Last edited 10 Sep 2014

Letting boards regulation 7 direction

Newcastle City Council has fought back against the proliferation of ‘To Let’ boards that it says are ‘intrusive’ and ‘spoil popular areas’. From January 2015, landlords and lettings agents will need to apply for advertisement consent to install lettings boards. Court action and fines of up to £2,500 will then apply to boards that are not removed or do not have advertisement consent.

The move comes following a successful application to the Government for a regulation 7 direction which will apply in; Gosforth, Heaton, High West Jesmond, Jesmond, Sandyford, Shieldfield, South Gosforth and Spital Tongues.

Normally, letting boards are considered to have deemed consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations. However, a regulation 7 direction removes this deemed consent for a specified area.

Cabinet member for Investment and Development, Cllr Ged Bell said: “The council has tried for a number of years to reduce the amount of lettings boards in certain areas of the city, even introducing a voluntary code for landlords.

“Residents tell us that too many boards spoil areas and negatively affect house prices, particularly in areas like Jesmond and Sandyford that often contain student households.

“We are very pleased the Planning Inspector agrees with us that we need more powers to take firmer action against landlords and letting agents who pepper our streets with these intrusive ‘to let’ boards.

“This Regulation 7 direction gives us the power to take enforcement action against a significant minority and address an issue which is a persistent concern for residents in some of our most densely populated neighbourhoods.

“We realise this is a big change for some local businesses, so we are giving them a three month window to get used to the new direction and remove any boards.”

Newcastle is the first big English city to successfully apply for a Regulation 7 direction requiring consent for lettings boards (although directions are in place in cities such as Nottingham to control the design of boards). It remains to be seen whether other cities will follow.

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