A Skipton businessman has hit out at a local authority after he was told to remove decking from his garden – or face prosecution.

Bob Wright, who runs the Wright Wine Company, installed the raised decking to create a platform for a greenhouse in his sloping back garden.

Mr Wright, who has lived in Tarn Moor Crescent for seven years, did not obtain planning permission and was contacted by the district council when his neighbour complained over loss of privacy.

“I think Craven District Council is being over-the-top about this,” he said. “They should be focussing their time and money on other things.

“It is not a fair and democratic solution for them to tell me I have to demolish and remove the decking. I want the planners to come and look at the site and tell me what I have to do to keep it.”

Mr Wright installed the decking two years ago and has submitted three amended planning applications, which have all been rejected. He engaged an architect to draw up plans for the council, planted conifers to create a screen and consulted tree experts to confirm the conifers were suitable for the site. He also submitted an unsuccessful appeal to the Secretary of State.

He said: “They are saying it is a raised platform and I can see in to the windows of my neighbours’ house. My garden is on a steep slope and it is only what I would see from higher up the garden anyway. The decking is 18 metres from my neighbours’ window and only slightly higher than the ground itself.”

Mr Wright’s last planning application was thrown out at the end of May and he now has until June 23 to remove the decking or face prosecution.

Ian Swain, development control manager at the council, said that unless the decking was removed a prosecution would be sought for non-compliance with the enforcement notice.