An estate agency in Colchester has been fined more than £3,000 by the local authority after contesting an earlier prosecution that it had placed an authorised To Let board on a block of flats.
Saxons, which has an office on the town’s historic high street, originally had charges brought against it in April this year, along with three other agents, for displaying unauthorised boards around the town.
The other agents were William H Brown, Spicerhaart and David Martin who admitted the charges and were each fined £500 plus costs.
But Saxons’ Senior Property Manager Jeff Hamblion denied that their board on a block of flats in the Hythe Hill area to the east of the town centre had been placed incorrectly, claiming that “some drunk, or someone else” had moved it from a legitimate location. The case against them has only now been heard.
To Let board
Saxons lost and must now pay a £1,000 fine and costs totalling £2,047.
It has also been revealed that the company, along with the other agents, had been warned by Council planning enforcement officers on “a number of occasions about their advertisement boards yet still continued to erect boards without the necessary consent”, the council says.
Colchester Borough Council takes a tough line on all advertising within the town and, as well as “discouraging” A-boards outside shops, requires that any advertisements displayed on the road or even footpaths must have advertising consent from the council.
“The unsightly proliferation of illegal advertising signs creates a visual blight on our environment, which affects everyone’s quality of life,” says Councillor Mark Cory (pictured, left).
“We hope that bringing this case will serve as both a deterrent and a reminder to estate agents to think twice before leaving unnecessary signs up at properties or on public land for which they have no permission.”