- Here is our interactive map of the Article 4 Directions and Regulation 7 Areas in Newcastle. This will show you the areas of the city, shown with the purple border, where this restriction applies.
- You can zoom in and out to get a closer look of the area you're interested in. Click-and-drag or use the arrow keys to move the move around. Click a coloured area on the map to display a pop-up box with more information on it. The is a search option under the map where you can search using a postcode. There is an option in the top right corner of the map to switch the aerial photography on and off.
January 2015 - Letting Board restrictions start
The new restriction to control the display of letting boards will start of the 5th January 2015, covering key areas of Jesmond, Gosforth, Heaton, Ouseburn and Wingove areas of the city.
The approval notice was published in the Journal and London Gazette on the 10th of December 2014 stating the deemed consent will be removed for the display of letting boards under Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, Class 3A of Schedule 3, Part on the 5th January 2015.
The removal of deemed consent means that letting boards will not be legally displayed unless an application for advertisement consent has been submitted and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The Local Planning Authority will assess such applications against the national and local policies with the key issue being the impact on amenity. It is the intention that letting board applications will be refused based on the harmful effect that the boards have on the amenity of the area and therefore no letting boards will be able to be displayed in the control area. The display of for sale boards will not be effected and will continue with deemed consent and not require advertisement consent.
Anyone who displays a letting board advertisement from the 5th January 2015 will be in contravention of the Regulation 7 Direction and will be committing an offence. Where an offence is committed, the local planning authority will seek to resolve the matter voluntarily in the first instance by contacting the letting agent. If the matter is not resolved voluntarily in a reasonable timescale, or in the case of regular or multiple offences, the local planning authority will seek the instigation of prosecution proceedings or the service of removal notices. The penalty on conviction in the Magistrates Court for the offence is a fine not exceeding £2,500 for each advertisement and in the case of continuing offence, £250 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction. Where the local planning authority exercises its powers to remove and dispose of any advertisement (and any structure used for its display) it may recover those expenses reasonably incurred in doing so.
Member of the public can report letting boards to Planning Enforcement in several ways:
- By submitting an online form at https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-applications/planning-enforcement#report
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (0191) 277 8946; (0191) 211 5669; (0191) 277 8939
- In person: Visit our Customer Service Centre between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday - Friday
- In writing: Planning Enforcement, Development Management, Newcastle City Council, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH
In order to provide an efficient and effective service the Planning Enforcement Team will require that complainants provide a specific address for where the board is being displayed and would request the name of the letting agent and a photograph, if possible.
September 2014 - Letting Board restrictions approved by Secretary of State
Newcastle City Council has received approval from the Secretary of State to introduce restrictions to the display of letting boards in areas of the city with high levels of private rented and student accommodation. This follows extensive consultation with residents, student groups, landlords and agents.
The restrictions are being introduced due to the impact of the boards on the quality of the residential environment and concerns of the local residents. A voluntary code has been in place since 2008 but has been ineffective in managing the problem.
A public notice will be published in December confirming the implementation date of 5th January 2015. From this date it will be unlawful for letting boards to remain in place or be erected within the control area unless they have advertisement consent. If any such boards are in place on or after the regulation 7 direction has been brought into force then those parties responsible for displaying the advert could be subject to a maximum fine of £2,500 in the Magistrates Court.
The January date will allow Landlords and Agents a 3 month period to remove the Letting Boards and introduce alternative marketing strategies. The Council’s Private Rented Service offers a free advertisement service that could assist in the marketing of a property in the areas. Further details are available on their website.
The Secretary of State approval letter, a full list of the streets affected and a map of the control area can be accessed form the links below.
- DCLG Letting Boards approval letter 05/08/14
- Letting Boards control area map (pdf, 964kb)
- Letting Boards control area street list
April 2014 - Additional Evidence Report
The public hearing notice was published on 19th February 2014 in The Journal and London Gazette advertising the hearing and providing a further opportunity for stakeholders to submit representations. The Notice expired on the 21st March 2014 with 14 new representations supporting the application and no objections. Over the two formal notices periods there has been 66 representations supporting the application and 3 objections.
As part of the process the Council has the opportunity, following the closure of the notice, to submit further evidence to the Secretary of State. The Council has submitted an additional evidence report, providing information on a new board’s survey completed in January 2014, which is available to view through the link below.
The public hearing will be held at the Mansion House, Fernwood Road, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE2 1TJ, on 20th May 2014 at 10.00am and is scheduled for two days, where the Planning Inspector will provide an opportunity for members of the public and the Council to express their views on the proposed To Let boards controls.
20th May Public Hearing
Newcastle’s application to control the display of To Let boards in designated areas of the city is now being assessed by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State. The Planning Inspectorate has requested a Public Hearing to allow the Council and stakeholders the opportunity to submit further evidence on the application, before a final decision is made.
The hearing is scheduled for two days and will be held at the Mansion House, Fernwood Road, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE2 1TJ, on 20th May 2014 at 10.00am.
A Public Notice will be published on 19th February in the Journal and London Gazette advertising the hearing and providing a further opportunity for stakeholders to submit written representations on the application. Written representations should be sent to Mr Kim Chowns Department of Communities and Local Government, Zone 1/J4, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU, no later than 21st March 2014.
