September 2 2014 Latest news:

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A barrage of complaints from residents has led to a number of estate agents answering the call for their For Sale, To Let and Sold signs to be banned above shops and businesses.

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Property agents across West Hampstead admit the prevalence of their signs in the high street is causing it to look “ugly” and “littered”, and have told staff to take them down.

The move comes after a petition, backed by more than 100 residents, complained that an “infestation” of the boards was ruining the appearance of West End Lane, and called for the council to ban them.

Residents branded them an “eyesore”, noted their removal was “as important as cleaning litter”, and said that the street should look more like it did 100 years ago.

Camden Council sent letters to estate agents last week informing them that a blanket ban is being considered.

This would put West Hampstead in the company of Hampstead, Belsize Park and South Hampstead, where high streets are sign-free.

But many of West Hampstead’s major estate agents are leading by example by imposing a voluntary ban.

Gideon Gold, director of Hunters in West End Lane, said: “We’ve listened to and completely understand the concerns.

“Some landlords say they like them as it helps move their property, but others clearly hate them with a passion.

“We’re here for the long-term. This is a great area with beautiful streets, so we think it’s a good idea to have them taken down.”

Darren Yanover, managing director of Cedar Estates in West End Lane, said: “Their removal should make the area more attractive and allow period buildings to stand out more.

“In fact, I think the whole borough should introduce a blanket ban, just like Westminster.”

Paramount Properties and Dutch and Dutch, both in West End Lane, have removed boards.

Cllr Phil Jones, cabinet member for sustainability, transport, and planning, said: “We’re considering banning estate agent boards from parts of West End Lane, following complaints by residents that the signs remain in place long after they should have been removed, cluttering up the street and creating an eyesore.”

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