Permission has been granted for a five-year blanket ban on advertising boards used by estate and letting agents in certain roads.

The measure was approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.

It will be enforced in Leyton and Leytonstone High Roads, Lea Bridge Road, Hoe Street and Forest Road in Walthamstow, and Crownfield Road in Leyton.

A one-year ban was previously granted to the council in 2012 after it applied for extended powers in the build-up to the Olympics.

But the council says it has taken action as many agents continue to flout the rules.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: "We issued 826 fixed penalty notices in a single year, but realised that many of the larger agents were simply building the cost of the fines into their margins.

"Not only were they flouting the law, but they were flouting our enforcement measures as some sort of acceptable cost of gaining free advertising."

Victor Michael estate agents, in Church Lane, Leytonstone, recently received a fine for displaying a sign a week longer than the statutory 14-day period which applies in the road.

But the firm claims it was unaware of the two-week rule.

Branch manager Gary Monk said: "I agree that signs shouldn’t be left up for months and that in these circumstances agents should be penalised through local enforcement but the 14-day period is a little strong.

"One of the best sources of advertisement has been stopped by a local authority and this is going to have a detrimental effect on the landlord, sellers and agents.

“75 per cent of our enquiries come from sale boards so all this means is the property will remain on the market for longer and any additional costs will be pushed onto the landlord or seller."