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Tree houses – planning consent required?

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by Gill Montia

Despite the Government’s declared intention to simplify planning regulations for home extensions and the like, parents erecting tree houses for their children’s play may now need to apply to their local authority for permission.

According to a report in The Telegraph, changes in planning law from last October have jeopardised the position of the tree house and the newspaper says that senior planning officers have confirmed all such constructions now need full planning permission.

The process involves a fee of £150 and the preparation of plans and drawings that could add to the cost, plus a wait of several weeks to obtain approval, or not.

The rules are not only for “grand designs” but equally apply to the kind of self-assembly playhouses that can be bought on the High Street.

Speaking to the newspaper, Phil Kirby, who has recently stepped down as president of the Planning Officers’ Society, explained that tree houses now fall under new rules for outbuildings, garden sheds and verandas, which are based on height above ground level.

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News posted: July 7, 2009

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