Residents have won a partial victory in a seven-year battle to force a railway company to tear down canopies overlooking their gardens.

Lambeth Council has ordered Southern Rail to pull down one of three structures that residents said flooded their homes with light all night and caused excessive noise.

One of three canopies that was built in 2005 without planning permission near platform three will be torn down.

Southern railway insisted it did not need permission, but residents forced the matter back through the council and a 12-day planning inquiry in 2010. Lambeth Council has now granted retrospective permission on condition one canopy is removed.

Streatham Hill councillor Jeremy Clyne said the decision was a victory.

He said: “Southern Rail’s behaviour has been outrageous. They built this monster development without planning permission and said those who objected were wasting their time. This is a huge victory for the residents.

"Backed by their ward councillors, they have forced the council to take action. However removal of just one canopy doesn’t go nearly far enough."

Councillor Lib Peck, cabinet member for regeneration said the council “fully appreciated what a nightmare this has been for residents”.

She said: “I am pleased the council secured £650k from Southern for soundproofing homes nearby, and agreements for a new dimmed lighting system and to remove the most intrusive canopy, as well as a berthing strategy that minimises impact on residents.”

A Southern spokesman said: “Planning permission was gained in May and we are complying with the condisions set, which included the removal of the canopy on platform three to be replaced with a low-level service rack to the north of platform three. We will also be replacing the external light fittings as required.”