‘To let’ board ban success

Members of Dales' Residents Association with (L-R) Julie Prestland from Generation Rent, Cabinet member for housing Cllr Ann O'Byrne and local councillor Laura Robertson-Collins (second from right)

Hundreds of ‘to let’ boards have now been taken down in part of Liverpool in a scheme to improve life for local residents.

The pilot initiative came into force on Monday 22 June following concerns raised by residents and local ward councillors living in Greenbank ward about the number of boards – estimated to be around 500.

It was due to the fact the area has a large student population and a significant proportion of privately rented accommodation.

Local people believed they were having a detrimental impact on the sustainability of the housing market in the area.

The city council wrote to all estate agents and landlords asking them to remove the boards and the vast majority have now complied, leading to a huge improvement in the streetscape.

Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet member for housing, said: “I would like to thank the estate agents and landlords in the area for co-operating with the wishes of local residents.

“We have had some excellent feedback from residents who are pleased with the difference that it has made.

“There are still a handful of boards remaining and we will continue to do what we can to get the home owners to follow the lead of everyone else.”

Kris Cargill from the Dales Residents Association added: “We wanted action because the boards gave the impression that the area is a place where nobody wants to live, when in actual fact we are a strong and thriving community.

“This scheme has removed the eyesores and made our area more attractive.”

Greenbank Councillor, Laura Robertson-Collins, who took a motion to council calling for the introduction of the ban, said: “I am delighted that such a simple idea has made a big difference in such a short space of time.”

The area covered by the zone is bounded by Gainsborough Avenue (evens side only), Smithdown Road and the railway line and includes:

• Blantyre Road
• Barrington Road
• Claremont Road
• Kenmare Road
• Avondale Road
• Brookdale Road
• Ferndale Road
• Langdale Road
• Borrowdale Road
• Lidderdale Road
• Patterdale Road
• Weardale Road
• Garmoyle Road
• Lawrence Road (part)

If necessary, the council does have the power to apply to the Secretary of State for permission to prohibit the use of boards.