Mum shocked at tree house council threat

Linus Coppersthwaite in the tree house which needs to be lowered or removed according to planning regulations.
Linus Coppersthwaite in the tree house which needs to be lowered or removed according to planning regulations.
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A mum is calling on Fylde Council to get its priorities right after being told to lower or remove her children’s tree house.

Just hours after completing the structure at her home in Ribby Road, Kirkham, Miranda Cox received a shock visit from a council planning officer to be told the house breached planning rules.

The 45-year-old mother of Linus, 11, and Eve, 14, said she was stunned to be told the tree house was too big and urged council officers to concentrate their efforts on the impact of housing developments in the borough rather than a children’s play area.

She added: “It seems ridiculous. We are facing large scale development which will have a massive impact in our community and officers are visiting residents over tree houses.

“I am so shocked – it is about the council getting their priorities right.

“It is ironic that action has been taken against a children’s climbing frame yet Fylde Council has been in disagreement and disarray over its Local Plan for years and as a result rural Fylde is now facing large scale development on greenbelt land.

“It has left us wondering where the council’s priorities lie, and we now wish to alert other families who may be planning similar structures to do their research before they hammer in a single nail.”

Miss Cox said she accepted the tree house was too large, but urged the council to look at larger developments in the borough which she feels will impact on the region.

She added: “We have had some platforms in the tree for many years and as the children have got older thought it would be nice to extend it.

“We had taken down an old climbing frame and my son and my husband, Duncan, came up with the plan for using the wood to make a tree house. It took three days to build but within a day we had a visit from a planning officer after a neighbour reported us. It’s a shame.”

A spokesman for Fylde Council said the tree house was in breach of regulations – and added planning rules were in place to “uphold the law.”

He said: “There was a complaint about the height of the tree house which meant it could oversee a neighbour’s garden.

“Neighbours have a right to a reasonable degree of privacy and there are laws about this kind of tree house.

“We have to uphold the law – they are there for the good of everyone.

“We are working on a 
Local Plan to prevent over-development. When adopted it will allow us to manage and restrict development.”