NEIGHBOURS of a wood burner firm which made their lives "living hell" have proclaimed victory after its bosses were told to cease operations within six months.

Stoke Prior firm Flog-a-Log began installation of a biomass boiler system and 14 flues in January 2016 without approval, and had retrospective planning permission refused.

Bromsgrove District Council served the company an enforcement notice to leave in October 2016, citing 'a number of breaches of planning control'.

The company, based on Intall Fields Farm in Stoke Pound Lane, appealed the notice, but an investigation by the Planning Inspectorate has now upheld the decision.

Neighbours who had campaigned against the firm due to the wood smoke emitted from its premises have expressed their relief at the news.

Nick Arkell, 55, who lives opposite the site, said: “The site had created a living hell for local residents with polluting fumes filling many nearby homes and the effects of the pollution felt at far greater distances deep into the village.

“Residents are absolutely delighted with the outcome and wish to thank the many parties that pulled together to bring about this tremendous result.

“Residents whose lives had previously been destroyed can now look forward to breathing clean air once again.”

Planning Inspector Nigel Burrows has ordered the company to cease use of the land, the operation of its log splitting business, and return the land to its original condition.

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesman added: “We are pleased that the Planning Inspector has dismissed the appeal and upheld the enforcement notice which was served by the council.

“This means all of the unlawful activities on site have to stop in the next six months.”