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Consultation on letting board regulations

ByEmily

Jan 10, 2017

A consultation on potentially stronger rules to control the number of ‘to let’ boards in Durham City starts today.

Durham County Council introduced a voluntary code in 2009 to protect the character and appearance of the city from the display of excessive boards. However, following recent increases in breaches of the code, the council is now consulting on a possible application to the Secretary of State for a Regulation 7 order.

This would remove the current rights that agents and landlords have to display lettings boards without the need for consent, giving the council the power to decide whether boards should be allowed.

The consultation will ask whether people would like the voluntary code to remain or would support an application to the Government to give the council more power. This could either be for an order that limits the number of boards and the length of time they can be displayed or for one which would completely ban the boards from being used in the city without express consent.

Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic development, said: “While we understand and appreciate the need for landlords to market their properties, this has to be balanced against the impact that letting boards can have on our beautiful and historic city. We also believe that to let boards are a minor part of the modern marketing strategy and that most students will locate property via the internet.

“The voluntary code we introduced initially proved to be successful however, more recently, we are aware that some agents are breaching the rules and residents have asked for us to look at ways to give the council power to act in these situations.

By Emily