Estate Agent Boards "Unsightly"

But boards remain outside property sold by Council

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Two estate agent boards outside The Hut. Picture taken on 9 September 2009.

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council say they are clamping down on estate agent boards outside properties which are for sale or to let, but a property sold nearly three months ago by the Council itself still has two boards outside it.

The Hut in Godolphin Road was sold by the Council on June 22 through Savills and fetched £735,000 at auction. Since then, two boards advertising the estate agency have remained in place.

According to advertising laws, boards can only be displayed where a property is for sale or for rent, and must then be removed within 14 days of the house or flat being sold or let.

In the past, there has also been particular concern about estage agents' boards damaging the character of conservation areas - yet Godolphin Road is within the Coningham and Lime Grove Conservation Area.

Savills say they have received no complaints about the boards outside The Hut but will take them down immediately. “Usually on completion, the clients take them down or ask us to do so,” a spokesperson said.

The Council say they have spoken to the estate agent and asked for the boards to be removed.

"These boards are a really ugly and primitive way for agents to market properties. All the evidence from residents and now estate agents proves that when you ban these boards you are not only removing an eyesore but you are enhancing the value of your property," said Cllr Nicholas Botterill two years ago following a blitz on the boards.

Following complaints from residents about the high number of boards across the borough, H&F Council imposed a blanket ban on displaying them in the Barons Court and Sinclair Road/Gardens conservation areas in 2006. The Council now say they are considering extending the blanket ban to other parts of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Four potential new zones where displaying boards could become illegal are Avonmore Road in West Kensington and Harwood Road in Fulham and the conservation areas of Hammersmith Grove in Hammersmith and Gunter Estate in West Kensington.

Cllr Caroline Ffiske of the Council's Local Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee said: “There have been long-standing problems with unsightly ‘for sale’ boards in certain areas of the borough. Residents and even estate agents themselves have been supportive of the exclusion zones but the possibility of extending these areas will no doubt create an interesting discussion.”

A consultation with local residents is expected to be launched at the end of October and a decision on whether to apply to the Secretary of State for permission to extend the ban is expected to be made before the end of the year.

 

September 10, 2009