St Albans magistrates hear case of illegal For Sale board on telegraph pole in Herts
PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 February 2016
Misleading advertising by local estate agency leads to nearly £2k in court fines.
Sterling estate agents pleaded guilty last week at St Albans magistrates’ court to the charges placed on them by Dacorum council in Hertfordshire.
Their crime: displaying a For Sale sign on a telegraph pole at Common Lane in Kings Langley.
Because the sign was not on display on either land or property for sale and it was deemed impossible to decipher precisely what it was advertising as being for sale.
Ruled as an ‘illegal display’, the court fined the agency £800 plus the council’s £780 legal costs and a victim surcharge of £80.
The council’s planning officers started legal proceedings against Sterling in November after - in the authority’s words - “several warnings to the company about placement of its boards.”
A spokesman has said that unlawfully-sited boards are “misleading, unsightly and can be visually distracting to motorists” and claims the authority “will not allow companies or individuals to colonise the borough’s public spaces for private gain.”
Sterling do not have offices in St Albans or Harpenden, but have sites in the surrounding areas of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Kings Langley and Tring,