Property specialist Richard Carr asks, have you ever heard of anything as stupid as a parent having to request planning permission for a Wendy House? Well the struggle is real and unsurprisingly they were denied!
UK planning system is broken
Richard Carr has spoken about issues relating to his work and the impact that the current system has upon developers and home builders. Under resourced local planning authorities and outdated taxes are having a negative effect upon the industry and change is needed if the government is realistic about achieving its aim of building 200,000+ homes per year by 2020.
However, the aforementioned WendyHouse-Gate incident illustrates how over regulated and lacking in common sense parts of the system is.
In May, parents Michael Heron and Jenna Hulme bought their children a £239 Wendy house, which was erected in their front garden and measured 1.75m in height (shorter than the average door).
A complaint was made to the landlords of the property by a neighbour, forcing Heron to apply for planning permission from Oldham Council.
According to the official report, which was published in part on the Independent’s website, the initial complaint was made due to it impairing the view of the neighbour whilst the council denied planning application due to its size.
Stating: “The playhouse by reason of its size and prominent siting appears highly conspicuous within the street scene to the detriment of the visual amenity of the area.”
Heron, who was forced to pay £172 for the application, said: ““I was surprised that we were asked to get permission, but the fact that they’ve turned it down is totally disgusting.
“The situation is a complete joke and has come about from just one objection. I won’t be taking it down unless they come and force me to.”
A bit of common sense
In response, Cllr David Hibbert a cabinet member for planning at Oldham Council said: “Government legislation state that permission is required for buildings like garden sheds, garages, Wendy houses and many other structures, where the main garden is at the front of the house.
“Whilst we have sympathy with the owner, and nobody wants a child to not enjoy their garden, Government legislation charges us with protecting the visual appearance of the area.
“The Wendy house was refused due to its prominence and detrimental visual impact on the area.”
Stick a set of wheels on it!
Richard Carr believes that this incident is a typical example of the ridiculous situation that property developers face every day. It’s people trying to justify their existence by over implementing legislation.
Richard has a simple remedy for the parents: put the house on wheels and it becomes a moveable object and will not need planning.