Family's joy over treehouse victory

A FAMILY are looking forward to many years of play and fun in a garden tree house after planners rejected calls to have it removed.Roger Hardy built the tree house in the garden of his home in Bridge Street, Halesworth for his two children and their friends to enjoy.

By David Lennard

A FAMILY are looking forward to many years of play and fun in a garden tree house after planners rejected calls to have it removed.

Roger Hardy built the tree house in the garden of his home in Bridge Street, Halesworth for his two children and their friends to enjoy.

But, when a complaint was made to Waveney District Council, he was told as his home was in the town's conservation area he needed to apply for planning permission for the wooden structure.


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Council planning and conservation officers recommended the tree house should be taken down or at least moved to another tree in the garden where it would not be so visible to people using a public footpath that runs behind the family's garden wall.

However, when the story was first featured in the EADT last week Roger and Judith Hardy received plenty of support for the tree house from neighbours and members of Halesworth Town Council.

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“Ever since the story first appeared in the EADT we have received nothing but support from people who have contacted us and we are very grateful,” said Mr Hardy, who is a well-known Suffolk artist.

And, when the “retrospective” planning permission was discussed by members of Waveney District Council's Rural Area Planning Committee this week they too were won over.

Councillors decided to allow the tree house to stay as long as Mr and Mrs Hardy's children were young enough to enjoy it.

Patricia Flegg, who represents Halesworth on the committee said the tree house was “a brilliant place” for children to play.

“I cannot believe anyone would be petty enough to complain about it,” she said.

Although planning officers had described the tree house as “a garden shed on stilts” members of the committee unanimously voted to allow it to stay.

And yesterday Mr and Mrs Hardy and their children, aged five and seven, were able to enjoy the tree house without the fear of having to tear it down.

“It is something of a relief to have the matter finally closed. I offered to paint the tree house green so that it would blend in more with its surroundings and I will be doing this shortly,” said Mr Hardy.

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