HOUSEHUNTERS can now get the keys to their very own ‘Shoebox’ - and it’ll cost you as much as £800 per month.

The house, in High Street, Wheatley, occupies just 36 square metres - about a tenth of the size of a tennis court - and has been at the centre of a long and bitter planning dispute for years.

Its owner Mark Keely said it could be worth as much as £300,000, and although he is currently only planning to rent the property, he still thinks it might fetch as much as £800 per month.

However, the creation of the house has been far from a smooth process.

Property developer Mr Keely was initially only granted permission to build a bike shed, with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) making clear that the building could not be used as a residence.

SODC rejected two further applications to convert the building into a house, saying that it was not in keeping with the Wheatley conservation area.

However, Mr Keely, who runs Keely Construction, appealed to the government’s Planning Inspectorate, which overturned the decision and even ordered the council to pay him compensation.

SODC declined to comment on the compensation paid to Mr Keely, but spokesman Gavin Walton said: “We and members of the community believe that this proposal is out of keeping with the surrounding High Street area.

“However, the inspector did not share our concerns and allowed the appeal.”

The plot of land on which the Shoebox is built was formerly used as a parking space for the solicitors office next door.

Mr Keely bought the solicitors office in 2014 with permission to separate the property into three flats, however the council removed permission for the spot to be used for parking, rendering the space useless.

The tiny open-plan property features a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and separate living area.

When the Mr Keely first applied to build a ‘microhouse’ over a year ago, neighbour Tess Harris told the Oxford Mail it was inappropriate, dubbing the proposed development a ‘shoebox’.

Now Mr Keely has officially registered the property as the ‘The Shoebox’, with a large sign bearing the name on the front of the house.

Mrs Harris said: “This is needless taunting of me by calling it the shoebox, which is uncivil and disrespectful.

"I can see that it’s funny in a way, but its just so rude.”

Her neighbour confirmed that he had named the ‘shoebox’ following an article in the Oxford Mail.

But he said it was only intended to disprove the notion that ‘you can’t live in a shoe box’.

He told the Oxford Mail: “I understand that Tess has been sad, and that makes me sad. I didn’t [name it the Shoebox] to taunt her, and I have no negative feelings in the slightest.”

Mrs Harris, who lives the house with her son, told the Oxford Mail she was shocked to see what looked like a house being erected where permission had only been granted for a bike shed.

She said that application had never described the proposal as a ‘two-storey’ building, and the drawings submitted had been inaccurate.

Mrs Harris suggested that Mr Keely had been building a house, not a bike shed, all along.

However, the developer insisted the building adheres to all the original specifications.

Despite her anger at the situation, Mr Keely’s neighbour said she was ultimately concerned with the bigger picture.

She added: “We can’t live in a world where building developers can override council policies with the view that they’re doing society a favour by providing cheap housing.”