AN Ennis councillor wants to bring down the hammer on estate agents who erect signage, which, she believes, are breaching planning laws. The planning authority will now write to all estate agents operating within Ennis, reminding them of their obligations under the regulations.
Councillor Mary Howard has urged Clare County Council to “enforce the laws” regarding estate agent signs. Highlighting the issue at the Ennis Municipal District monthly meeting, she asked for a report from the planning authority on “breaches of planning law on this matter in the area”.
The councillor said she has been contacted by members of the public, complaining about signs erected by estate agents. However, she explained, these are not signs advising that a property is up for sale. “There are signs being put up, asking, ‘Are you considering selling?’. These are advertising, rather than ‘for sale’ signs. People are looking out their windows and seeing these signs.”
She added that she also has a “big bug bear” with ‘for sale’ signs, saying, “There has to be a better way to sell houses.” The councillor said the level of signage is starting to look like “the days of the Celtic Tiger”. She asked, “Will we be setting a precedent by allowing these signs up?”
The motion was supported by fellow Fine Gael councillor Johnny Flynn, who said the signage on other people’s property could lead to “a possible invasion of privacy, with people knocking on the door” believing the house is for sale. Brian McCarthy, acting director of services, confirmed that no formal complaints have been received in relation to estate agent signs.
“To date, the enforcement section of the planning authority has not received any formal complaints with regard to estate agent signage. However, in light of the issues as raised here, the planning authority intend to write to all estate agents operating within the town to remind them of their obligations under the planning acts and regulations.”
By Jessica Quinn