A proposed Foxtons branch in Elephant and Castle has been criticised by a local councillor as the campaign against it begins to gather pace.
Councillor Mark Williams, a cabinet minsiter for Southwark, has said that he will work with the local community to stop Foxtons entering the area.
"An estate agents at this location is not part of our plan,” he said.
Earlier in the week Estate Agent Today reported that in April Foxtons lodged a planning application to move into The Elephant & Castle pub.
The 250-year-old pub was closed recently after a stabbing incident and Foxtons could move in by mid-June if the site is not awarded Asset of Community Value status under the Localism Act.
Fifty six days after the application was made the site’s change of use will be automatically permitted. In this event Foxtons would not need to gain planning permission to takeover the building.
On Wednesday there had been no comments made against Foxtons’ planning application on the Southwark Council website.
However, since then – after receiving mainstream media coverage – there have now been four comments and more people have spoken out against the idea of an estate agents in the area, including councillor Williams.
"We have a clear vision for the Elephant & Castle, and with TfL we are creating a vibrant new square for London," he told the SE1 news website.
"We want pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes so people spend time here rather than just pass through.”
One comment on the Southwark Council website says that a Foxtons branch will not ’enhance’ or ‘help’ the area or its residents in any way. And that the local community is already served by Foxtons’ Borough branch.
Another says: “Although a pub may not be the best way for the space to serve the local community, it would be far more beneficial than a Foxton's [sic].”
This latest move is part of the London agency’s ‘branch opening programme’ which is being managed by commercial agent Montagu Evans.
Foxtons was given a ‘sell’ rating by broker Peel Hunt this week which caused its shares to fall.
Peel Hunt said that the growth of online agents is one of several ‘long-term headwinds’ facing the estate agency sector.