Conservation areas and listed buildings

Business signage

Are you starting a new business, rebranding your business or refurbishing your existing premises? Did you know you might need Planning Permission, Advertisement Consent or Listed Building Consent?

When starting a business or expanding a business in Hambleton, it is important to remember that all five market towns - Bedale, Easingwold, Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk - have Conservation Areas within them.

The towns are vibrant and successful and the character of the Conservation Area lays a huge part in drawing people to them for shopping and leisure.

Signage and shopfronts should complement the historic character of the Conservation Area and aim to improve the attractiveness of the town centre. The planning process can be daunting - but the following guidelines and contacts will help you, and might save you time and money.

Planning permission

Planning permission is required when premises are being extended or altered. This includes:

  • replacement windows and doors
  • the removal of chimneys
  • alterations to roofs
  • installation of shutters
  • awnings/canopies
  • shopfronts
  • satellite dishes.

Other work may also require planning permission if it constitutes an extension or alteration to the building. Find out if you need planning permission here:

Advertisement consent

Advertisement consent is needed in most circumstances for the replacement of existing signage and the addition of new signs, including illumination and A-boards.

Listed building consent

Listed building consent is required where work to a listed building would result in an alteration to its character or appearance. This includes:

  • replacement signs
  • external lighting
  • alarm boxes
  • satellite dishes
  • windows
  • doors
  • changes to the colour of an elevation
  • rainwater goods
  • roofs and boundary treatments.

Listed Building Consent is always required for extensions and structural internal alterations. Find out about listed buildings here:


  • signs should be of timber construction with painted lettering
  • hanging signs are generally acceptable subject to design, materials and proportion
  • the number of signs on each elevation will need to be taken into consideration to avoid clutter
  • individually applied letters which are fixed with pins to the building may also be acceptable
  • illumination of signage is not permitted in areas which are already well lit by public lighting, unless there is a real need for it

Town-specific information

Some towns have additional resources or caveats to consider. We have produced town-specific signage leaflets with this information, including detailed Ordnance Survey maps of any Listed Buidlings and Conservation Areas around the towns.

Conservation Area Appraisals

Conservation Area Appraisals were produced for all five market towns in 2010. These are available here:

Contact us

  • Call 01609 779977
  • call in to see us without an appointment at the Civic Centre

To check whether consent for signage is needed please have the dimensions and position of your sign to hand.

Further advice on conservation areas can be obtained from the Development Management Section on 01609 779977 or email

If you require support in expanding or developing your business call Julie Hutton, Business and Economy Officer on 01609 767186 or email

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