The Times (p6) reports that the council told residents of Nomansland, Wiltshire, that it is now powerless to act because too much time has elapsed.
The conflict began nearly 10 years ago when Chris Monkton, a builder, replaced a small cottage with a five-bedroom house. He later added balconies to upstairs rooms.
Mr Monkton obtained retrospective planning permission for some of the work. But did not seek authorisation for the balconies.
A council spokesman said: 'Profuse apologies have been offered to the complainant and other neighbours. We have admitted liability. As regards compensation, that will be considered in due course.'