The owners of a log cabin in woodlands in Hersham - known locally as 'La La Land' after the Oscar-nominated film - have been told they need to up sticks after building it without planning permission.

The "substantial" cabin was constructed in an area next to Convent Lane in Hersham, off of Seven Hills Road, but was built on greenbelt land without planning permission.

The cabin owner had claimed it was built for the purpose of bio-diversity research, but Elmbridge Council, who have been embroiled in a three-year legal wrangle with the owners, maintained it was unauthorised and was potentially being used for residential accommodation.

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The cabin is just off Seven Hills Road in Hersham

The council had issued an enforcement notice for the cabin to be removed - but the owner applied for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development for "the continuous use of land and cabin as a residential house" from the council, which if granted would have made the cabin "immune" from enforcement action.

It was refused in January 2015 as the council considering it was not a dwelling house, but the owner appealed the notice on various grounds and went to a formal inquiry chaired by the Planning Inspector on January 4, 2017 where it was decided the cabin would need to be taken down.

Councillor Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning said: "Elmbridge takes its role in Green Belt protection very seriously and will continue to actively pursue those who deliberately flout planning rules and procedures.

"In this case, officers have worked for almost three years to ensure that the woodland is restored to its condition prior to the breach of planning law."

In June 2016, the council was involved in a successful prosecution for the destruction of thousands of trees at Corbie Wood on the Seven Hills Road.