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‘Tear down your kids’ treehouse’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 03, 2012


Comments (20)

A MAN has been ordered to tear down a kids'  beloved treehouse — because it did not have planning permission.

Shane MacDonald has been given a month to demolish the structure he has spent nearly a year building as a Christmas present for his partner's daughters Saphire, six, and Scarlett, four.

The joiner, of Salisbury Drive, Midway, said: “The girls did nothing but cry when we told them and they are heartbroken.”

The treehouse measures more than 10ft at its highest point and has been built by Mr MacDonald in the back garden of his council-owned property.

But, following a complaint from a neighbour, South Derbyshire District Council said the treehouse did not have proper planning permission and was unsafe. Mr MacDonald has been given 28 days to tear it down.

He said: “We have been told we have to take it down or the council will take action and we will have to pay the costs for it.

“I have spoken to many residents, council workers and even councillors, and all agree the council is bang out of order.

“All anyone wants is a safe place for their kids to play.

“The treehouse would have been great for kids’ birthday parties and things like that.

“I suppose I will have to take it down but I want to get something else sorted for the girls instead, like a Wendy house.”

Mr MacDonald started building the treehouse 10 months ago after Saphire and Scarlett saw one while on holiday.

He promised to build one for them as a Christmas treat.

“We asked all neighbours up and down our road before we started so we could sort out any differences, but all was okay and many couldn’t wait to see it start going up,” Mr MacDonald said.

The council, however, said the treehouse did not meet national planning rules and claimed it was unsafe.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We came to the conclusion that a development such as this, under national law, needed planning permission, which was neither applied for nor granted.

“We also have a duty of care to ensure our tenants are safe and secure at all times.

“After inspecting the structure, it was clear it could put anyone who uses it at risk of harm.

“We are continuing to talk to to come to a solution moving forward.

“To use Mr MacDonald’s words, we want to help ensure that there is a safe place for the kids to play.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  January 16 2013, 3:37PM

    Am currently suffering the same with St Helens council, but as always there is no consistency between councils with ours claiming it is a platform, therefore failing as it is over 30cm from the ground. However, they have also told me not to apply for permission as they will refuse. When will common sense be making a come back?!? As I said to them, would they prefer I spend the money on a console and encourage them to veg in front of the TV!

  • Burton Mail  |  December 12 2012, 10:35PM

    planning permission for a tree house ? what a joke !!!! the problem isnt the treehouse its theoverpaid bureaucrats that have got nothing better to do !!

  • Burton Mail  |  December 11 2012, 1:39PM

    The law may be the law but that does not stop councils only applying it where it suits them.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 7:56PM

    For thoses who want to see the treehouse look at the picture above and its just right to the blue building the roof is just above the fence..the only problem is it is one foot to high wow..Councils are all killjoys :(

  • Burton Mail  |  December 07 2012, 11:29AM

    excuse me its a tree house,how about the council do the job which they get paid very highly for,like waste collection going back to weekly not every 2 wks and i ate to tell u all this i would put a wendy hopuse on legs the do not need planning permission because the are not a perminent structure

  • Burton Mail  |  December 05 2012, 4:56PM

    @DonDon "The law may be the law but anyone who really abides by it is such a suck up..." I rest my case m'lud.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 05 2012, 2:49PM

    its about time the council did there job and treat everyone the same, the rules are in place for a reason. it isnt fair on the rest of us that pay planning permission. all the kids need is love and atension at xmas not a huge tree house .

  • Burton Mail  |  December 05 2012, 12:20PM

    He lives in a council owned house. Surely anything like building a tree house should have been passed through them first? like it would if you were rent the house? I do feel sorry for the kids though, it is only a tree house. Not like it's an extra room though. Unfortunately their father didn't think to find out whether he could do it first. Sounds like a case of someone who doesn't like being told no.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 05 2012, 10:56AM

    Council doing there job at last. Kids just need quality time with parents that's all they need for Xmas.

  • Burton Mail  |  December 05 2012, 10:50AM

    The law is there for a reason , why should they not pay planing permission like the rest of us.