A former Watford business owner is demanding a council gives him £175,000 after it knocked back his plans to convert properties into flats for his sons.

Vittorio Alcorano says he is being "penalised" by Watford Borough Council over his bid to convert 142A Whippendell Road into flats for his sons, Arturo and Angelo.

The authority rejected a similar proposal in 1986 for 48 St James Road, with the 75-year-old calling on the council to pay him compensation for the "emotional and mental effects" the 29-year saga has had on him.

He said: "There was nothing wrong with my proposals - they were for my boys and now they have to pay high mortgages.

"It has had a great effect on me. I have been through a rough patch. But the council is not interested and I feel they have penalised me."

The council said the 1986 proposal for St James Road was rejected on parking and amenity grounds, with a subsequent appeal thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Alcorano’s initial plan for Whippendell Road was rejected because of the loss of light to neighbouring properties but the application could have been granted last year had he reached a section 106 agreement with the council.

The authority added: "There is no right to compensation when planning permission is not granted.

"Mr Alcorano could have appealed against the decision in March 2014 and would have been able to submit a claim for costs, but he did not, and the six month time limit for appeals has now expired."