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Graham Awards


Estate agents' board ban extended - for no less than 10 years

A ban on For Sale and To Let boards in central areas of Bath has been extended - for no less than another decade. 


Because of the city centre’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status, estate and letting agents have been banned from displaying their boards in the main conservation area for 27 years already. 



Now Bath & North East Somerset council has won approval from the Department of Communities and Local Government to extended the ban until 2026. 


The council has written to all estate agents to explain the decision.


The decision was reached after a DCLG inspector who examined the application and spoke with UNESCO, agents and members of the council. The decision was that the return of boards “would have a harmful effect on the special architecture and character of buildings in the conservation area and on the character and appearance of the wider area.”

An issue under consideration was that agents’ boards are increasingly brightly coloured to ensure maximum impact, but in this case this was considered particularly harmful in contrast with the Bath stone from which many buildings are made. 

A spokeswoman for the authority told the Bath Chronicle: "An extension to the direction preventing the display of estate agent boards will continue to allow the special architectural qualities of the City of Bath Conservation Area to be protected. The visual qualities of the conservation area are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike and the renewal of the direction means that buildings will be kept free from inappropriate signage."

  • Mark Hempshell

    Does anybody actually look for a property by looking out for 'for sale' boards any more? At the end of the day rulings like this just save agents time and money.

  • Justin P

    Boards definitely work in my area of London, not just for getting enquiries for sale or letting but also shows presence in an area which leads to instructions. It's not our key business generation tool but it does bring in the business. On the other hand I believe they are an eyesore in cities and a blanket ban is a fair way of talking the problem.

  • Richard Copus

    Boards are one of the best advertising mediums for us agents. People still wander around towns and villages at weekends looking for their dream homes and a board outside the perfect house can result in an instant sale. It certainly did on our first buy. The problem is agents giving no thought to designing boards to fit into Conservation Areas and also fly-boarding all over the place. We are our own worst enemies and board bans are likely to increase. It is easier for councils to slap blanket bans on areas rather than utilise the few staff they've got to prosecute individual rogue agents.


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