Dad-Of-One 'Wins Against Council' To Not Destroy 10ft Wide Treehouse He Built For Son

'I told him, I would not give up fighting for it.'

24/06/2016 10:21

A dad-of-one is over the moon after being told he no longer has to take down the treehouse he built for his son, after a council committee meeting. 

Chris Mack, 35, from Norfolk, built the den - 10ft wide and 5ft high - in a conifer tree for his eight year-old son James to encourage him to play outdoors. 

However council officers reportedly said he may have to take it down when they spotted it in December 2015, claiming it "infringed planning regulations". 

Mack put together a retrospective planning application which included a letter from neighbours in support of the treehouse. 


South Norfolk Council's planning committee has now voted to keep the treehouse in the village of Harleston after an impassioned plea by the dad.

"It is such a relief to have this sorted now, it has been going on for five months now," Mack said.

"When the council announced the decision I just wanted to jump into the air for joy. 

"I was given five minutes to pour my heart out and they listened to what I had to say." 

Mack built the den three years ago but South Norfolk Council reportedly said he may have to take it down when they found out. 

Officers told Mack to apply for retrospective planning permission but "recommended its refusal" because of the supposed impact on the neighbours' privacy. 

He presented the council with a letter signed by his neighbours in support of the treehouse. 


Mack said parents living nearby "loved" the treehouse, which measures 10ft (3m) wide, 5ft (1.5m) high, and allowed their children to play in it with his son. 

He said: "James loves it, he is a real outside person I always wanted to keep him off the tablet and enjoying nature. 

"He has his friends over for sleepovers in the treehouse. 

"If their parents give them permission I let all his friends play in it, it is in a lovely location, overlooking farmland and fields." 

The treehouse has two beds, one for Mack and a second for James, and also boasts a TV and painted walls. 

The wooden structure cost Mack around £600 to make and features a ladder platform, hammock and mains electricity. 


The dad added: "James didn't really understand what was going on but he was upset about the prospect of losing his treehouse. 

"I told him, I would not give up fighting for it, I would have taken it to appeal if the decision went against us. 

"I put my heart and soul into that treehouse." 

A council spokesman said the 10 committee members decided "the degree of harm caused to the visual amenity of the area and the privacy of the neighbours was not sufficient to warrant refusal". 

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