A huge model dinosaur threatened with extinction by planning inspectors has been handed a stay of execution by the Secretary of State.

The 100-foot diplodocus at the Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf Course, in Rowley Lane, looked set for demolition when it emerged the site owners failed to seek planning permission for the Prehistoric giant.

Hertsmere Council ordered the popular creature be destroyed, claiming the lifelike structure distracted drivers of the nearby A1 Barnet Bypass and broke planning rules.

But owners Adventure Experience Ltd appealed to the Secretary of State, who this week ruled the creature could remain if it is moved out of sight of the busy main road.

The course's management has already received planning permission to swap the location of the diplodocus with a smaller iguanodon at the premises, on the Barnet/Borehamwood border.

The golf course now has five months to move the dinosaur to its new location.

Planning inspectors first issued an enforcement notice on the business in June 2012, almost a year after the attraction first opened.

The order came months after pupils of nearby Summerswood Primary School, in Furzehill Road, Borehamwood, named the herbivore 'Multiasaurus' in a children’s competition.

The planning inspector noted in their report that “the model represents one of the largest of the dinosaur species” but constituted an “inappropriate development” on green belt land.

However, having considered that “the model adds elements of interest and, for some, possibly surprise and fun to an otherwise bland urban fringe landscape”, the inspector was not moved to order its destruction.

They also came to the conclusion that the economic benefit of the eye-opening model outweighed the impact on the character and appearance of the rural area.