THE owner of a controversial “shanty” house next to a Grade II-listed building in Mistley has applied to have the building legally recognised as a home .

Peter Thompson Bates was ordered to remo ve extensions to an outbuilding behind Constable Place, in High Street, following a ten-year legal battle that has seen him spend £30,000.

Nearby residents said the extenions had still not been fully removed, but both Mr Thompson Bates and Tendring Council insisted the conditions of the order had been met.

Now Mr Thompson Bates is applying to the council for a lawful development certificate, to have the building legally recognised as a dwelling.

Richard Hartley, of The Green, is acting on behalf of a dozen neighbours and other residents who are fed up with the situation.

He said: “This wouldn’t have arisen and he wouldn’t be in a position to apply for this if the council had done its job all the way through the saga.

“Tendring Council shouldn’t have allowed him to convert it in the first place .

“What he has succeeded in doing is creating a separate dwelling right in the middle of a conservation area all without approval.”

But Mr Thompson Bates said the enforcement order had been complied with and he had every right to make the application.

He said: “There is no semblance of the extension left and that has been confirmed by the district council – that’s the end of the story as far as I am concerned and as far as the council is concerned.

“I took away more than was initially put there, but because the council have been intransigent, it’s dragged on until I have confirmation of what the building can be used for.

“The problem is we cannot address it until we know. I can’t even tidy up and make the place pretty as it’s considered to be development and they’ll tell me to knock it down.

“Hopefully, this will resolve it.”