Brighton and Hove council has failed in its bid to win government backing to ban To Let boards.
The council sought government agreement to a ban on boards in part of the city - if agreed, agents would have had to win planning consent to put up a board - but the government chose not to support the authority’s plea.
Instead the council now wants letting agents to agree to more discreet To Let signs following complaints about the effect of boards in a student area.
The Brighton and Hove News reports that the council is considering asking agents to agree to make smaller signs and mount them on walls instead of board poles in a bid to smarten up the Lewes Road area, which has many privately rented flats.
Brighton and Hove City Council has already banned the use of estate agents’ signs within the city centre’s conservation areas.
The Brighton and Hove News says the council’s environment and sustainability committee is to consider implementing a voluntary agreement with estate agents to reduce the impact of the signs.
A report written by council officers for elected members says: “The Brighton & Hove Estate Agents Association have met with council officers and are supportive of better management of residential lettings boards and will continue to work with officers to this end.
“It is recommended that committee agrees to a pilot of a voluntary management scheme of residential letting boards for a one year period in a selected area of the Lewes Road corridor which would link into ongoing work around the private rented sector and would include a collaborative approach between community groups, residents, Partnerships, letting agents and other relevant organisations.
“This is considered to be a suitable location due to the proliferation of stand-alone boards relating to high levels of HMOs.
“After a year of operation the outcome of this pilot scheme would be brought back to this committee to review further options and ways forward.”
Last week we reported on an impassioned plea by a local agent against the same council’s bid to introduce widespread licensing of landlords in the private rental sector.