A MAN phoned police after his neighbour posted a giant photo of a grinning Sir Cliff Richard in the window overlooking his dining room.

James Maltby said the image of the beaming pop star was “creepy” but police told him they could not do anything about the picture – because it was not a zombie.

Mr Maltby believes his neighbour posted the image on the property in Sutherland Road to get back at him after he reported him to the council over allegations he was breaching planning rules – which his neighbour denies.

Mr Maltby said: “I woke up and he has stuck a picture in his window of a face of Cliff Richard looking down at us.

“I called the police and they said there was nothing they can do about it.

“They said if it was a picture of a zombie they could do something about it, but because it is a picture of a face they cannot.

“It is a creepy image. I think he is trying to send us a message saying he knows it is us.”

The neighbour, James Dean, said he was “surprised to find myself amidst a most bizarre misunderstanding” and the image was posted by a “comrade” as a “comical greeting”.

Mr Dean works in the building and denied breaking planning rules by also living there.

He said he often worked “long hours and nocturnal shifts” in the building for the design studio of which he is creative director, Clockwise 360 Ltd.

He added that since hearing of Mr Maltby’s objection he had taken the photo down, and “would like to apologise for any offence caused.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police received a report on Sunday last week that a man had put up a picture of Cliff Richard in a window facing the informant’s garden in Sutherland Road in Brighton.

“Officers spoke to the informant but informed him that displaying the picture was not an offence.

“The informant was encouraged to speak to the owner of the building to resolve the issue.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Our planning enforcement team has been contacted [about the building] and they are investigating whether a change of use has taken place.”