Residents and businesses asked for views on estate agents boards
The council intends to apply to the Government for the power to ensure estate agents boards cannot be displayed without its permission, and is asking residents and businesses for their views.
Known as Regulation 7 Directions, these powers were previously granted for the Belsize Park, South Hampstead, Redington & Frognal and Fitzjohns & Netherhall Conservation Areas, as well as West End Lane.
“Estate agent boards continue to be one of the most common complaints made to Camden’s Planning Enforcement Team.
“Across the borough there are examples of estate agents disregarding the regulations, displaying numerous boards per building and keeping them up for long periods despite properties being sold or let.
“Estate Agent Boards are seen by many as outdated eyesores, which merely add unnecessary clutter to our streets and take up valuable Council resources as we seek to secure their removal.
“This situation has prompted calls for action and we are looking to apply for further powers from the Secretary of State to impose tighter controls for the display of estate boards across the borough.”
The council wants to extend the Regulation 7 Direction and it is looking at presenting two options to the Secretary of State, supported by residents and businesses feedback, in order to support these.
Option 1) Extend the Direction so the council can regulate estate agents boards across the whole borough as the problem is borough-wide.
Option 2) Extend the Direction so the council can regulate estate agents boards to all conservation areas and all high streets as these are where the problem mostly occurs.
A third option will also be considered, which is to seek renewal of the previous Regulation 7 Directions:
Option 3) Renew the Directions in the following areas – Belsize Park, Redington & Frognal, Fitzjohns & Netherhall Conservation Areas. These are non-permanent Directions, which we can apply to renew.
If either of these new options are agreed by the Government, this would mean that unless advertisement consent has been applied for, any boards that are displayed without this could be easily identified and enforcement action taken.
The council will need to provide evidence to the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government to demonstrate the need to extend its ability to regulate estate agent boards and to show that this is supported by residents.
The council would also provide clear guidance for those wishing to apply to display an estate agent board on their property to ensure that they are positioned on buildings where their harm is minimised.
You can tell the council what you think by completing this short survey. You can also send photos of problem estate agent boards, with details of the street they are located in, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for comments and photographs is Tuesday 26 February 2019.
After all the results have been gathered, the council will examine them in detail and decide how it should go forward. It will make the results available its website at www.camden.gov.uk/estateagentsboards in due course.