A businessman who installed metal gates outside his home to protect it against burglary has been told to alter them because they are six inches too tall.

Robin Arnold put up the steel gates, measuring five foot six inches, at his Stockport home in 2008 following a series of break-ins, the Daily Mail reports.

However, he did not apply for planning permission for the metal gates and a retrospective application and appeal were refused.

The gates are black with golden arrowheads, but should be solely black and a little smaller, Stockport Council has said.

Mr Arnold has refused to alter the design of the gates and ignored an enforcement notice in December, causing the council to launch prosecution against him, the Daily Mail said.

"I will be among thieves and burglars," the businessman told the newspaper.

"It's absolutely ridiculous it has come to that, but there are times you have to stand up and be counted and show up foolish attitudes for what they are."

A spokesman for the council said it would let the gates remain if the alterations were made.

"The council has been extremely flexible, but in the interests of fairness to other residents who have followed the correct procedures, we have no option but to take action against a continued breach of planning control."ADNFCR-3337-ID-800480291-ADNFCR