LEICESTER City Council is set to renew powers to stop landlords putting up boards advertising their properties in some parts of the city.
In summer 2018, the city council brought into effect a new Regulation 7 Direction which effectively banned the use of ‘To Let’ boards in some areas of the city, close to the University of Leicester and De Montfort University.
It means that landlords and agents now need to apply for planning consent to put up signs advertising properties for rent in parts of the Castle, Knighton, Saffron and Westcotes wards. If they fail to comply, they could face court action and be fined up to £2,500.
The ban covers some addresses in the Windermere, Hazel, Clarendon Park, Greenhill, West End, Ashleigh Road and West End conservation areas.
The existing legal direction is due to expire in July 2023, and the city council is planning to apply for this to renewed.
Before then, people are being invited to have their say of the effectiveness of the measure and whether they support a continuation of the ban on unauthorised 'To Let' boards in these parts of the city.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who leads on regulatory services, said: “Prior to bringing these new powers into effect, many people who lived close to the universities were concerned about the almost permanent proliferation of ‘To Let’ boards on their streets.
“Since the direction was implemented, there has been a significant reduction in illegally displayed ‘To Let’ boards which has led to an improvement in the appearance of the affected areas. We don’t want to see the advertising boards becoming an eyesore in these areas again and hope to renew the legal powers which have helped us to successfully tackle the problem.”
Councils can apply for powers to control the display of ‘To Let’ boards under Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.
Leicester City Council submitted its bid for the Regulation 7 direction in October 2016, following a public consultation on the proposal. The successful bid was confirmed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in February 2018.
The powers first came into effect from 2nd July 2018 and last for five years.
To have your say on plans to renew the existing ban on To Let boards in certain parts of the city, visit consultations.leicester.gov.uk
Closing date for comments is Wednesday 5 April.