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Estate Agent fined for illegal advertising

Date issued: 2 October 2017

Estate agent Saxons has been fined more than £3,000 by Colchester magistrates, after pleading guilty to the offence of displaying an unauthorised "To Let" board on a property at Hythe Hill.

The successful prosecution was brought by Colchester Borough Council, after the "To Let" board was placed on flats at Hythe Hill. Such advertisements on flats require the consent of the local planning authority to be displayed.

The case followed an earlier hearing last April, when the Council brought charges against four estate agents, including Saxons, for putting up signs without the authority's permission. William H Brown, Spicerhaart and David Martin group admitted the charges and were each fined £500 plus costs, while Saxons denied the accusations and were summoned to appear for trial on 28 September 2017.

Saxons 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 advertisement consent.

Magistrates fined the company £1000 and ordered it to pay £2047.90 in costs.

Cllr Mark Cory, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: "The unsightly proliferation of illegal advertising signs creates a visual blight on our environment, which affects everyone's quality of life.

"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."

ENDS