The sheer number of estate agents’ boards staying up beyond the sale period threatens to make Ewell village look depressed and full of hard-to-sell properties, the chairman of Ewell Village Residents' Association has claimed.
Brian Angus, a former ward councillor for the village, is now praying for a rule change that would prevent this from happening in the future.
He directed his ire at estate agents’ signs being too numerous, duplicated and up for too long in and around Ewell at a Licensing and Planning Policy Committee meeting last week.
In particular, he singled out a group of three ‘For sale’, ‘Let’ and ‘Sold’ signs in Station Approach, leading to Elizabeth Court and Celia Court, which he claims have been there for more than a month.
The Personal Agent insist this is not the case, that they have been instructed by vendors to put the boards up, and that the boards have not and will not be on display longer than necessary, and are on display legitimately.
It has agreed a sale and will take down the appropriate board when the deal is finalised, the let board will be taken down once a tenant is moved in on May 2, and the other board is a genuine for sale sign.
Mr Angus said he believes the proliferation of signs gives the impression Ewell is “an area is depressed and full of hard-to-sell properties”.
He said: “Most people want no estate agents’ signs coming into their pretty village.
“The regulations need to be changed.”
He told the council meeting on Thursday, April 20, that the regulations, which are adopted throughout Wales, and by some English councils, would “answer (his) every prayer”.
They include the boards having to be displayed on the property to which they relate – this prevents lots of signs being put up in communal areas of flats or on verges adjacent to the property.
The regulations also say that boards must be removed within 14 days of completing the sale or letting.
However, as it stands Estate Agents need approval from the council but not formal planning permission.
Committee chairman Graham Dudley told Mr Angus he would arrange a private meeting with council officer Mark Berry about whether there could be a rule change.
An Epsom and Ewell Council spokesman said: “The council regularly highlights these requirements to estate agents operating within the borough.
“We do try to take a pragmatic approach; recognising the aspirations of residents buying and selling property and balance this with any proliferation of boards which can impact negatively on an area’s appearance.”
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