The number of letting boards in Uplands and Brynmill, advertising vacant Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) is a matter of local concern. It makes the area look shabby, as if no one wants to live here. Letting agents keeps these up all year, even if there isn’t a current vacancy, to give themselves free advertising all year round.
In the last Council term, Uplands Labour councilors brought in a voluntary code, restricting the times of the year at which boards could be displayed, the size of them, and keeping them flush with the walls of the building (rather than out at an angle). We were not particularly happy with a voluntary code as we predicted, correctly, that only some agents would comply. However, to be able to impose stricter rules we had first to show that a voluntary code would not work. We have to say it hasn’t. Therefore, Uplands Labour Councillors are seeking from the Welsh Government a direction under Regulation 7 of the Town and County Planning (Control of Advertising) Regulations 1992 so that rather than there be deemed planning consent for these boards, that consent has to be sought.
To do this we need an evidence base, that the problem is real and that the voluntary code has not worked. We need volunteers to ‘map’ certain streets, getting details the number of boards there, backed up with photographic evidence. This survey needs to be done twice: one in the vacation and one in the term time when students are there and the accommodation is supposedly let.
We need your help, to photograph Lettings Boards that are kept up for longer than they should be. If you’re interested in helping out your community in this way, please get in touch with the Uplands branch or with Cllr Nick Davies.