Agents in a London borough have been warned that the local council now has new powers to fine the firms behind so-called ‘illegal boards’.
Under the new powers estate agents will need to apply for - and be granted - planning consent by Wandsworth council before they are allowed to put up their advertising signs.
The new powers cover four large sections of the borough in Putney, Balham, Clapham Junction and Lavender Hill.
A council spokesman says: “This announcement will be welcomed by many people who see these signs as nothing other than a scourge and a blot on the landscape. This is especially true for residents who live in blocks of flats that are often targeted by estate agents.”
Within the four areas any agent boards erected without the express consent from the council will be guilty of an offence under section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Any person found guilty of such an offence is liable of a fine of up to £2,500 upon conviction in the magistrates' court and up to £250 per day should the offence continue after a first conviction.
The council spokesman adds: “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.”
In recent weeks we have covered what would appear to be growing public dissent over the appearance of boards in some areas.