A couple have been fined after their bungling attempt to disguise a secret home by hiding it behind a fake garage door was foiled by council officers.
Reeta Herzallah and Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations after their home’s garage was converted into an extra house, according to Blaby District Council.
The local authority said planning permission for the couple’s home was granted for a development in 2007 which included conditions that the garage should remain available permanently.
The couple, of Old Church Road in Enderby, Leicestershire, were each ordered to pay a £770 fine, legal costs of £1,252 and a £77 victim surcharge.
They received the fine after a court hearing Leicester Magistrates’ Court, which neither attended, on Wednesday, February 7.
The garage will now have to be restored to its former use after a series of follow-up visits by the council resulted in the discovery of a series of planning breaches.
Councillor Sheila Scott, portfolio holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic & Community Development, 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 onto 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 that all the requirements of the Breach of Condition Notice are fully complied with.”