AN investigation into whether a multi-million pound car park extension was lawfully built is still ongoing more than a year after it has been launched.

A hulking metal barrier was built at Manningtree station two years ago as part of a £3.1 million bid to to provide 226 extra parking spaces.

The “Manningtree Berlin Wall”, as it is called by objectors, lies on a site designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Charles Clover, chairman of the Dedham Vale Society and author of Prince Charles’ biography, has been questioning the legitimacy of the extension for the past two years.

He claims Greater Anglia built the car park without obtaining the proper environmental permission.

However, Tendring Council is still working to asses its environmental impact.

Mr Clover said: “If an environmental report is needed it means that Greater Anglia did not follow the law when this was built and they built it without planning permission in a sensitive area.”

A spokesman for Greater Anglia has previously said the extension fell within the scope of a permitted development, which meant there was no need to obtain further planning permission.

A Tendring Council spokesman said: “To date we have been working on the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment screening process for the works that have taken place.

“No decisions have been taken at this stage in respect of future enforcement, but in line with our enforcement approach it is expected that discussions will continue with Greater Anglia to resolve this matter.”

According to Mr Clover, the metal barrier must either be “taken out or drastically landscaped”.

He said: “We want Tendering Council to bring some enforcement action.

“We don’t mind it being a car park, it just has to be landscaped.

“The final irony is that the car park is empty now because people are working from home.

“Now it is going to be filled up and people will be annoyed they have wasted all this time when they could have been making it good during lockdown.”