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Durham County Council

Durham County Council
Spectrum 8
Spectrum Business Park
County Durham

Consultation on Letting Boards To Open In Durham City

A voluntary code for letting boards has been in operation in Durham City since 2009, however after recent breaches in the code, the council wants to apply to the Secretary of State for a change in the order and has now launched a consultation. If the council are successful in making such an application the controls would no longer be voluntary and rather all such advertisements would need formal consent. The council hopes this will improve and restore the character and appearance of the historic town.

The council is offering three options for comment:

Option One:

There would be no changes to the way that letting agents and landlords use Lettings Boards and it would require them to voluntarily follow the code. There would be no ability to use formal enforcement action if boards are displayed in breach of the code.

Option Two:

We would allow the display of some boards but the number and time of display would be restricted. The details of the restrictions would need to be agreed but it would be likely that they would broadly follow the principles of the current Voluntary Code.

This option would allow some proportionate advertising and would enable formal enforcement control where boards were displayed in breach of the Regulation.

It is likely that this option would prove difficult to enforce in terms of the number and times of display and whilst offering some improvements to the visual appearance of the city, it would still allow a significant number of boards at peak times of the year.

Option Three:

We would not permit the display of any Lettings Boards within the defined area, at any time, unless we have granted express consent.

Any unlawful displaying of Lettings Boards could result in formal enforcement proceedings.

A complete ban would be relatively easy to enforce and would result in a consistent approach to all affected agents and landlords. Removal of boards would have the most positive impact on the character and appearance of the historic city.

There may be some knock on impacts in terms of ease of letting properties, and landlords and agents may look to other forms of advertising (such as window vinyls) that are excluded from control.

The closing date for comments is Friday 17 February 2017.

Find our more and details on how to reply to Durham's consultation here.

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