THERE will be no action on curbing the number of To Let boards in Durham until next year at the earliest.

Residents in Durham have been campaigning for years for tighter controls on the advertisements, which are particularly prolific in parts of the city with large student populations.

Durham County Council said last year it was hoping to introduce tighter regulations for the start of this year’s letting season.

However, following a consultation at the start of the year, it now says it will not introduce any measures until next year at the earliest.

Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “While I am pleased that Durham County Council have consulted with residents on tighter regulations to curb the number of To Let boards in Durham, this has been an issue in Durham for some time, and having regularly raised this issue with the council, and discussed steps that have been taken in comparable cities around the country, I had hoped that action would have been taken on this already.

“As Lumiere is upon us and we are ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to Durham City, Durham should be doing everything it can to make the city attractive.”

More than 100 people responded to the consultation, with the majority of respondents saying the boards were harmful to the historic character of the city.

Currently, a voluntary code is in place which is meant to limit landlords to having a single board in each street.

But the code is regularly breached and campaigners want it to be replaced with an enforceable article seven direction.

Stephen Reed, the council’s planning development manager, said: “We’ve been carefully considering the issues raised as part of the consultation and will be putting forward proposals in relation to the matter in early 2018.”