Ban on For Sale Boards Extended

More conservation areas to be free of estate agents' signs

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council has extended its ban on For Sale and To Let signs to six more conservation areas across the borough.

The ban now covers the conservation areas of Hammersmith Grove, Olympia and Avonmore, Gunter Estate, Walham Green, Parsons Green and Moore Park.

Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning Act, already prohibits these signs in Barons Court and Sinclair Road and Gardens.

The council says the ban was introduced in 2006 after residents complained that a sea of signs was an eyesore.

Councillors are now waiting on the Secretary of State for Local Government to approve the latest extension, and expect a decision this spring.

Consultation with residents last year showed that the scheme was widely supported, with almost 99% of people saying they wanted the council to get rid of all signs in the borough.

And surprisingly, the majority of estate agents agreed that the plans would make a positive impact on their business. Guy Evans of Foxtons in Fulham Broadwaysaid he offered "clear support for this council initiative".

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

In the past year, the council has cracked down on estate agents flouting the law with 700 illegal boards being removed.

On February 2, Faron Sutaria and Co was fined £500 with £470 costs at West London Magistrates' Court for displaying a sign in Lakeside Road without permission in September last year.

Richard Turner of Jorgensen Turner, Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, said: "There are areas where not having boards has smartened up the streetscape, for example Sinclair Road, Olympia, but it has been a difficult year, and boards are still a very useful tool for us.

"In specific areas it has been more difficult to advertise, but it's a relatively small impact and we think the policy is a good one."

John Horton of Horton and Garton in Hammersmith, said: "Boards create extra interest, but I'm in favour of penalties for agents who continually ignore the law."

March 19, 2010