Wandsworth council in London has power to ban the display of estate agents boards
Areas of Wandsworth in London now has the power to stop agents erecting for sale and to let boards in Putney, Balham, Clapham Junction and Lavender Hill. Agents must now apply for consent. Failure to apply will result in a £2500 fine plus £250 per day for every day the board is not removed.
Wandsworth Council was awarded the powers to ban boards which are displayed without consent after putting in a request to the secretary of state.
An independent planning inspector was then appointed to consider the council’s case and make a recommendation.
The planning inspector described boards as ‘a dominating feature in the street scene’ and concluded that: “Estate agents’ for sale and letting boards significantly harm visual amenity in the four areas concerned.”
They said that boards are intended to be temporary features but when they become ‘semi-permanent’, they ‘detract markedly’ from the visual quality of an area.
The council says that residents and businesses have long complained about the quantity and positions of agents’ boards in the four areas concerned.
Wandsworth Council’s environment spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook, said that the move will be welcomed by many people who see agents’ boards as a ‘scourge’ and a ‘blot on the landscape’.
“Up to now tackling this problem has been incredibly time consuming and proved a major drain on resources,” said Cook. “Each individual sign had to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and as soon as one was taken down another would appear in its place.”
He added: “Most marketing of properties for sale or rent is now done online and people who are interested in moving to a particular area can find homes to buy or rent very easily on the internet.”
“The only people who want to put these eyesore signs up are the agents because they are a cheap and simple advertising tool. No-one apart from them will mourn their disappearance from these four parts of our borough.”