Members of the public may attend the hearing and, at the direction of the Planning Inspector express their views.
Full details of the Council’s representations together with maps defining the areas can be accessed through the links below or are available for inspection during normal office hours at the Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 2BN
10th July 2013 Public Notice
As part of the application process to introduce controls on the display of To Let boards a formal notice has been published, providing stakeholders the opportunity to submit written representations directly to the Secretary of State on Newcastle’s application to control the display of To Let boards in designated areas of the city.
The notice was published in the Journal and London Gazette on the 10th July 2013 with a deadline for written representation of the 2nd August 2013. The notice was also sent directly to stakeholders who contributed to the informal consultation held in Autumn of 2012 and the application documents were published on the Council’s website.
The Secretary of State received 55 representation of which 52 were supporting the application and 3 objecting.
June 2013 Application to control the display of To Let boards
Newcastle City Council has submitted an application in June 2013 to the Secretary of State to control the display of To Let boards in areas of the city with high numbers of student properties. If successful will require planning application to be submitted and approved before a To Let boards can be displayed in the proposed area.
The reason for seeking a Direction is that the numbers of To Let boards on residential properties have become excessive in parts of the City where there are high concentrations of rented accommodation and this is having a negative impact on the visual amenity in these neighbourhoods. Local residents (families and those occupying the rented properties) are concerned that the quality of the residential environment is deteriorating as a result of the boards and this is impacting on the housing market.
The Council has sought to tackle the issue since 2008 with a voluntary Lettings Board Code supported by using existing Planning Enforcement powers available under the Town and Country Planning Control of Advertisement Regulations 2007.These actions have not been successful in addressing the issue.
The area of proposed control covers 14.6% of the area of Newcastle City Councils administrative area. It is the area where there is the greatest number of rented properties catering for the student market and also providing accommodation for young professional occupants as a result there are high concentrations of To Let boards.
This area of the city is dominated by blocks of Victorian terrace flats which are commonly known as Tyneside Flats. These consist of a pair of flats with the unique feature of two front entrance doors. The Tyneside flat design increases the prominence of To Let boards as they are placed outside both entrances doubling the number of boards on the elevation. This property design is unique to the Tyne & Wear area and increases the visual impact To Let boards have on a neighbourhood.
The high numbers of boards is confirmed in the To Let board surveys undertaken over a 6 month period, showing that during the key letting period over 1,800 boards are on display which are highly visible to residents and passers-by and although levels drop during the summer to 1,300 the visual impact is still significant. As a result streets have boards up all year round with some properties displaying To Let boards for long periods of time. The streets layouts and design provide clear sightlines resulting in boards having prominent placing. The boards are clearly detracting from the uniformity of the terraced streets architecture and dominate the street scene creating a scene of the area being dominated by houses in multiple occupation (HMO) accommodation. The high numbers and constant presence result in the boards becoming an obtrusive element within the local landscape and harmful to the visual amenity of the areas.
The impact on stakeholders was considered through a consultation held on 3rd September to 9th November 2011 where stakeholders were asked about the impact the boards were having on their neighbourhoods and options to control them. The results showed that residents indicated that To Let boards were a visual problem (82%), with landlords and agents also acknowledging that there was a problem (49%).
Stakeholders were asked to comment on three proposals to control boards: voluntary code (Option 1); restricted size and style of To Let boards (Option 2) and; no To Let boards displayed without advertisement consent (Option 3). In responses to the three options offered over two thirds (67%) indicated Option 3 (no To Let boards without express consent) as their preferred option and as expected residents had the strongest support for the option 3 at 82% with tenants/students next at 61% and finally landlord/agents at 37%. The majority of respondents (91%) agreed that it should cover the whole of the proposed area and the option most likely to improve the visual appearance of the area was Option 3 no To Let boards displayed without advertisement consent.
The results of the consultation clearly showed strong support for the introduction of control over the display of letting boards on houses. Stakeholders indicated that this option would have the biggest impact on the visual appearance of the proposed area.
The Council formally considered the evidence and consultation responses to the proposed Regulation 7 direction at its Cabinet on 30th January 2013 and formally resolved to seek the Secretary of State’s approval to require all To Let board advertisements on residential accommodation to require express consent within the proposed area. (For Sale and commercial property boards being excluded from proposed Regulation 7 Direction).
The application was submitted to the Secretary of State in June 2013 and the full application can be viewed through the links below.
- Appendix 1 Proposed control area (pdf, 1mb)
- Appendix 2 SPD Maintaining sustainable communities (pdf, 410kb)
- Appendix 3 Newcastle Letting Boards Code (pdf, 138kb)
- Appendix 4 Voluntary Code Approval (pdf, 197kb)
- Appendix 5 Article 4 Direction Approval (pdf, 63kb)
- Appendix 6 Consultation Info Leaflet (pdf, 1mb)
- Appendix 7 Consultation Questionnaire (pdf, 570kb)
- Appendix 8 Stakeholders Comments Consultation (pdf, 55kb)
- Appendix 9 Cabinet Report Letting Boards Approval 2013 (pdf, 150kb)
- Appendix 10 HomesAlone Report (pdf, 725kb)
- Appendix 11 OFT estate agents survey (pdf, 390kb)
- Notice (pdf, 12kb)