An estate agent who is campaigning for boards to be banned in his local area says they should be 'confined to Room 101'.
Christian Harper - who runs the Harper Finn agency in Chiswick - is lobbying Hounslow Council to introduce a ban on boards.
The agent has written to Hounslow Council's head of planning on two separate occasions in the last three months but is yet to receive a reply.
He wants his local authority to follow the lead of other parts of the capital where boards are restricted, including Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Westminster and Wandsworth.
Boards are also banned or restricted in other parts of the country, including Reading, Bath and Brighton and Hove.
The principal point conveyed in Harper's second letter to the council - reproduced on local news website ChiswickW4.com - is that boards don't actually help agents to sell houses.
He says the portals now account for almost 100% of prospective buyers as the internet has superseded traditional estate agency techniques.
“I began to explore the need and purpose of estate agents' signs. Why do we still use them? Is it to sell a property or is it actually just to shamelessly exploit free advertising to promote the estate agent's brand?" says Harper.
Harper, who used to work for Foxtons, says that he was once told that if you managed to get a board in a street, it would lead to further business later in the year.
"Nothing was ever mentioned about helping to sell that house for the client, it was all about advertising and promotion of the brand,” he says.
He continues: "Estate agents believe they have some kind of entitlement to this free marketing and then proceed to leave the board up for many months until the move day and in some cases beyond, until the new homeowner is fed up and calls them to remove it.”
The agent also discusses the growing phenomenon of school sponsorship boards.
"One summer I had 500 sponsorship boards up in Chiswick at the same time which was great for me and also great for the schools that benefited however it wasn't great for the residents of Chiswick who had to look at a sea of boards, it led to many complaints and for every £10 I gave the school, it cost me £10 for design, print and to put up the boards in the first place."
"Agents talk about community and how they ‘give back’. I am not aware of any other business that insists on parents having a ‘fake’ for sale board outside for weeks [in order] to give £20 each to the school," writes Harper.
"If agents want to assist the community, give the money to the school in return for a mention in the programme, not blight [the local area] with 100 boards for a school fireworks party."
The agent, who concedes that he may sound like the 'ultimate turkey voting for Christmas', is urging local sellers to refuse agents' boards while he encourages the council to introduce a ban.