Battle of the boards: Camden Council looks to ban estate agents' outdoor signs in consultation
PUBLISHED: 17:17 13 February 2019
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Camden Council is asking the public for their views on estate agents’ boards outside houses – with a view to banning them altogether.
The town hall is currently polling people on whether they think the signs clutter the streets or harm historic buildings, and if whether they are necessary for househunting.
There are already controls in place in Belsize Park, Redlington and Frognal, Fitzjohns and Netherhall conservation areas, and if the consultation gets residents’ backing, it could see bans extended.
David Castle, the Heath and Hampstead Society’s planning lead, said the group will look to back the proposals, as it did the constraints around Hampstead decades ago.
“We’re in favour of the restrictions on the boards. Before they were in place, every street you walked down there was boards everywhere, with some falling down. It looked a mess,” he said.
“It wasn’t an advert for the house, but to advertise the business.”
He also said he believed they weren’t necessary for estate or letting agents in the area. “They make a healthy living without having them up.”
James Morton, who is a director for Dexters Estate Agents in Heath Street said he wasn’t so worried by the possible changes as he would have been decades ago.
He said: “The ban came into place in Hampstead nearly 30 years ago, and in Belsize and elsewhere more recently, so we’re used to it.”
Mr Morton, who has worked in the Hampstead branch for 27 years, said the changing nature of househunting meant boards were no longer as relevant as they once were
“When the ban came in to Belsize around 15 years ago, we were worried, but then listing on the internet took off. With the amount we pay to Rightmove and Zoopla to be listed, lots of people househunt on there.
“People don’t drive around looking for houses now, unlike before,” he added.
As well as being asked for their opinions on the boards, locals are being asked if they think further action should be taken.
The consultation will run until February 26.
Responses can be made at: consultations.wearecamden.org/culture-environment/control-of-estate-agents-boards/consultation/intro/