Council chiefs have failed in a High Court bid to force a developer to dismantle "inadequate" student flats in a historic High Wycombe building.

Wycombe District Council claims the flats in The Clock House, Frogmoor, are not up to scratch due to concerns over access to light and air.

Many of the rooms have no natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation is deemed "unacceptable", the council says.

In 2014, it issued an enforcement notice, alleging a breach of planning control by the developer and demanding the flats be dismantled.

It also ordered that The Clock House should be restored to its previous office use.

However, it was overturned after developer, Dr Mehrdad Rahimian, appealed to a planning inspector in May.

Today, council lawyers went to the High Court in London to challenge the inspector's ruling, but saw their case rejected by Judge John Howell QC.

The court heard the notice was quashed because the council had alleged the property had been turned into an unauthorised house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The inspector found that the developer's plan had been to first divide the house into six flats, then sub-divide those into individual units.

That meant the house was not an HMO, but a group of separate units, and so the allegation was proved invalid.

Inspector, Graham Dudley, went on to say he had considered whether to amend the notice to allege a breach based on the individual flats, however decided it would not be "reasonable" to do so and overturned the enforcement notice.

Lawyers for the council today argued the inspector was wrong in deciding against amending the notice, rather than quashing it.

However, Judge Howell decided the inspector’s decision should stand after hearing the evidence.

The council was refused permission to appeal.