Estate agent boards survive the ban

Posted On 19 Mar 2011 at 7:26 pm

The number of estate agent boards has more than halved since they were banned in conservation areas last year.

But some are still flouting the ban.

A survey by residents in the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Conservation Area has found that the number of For Sale and To Let boards has fallen to 27 from 63 in 2009.

The Montpelier and Clifton Hill Association (MCHA) carried out the first comprehensive survey of boards in the conservation area to gauge the effect of the ban.

Mick Hamer, chairman of the association, said: “This shows that the ban is largely working.

“It has had a dramatic effect in some areas which had previously been blighted by boards, for example, St Michael’s Place had nine boards in 2009 and now it’s board free.”

Montpelier Road, north of Western Road, had 16 boards two years’ ago compared with two in the current survey.

Brighton and Hove City Council introduced new controls during September last year to extend the area of control.

It now includes much of the area between Seafield Road in Hove and Sussex Square in Kemp Town.

Boards erected before 20 September that date can stay until the property is sold or let

One Hove estate agent, Brices, has agreed to voluntarily remove all its boards erected before September.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “These controls were introduced at the request of residents and by working with all parties we are now seeing some good results and a great improvement in the appearance of our historic areas.”

Louise Brice, of Brices estate agents, said: “We pride ourselves in helping residents maintain the integrity of conservation areas.

“Within the modern stream of communication, boards are a luxury that are no longer an necessity.

“Looking to the future we are in the process of developing an iPhone app with a ‘near me’ function that will facilitate potential purchasers and tenants to access properties available with a certain road or area at the push of a button thus creating ‘virtual’ boards.”

The association will be sharing its results with the council so that action can be taken against those estate agents still flouting the ban.

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