should be placed along the front width of the building.
  4. Each building may have a maximum of one a-board. However, if the building has public access from more than one street, one a-board per street is allowed.
  5. If the building is occupied by more than one business – such as a shopping arcade or alleyway – a composite a-board or display case could be used to advertise more than one business. However, a display case would need to be approved by the council.
  6. A-boards and display furniture must be constructed of suitable materials so they don’t blow over. They should also be kept in good repair and contrast with their background so they are easier for partially sighted people to see.
  7. The quality of design and any display furniture should not detract from the character and appearance of the area – especially in conservation areas.
  8. As a guide, a-boards/displays should be around 60cm wide and 1m tall.
  9. A-boards/displays must not be fixed to any street furniture or other parts of the highway.
  10. A-boards/displays should not obscure any road signs, pedestrian crossings, junctions, access points or bends in the road.
  11. Owners of a-boards/displays must have third party liability insurance of at least five million pounds.

The code also instructs any business wishing to create a street café that they will need to get planning permission from the council.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


  1. Barry Scott

    12th January, 2010 at 9:15 am

    The guidelines say they are in place to protect and unobstruct the pavements, but when they visited my business yesterday I was told to move it from where it’s been safe and out of pedestrian way for 3 years to right by my front door – placing the sign right in the path of pedestrian traffic.
    I think there needs to be few exceptions to the rules as in this case my sign is now causing more danger than it ever has before. Following the rules to the letter is not always an option, but these pen-pushers don’t see it any other way.

  2. David Johnson

    10th February, 2011 at 12:46 am

    We own a pretty prominent a boards website and this is an issue that is coming up more and more — people are getting a bit fed up with the presence of a boards on the high street, particularly where they are just amounting to clutter. The majority of business owners use them professionally but there’s always one that insists on using about 3 or 4 signs outside their storefront.