Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Gran ordered to pull down summer house for being six inches too big

A grandmother-of-four has been ordered to pull down a summer house in her garden after a neighbour is believed to have complained.

Cheryl Woodley, 61, had the structure built two months ago during lockdown for when her grandchildren – who she hasn’t seen for more than a year – come to visit for the summer holidays.

But council bosses warned Cheryl must remove the entire outbuilding or face legal action.

Renfrewshire Council visited Cheryl at her home in Paisley, Scotland, after receiving a complaint – where an investigation is said to have found the summer house was six inches (15cm) too big.

Cheryl says she has also been told she must remove a children’s swing from a communal area outside her property.

Three of her four grandchildren, Olivia, Bethany and Ronnie, aged between nine and 11, usually travel from London each year during the summer holidays, Cheryl said.

‘But they missed out last year because of Covid,’ she added.

‘The idea was that, when they return to London, we can keep all their toys and stuff in the summer house for next year.

‘They’re coming to stay for six weeks during the summer holidays, and another neighbour, who I share the garden with, built the summer house for me.’

The outbuilding is made from wooden pallets which Cheryl painted blue and also includes a built-in window and a set of antlers mounted on the outside.

But a neighbour is thought to have complained that the summer house is too close to their property.

Cheryl added: ‘The council came down and took photographs and basically said we have to take the whole lot down.

‘It’s set in concrete, so it’ll be difficult to remove.

‘The neighbour has also complained that it is too near their fence, which it isn’t.

‘The summer house is only 15 centimetres taller than it should be.’

And Cheryl says she has been told she can’t appeal the decision.

A council spokesperson said: ‘Our housing officer visited Ms Woodley on May 18 to advise permission would be needed to build a summer hut in her garden.

‘We have provided her with information on the size and specifications of structure she can build in her garden and a form to request permission to go ahead with the work.

‘If she requires further assistance with her application, she can contact our housing officer, who will be happy to help.’

It comes days after a dad who spent three months during lockdown building a huge treehouse for his daughters was told to tear it down.

Kai Grunwald, 40, spent £1,200 on the 16ft, three-storey wooden play area for daughters Kara, six, and four-year-old Kayleigh at their home in Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire.

But his local council said in a letter that the treehouse was in breach of planning regulations because it was more than 0.3m in height.

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