A RESIDENT who created a home in a garage must stop living there and remove fixtures he installed after a planning inspector up held a Thurrock Council ruling.

The Government's Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal against the continued residential use of a garage in Orsett Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill, known locally as The Barn.

The original enforcement notice, issued on 11 June 2006, required the resident to stop living in the garage and remove all internal kitchen, bathroom, living accommodation fittings and facilities from the garage building.

Following the verdict Thurrock Council wanted the resident to vacate the garage immediately.

However, the law allows seven months from the date of the decision to leave the property incase the resident wants to appeal.

The resident initially appealed because they believed at the time the notice was issued it was too late for the Council to take enforcement action as the property had been in residential use for more than four years.

However, the planning inspectorate upheld the enforcement notice backing Thurrock Council.

Councillor Sue Macpherson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: "This is a welcome decision and highlights the fact Thurrock Council will pursue planning enforcement cases when necessary and by doing so safeguarding residential amenities within the green belt."