An agent who was ordered to pay £500 after putting up a board outside a property in what had, without his knowledge, become a conservation area has spoken out in support of the council that prosecuted him.
Eric Walker, of Bushells in London, said: “I am wholly in favour of councils having policies which clamp down on boards.
“However, I do think that the harsher penalties should be reserved for those agents who seek an unfair market advantage by flyboarding or by leaving boards up for longer than they should – and not use them on agents who commit a first, inadvertent offence.
“Having said that, I completely accept that ignorance is no defence.”
The property was in a part of London that became a conservation area last October. Hammersmith and Fulham Council advertised the fact in the London Gazette but Walker says he neither saw the notice nor received any warning of its change of status. He took the board down promptly on learning of the status of the area, and was not warned of any prosecution.
He had put up boards outside the rental property several times before and had done so this time on the instruction of the landlord.
The council had sought a fine of £2,500 plus £500 costs, he said, but after hearing him speak, the court levied a fine of £250 on Walker’s firm plus £250 costs.
To read the offender's inimitable take on the subject, use the link below.