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Couple hide tiny unauthorised house behind fake garage door

Shell: The house behind the facade

A COUPLE used a fake garage door and a high fence to hide a secret home from council inspectors.

Dr Reeta Herzallah, 37, and Hamdi Almasri, 39, breached planning regulations at their home in Enderby, Leicestershire, a court heard.

Mobile home: A car on the drive PICTURES: SWNS

They had obtained planning permission for a development in 2007 that included conditions stating car parking facilities, including the garage, should remain available permanently.

But they built the living space, with access to the B4114 road, which Blaby district council called ‘completely unacceptable’. Council officers were made aware of the breaches in 2015.

The couple applied for retrospective planning permission but were refused last year. Now, magistrates have ordered both of them to pay a £770 fine, legal costs of £1,252, and a £77 victim surcharge. Their garage also has to be restored to its former use.

Breaches: Herzallah and Almasri

Cllr Sheila Scott said: ‘The message from this case is clear. If you breach planning regulations and ignore us, we will not just go away.

‘Creating an access on to the busy B4114 and blocking off valuable off-road parking space was completely unacceptable. We will be following up the successful prosecution with a further visit to ensure all the requirements of the breach of condition notice are fully complied with.’