A Borehamwood man who spent around £2,500 on decking for his back garden has been told to remove it.

Michael Moretti, from Farm Close, said he had not realised the decking was against the planning rules Hertsmere Borough Council had drawn up for his street when it was built. "I feel I am being punished for not knowing I couldn't build such a structure," he said.

But councillors said the rules were there to stop Farm Close being made unattractive, and they were unable to grant permission for this structure to stay where it was. They voted to refuse permission for the decking to stay, and to instruct council officers to negotiate with Mr Moretti over its removal.