United Kingdom

Couple win battle with council after being told they needed planning permission for treehouse

A couple have won their battle to keep a treehouse built for their children during lockdown after council authorities demanded they get planning permission. 

Nicky Falder, 33, and his wife Bev, 32, erected the 13ft wooden structure for their sons Max, nine, and Toby, seven, to enjoy in the garden of their Belle Vue, Carlisle, home.

But the boys' fun was nearly spoiled by Carlisle City Council who sent a letter demanding the parents receive approval or face tearing the treehouse down.

Thankfully a neighbour rowed in behind the parents and urged the council not to refuse permission. 

Nicky Falder, 33, and his wife Bev, 32, erected the 13ft wooden structure for their sons Max, nine, and Toby, seven, to enjoy

The boys' fun was nearly spoiled by Carlisle City Council who sent a letter demanding the parents receive approval or face tearing the treehouse down

Ms Falder said she was 'shocked' when the order landed on her doorstep because she had thoroughly researched the planning laws.   

However a recent rule change requiring retrospective planning permission threatened to scupper the family's lockdown activities.   

Ms Falder said: 'We were really shocked when we got a letter from the council, we had looked into whether we needed it.

'We thought we had covered all the basics, it wasn't too high. The boys are aged 7 and 9 and the fact they can get into it and do things means it's a nice little break for them, especially during lockdown - they are very happy to have sleepovers in there.

'We put it up at the beginning of lockdown, originally there was a tree there and we thought about taking it down but then thought the kids could benefit from a playhouse at the top of it.

Max (right) and Toby have been having sleepovers in the treehouse during lockdown

'They can also get into it through a little hatch at the bottom, it's a proper little hideaway.

'To the top I think it is just over 4 metres, I think inside it is about two metres-squared.'

Toby said: 'It's great, you can do colouring up there and there is a secret hatch.'

Max said his favourite activity in the treehouse was drawing on the whiteboard.

Planning approval was eventually given with the help of a neighbour who told the council: 'The treehouse is well constructed, tasteful and sympathetic to the area and they have been very considerate.

'Please do not refuse permission for this beautiful structure and spoil the enjoyment of this lovely young family.'  

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