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To let signs

To let signs are controlled by the Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 2015 which contains a number of classes of deemed consent. Deemed consent permits estate agent signage providing it meets certain rules such as dimensions, location and timing.

Some residents in the Queens, Stranmillis, Botanic, Holyland and Malone areas feel that the high number of estate agent signs and the length of time they are displayed, negatively impacts on their neighbourhood.

Despite attempts by our planning service to engage with agents and landlords to reduce the large quantities of these signs, we now feel special measures are needed to deal with them. We are considering applying to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to remove the deemed consent in these areas to reduce the negative impact these signs are having.

This would mean the appearance of areas will improve and we would have more control over how letting boards are displayed in certain areas.

There are two options which can be proposed to DfI, these are:

  1. Restricting the letting boards and having smaller boards with black and white text, set flush or flat to the building for restricted time frames. This will reduce the visual affects but may result in additional costs for estate agents and will require continuing enforcement which can be difficult.
  2. A complete ban of all boards which would provide an immediate visual improvement but may mean letting agents need to rely solely on alternative advertising.

We are committed to supporting all sectors of the housing market and we understand that property for rent must be advertised. However, we are concerned about the effect the large number of To let boards and we are exploring more effective ways of controlling them.

Have your say

The consultation about the To let signs in neighbourhoods has now closed. The views and comments from the consultation will help us to make a decision on which option is preferred.

The Evidence Report and Formal Proposal was submitted to Department for Infrastructure (DfI) on Friday 9 June 2017.


Contact us
Belfast Planning Service
028 9050 2081