A regulation 7 direction has been granted to Newcastle City Council, to control the visual effect of housing ‘to let’ boards in popular residential areas.
Newcastle City Council writes:
Newcastle City Council has successfully applied to the Government for a Regulation 7 direction, effectively banning lettings boards in areas of the city including Jesmond, Heaton and Sandyford. Intrusive ‘To Let’ boards that spoil popular areas will need advertisement consent from January in several neighbourhoods across Newcastle. Landlords and lettings agents now have three months to take down ‘To Let’ signs or face court action and fines of up to £2,500.
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.’
The council’s new powers begin in January 2015 and will remain in place for an indefinite period of time.