A large Dingwall decking built without permission has been granted a reprieve by a planning committee.
Councillors agreed to grant retrospective planning permission for the 78ft structure after being impressed with it on a site visit earlier this week.
Gordon Christie had been forced to apply for permission for the wooden decking in his garden at Mountrich Place in the village after a complaint about it overlooking his site that has planning permission for a house.
The council’s north planning manager Dafydd Jones argued that it should be refused because it is “very imposing, excessive and would negatively impact on the plot below”.
But councillors were unconvinced by the argument and voted to allow the decking to stay.
The decking commands dramatic views over the Cromarty Firth – and committee members agreed that the Christie’s should be able to make the most of their garden.
Councillor Margaret Paterson Dingwall and Seaforth, said: “It’s a stunning view they have. Why would anyone want to look down into someone else’s house when they have that view?”
The decking levels off a steep slope at the bottom of the garden at the home.
Councillor Maxine Smith, Cromarty Firth, said she had changed her mind on the decking having seen it on the site visit.
She said: “I found it useful because I found that if you stood at the foot of the grass then you would still see most of the house.
“You couldn’t see the driveway but the area where the people in the house will use is to the front, that’s where the privacy is. I don’t think it will make that much difference.”
Planning permission has been granted for a house on the overlooked site, although it is currently undeveloped.
Mr Christie said he mistakenly looked at UK rather than Scottish planning guidelines for decking, and claimed the contractor which erected the decking said that planning approval would not be needed.