Bath ban on estate agent boards?

Bath and North East Somerset Council is attempting to introduce a permanent ban on estate and letting agents’ boards in almost two-thirds the streets of Bath – even though a supposedly temporary ban has actually been in effect since 1989.

BathAccording to an on-line report by Estate Agent Today (–16-years-after-temporary-ban-began) the Council is consulting on the proposal to make the ban permanent in the same area as now, and covering a similar number of listed buildings.

The on-line report continues: “The council is now considering a report proposing the ban be made permanent from December 15 on the basis that agents’ boards are “detrimental to the visual amenity of the area” visited by some four million tourists annually, bringing £500m-plus to the local economy.

“Given the significant numbers of apartments contained within such historic locations, the presence of numerous estate agent boards would significantly detract from the visual appearance of these areas,” the report says.

It adds that the strength of the local housing market suggests there has been no adverse impact on agents’ marketing by the ban.

For the past 16 years a substantial swathe of Bath has been subject to regulation 7 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1992, preventing agents erecting boards within a large conservation area, although homes to let or for sale are allowed to display posters in windows. The local authority’s justification for this has been that “sale and letting boards would individually and collectively cause serious harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area and World Heritage site”.

A substantial number of agents are believed to be happy with the ban; in addition, some agents have voluntarily restricted their display of boards outside of the regulation 7 area to one-per-street, following complaints about the allegedly detrimental visual effect of clusters of boards.”

1 Comment

  1. I agree with an actively enforced ban on these boards. They are an eyesore, especially where a number of apartments are being let by multiple agents in a single property. Also, many end up dumped in corners because agents don’t remove them when sold/let, and they leave pieces of wood hammered into walls where boards have been removed.

    With the extensive use of sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove by agents, and online agencies such as eMoov, I cannot believe anyone wanders around looking for properties with boards these days.

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