Brighton and Hove Council has failed to convince the Government of the need to ban letting agent boards in part of the City.
The use of advertising boards is restricted under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, with consent deemed to be given for the erection of boards providing they meet certain conditions. However, Brighton and Hove Council had sought to remove deemed consent; meaning that agents would require the consent of the local authority before installing ‘T’ or flag boards in the controlled area.
The Council has already banned the use of estate agent’s boards in the city’s conservation areas, and this seemed the logical next step in Councillors search for improved amenity.
In the light of their failure to secure support for an outright ban it looks likely that the Council will introduce a voluntary management scheme aimed at promoting best practice and restricting ‘excessive’ advertising in certain areas.
After a period of piloting the Council’s environment and sustainability committee would then be in a better position to devise a long-term strategy to balance the needs of letting agents in the area and those dissatisfied with the appearance of advertising hoardings.
In the meantime local agencies are being encouraged to use ‘more discreet’ signs – perhaps below the 0.5m2 maximum permitted area which has become the norm. Many would argue however that the concept of ‘discrete’ is unlikely to be compatible with effective advertising, which is after all intended to grab the attention of passers-by.