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To let board control

The number of to let boards on residential properties has become excessive in some parts of Durham City, especially where there are high numbers of rented accommodation. This has a negative visual impact and residents of Durham have long raised it as a concern.

Voluntary code

We tried to tackle the issue by introducing a Voluntary Code of Practice on Letting Boards in Areas with High Proportions of Shared Housing (PDF) [98KB] , but this had limited success in reducing the number of boards on display.

Regulation 7 Direction

Following a public consultation, we submitted an application to the Secretary of State for a Regulation 7 Direction which would give us control over the number of to let boards on display in the conservation area of the city:

Following a Hearing on 21 May 2019, the Inspector recommended that the proposed Direction be made for the whole of Durham City conservation area. The Secretary of State was satisfied that the Direction should be made for five years. We undertook statutory notification that the Direction would come into force from 17 October 2019. This means that from that date, the display of to let boards in Durham City Conservation Area will only be lawful if we have granted express consent for them:

Renewal of Regulation 7 Direction

The Regulation has proved to be a successful method of controlling the display of large numbers of to let boards on individual properties for extended periods in Durham City Conservation Area.

We are therefore intending to submit an application to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to renew the Regulation 7 Direction for another five years.

The application is scheduled to be submitted by the Secretary of State on 1 August 2024. Before this, we will want your views. We will also be contacting relevant people directly and will issue a press release.

Have your say

Contact Planning by email or post using the reference 'REG7' in the subject title

The closing date for comments is 5.00pm on Monday 22 July 2024.

What happens next

A summary of all the feedback we receive will be included in the application to the Secretary of State in support of the extension of the duration of the Regulation 7 Direction by a further five years. If that application is successful, we will update the Regulation 7 Direction information.

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