A SHOCKED mother was threatened with an enforcement order after not applying for planning permission – for a five-foot Wendy house.
Angharad Holloway and her husband Craig put up a wooden Wendy house for their daughters earlier this month.
While Eleanor, seven, and three-year-old Anwen enjoyed playing in the tiny wooden house with their friends, Oxford City Council took a more serious view of the outbuilding.
Now the family have been told they will have to pay an estimated £170 for a retrospective application for planning permission for the play home.
Mrs Holloway, 29, said: “Someone made a complaint, and the next week I got a letter saying I’ve made an ‘unauthorised erection of an outbuilding’. I spoke to the council and the lady laughed and agreed it was ridiculous.
Council staff told Mrs Holloway, who lives in Clays Close, Marston, to email planning officers to clarify the situation.
“They told me to email, but they said that it should be fine,” she said.
But planning officer Philip Ridley replied saying that she should apply for planning permission, or she would face enforcement action.
This could include having the Wendy house taken down, a fine, or even a trip to the magistrates’ court.
Mr Ridley said in his letter: “The Wendy house requires planning permission.
“Should you choose to not apply for planning consent, the council would be obliged to consider the expediency of formal enforcement action.
“I look forward to receiving an application from you.”
Mrs Holloway, a district nurse, said: “This is ridiculous. It’s only five-feet high at the apex. It’s not on stilts or anything, it’s just a Wendy house.”
The playhouse is in the family’s front garden, which is their largest garden and the only area with grass. Their back garden is smaller and completely covered by a patio.
Mrs Holloway said: “The children in the area all play out in the front garden. It’s all in a very safe
“It’s facing our front window so that we have visual contact at all times, and it cannot be seen from the main road – it is hidden from view by trees.”
Mr Holloway purchased the
second-hand Wendy house for £90.
The council has not told Mrs
Holloway how much the retrospective planning application will cost, but online calculators estimate it will be over £170 – almost double the playhouse’s original cost.
Mrs Holloway said: “I just think this whole situation is ludicrous and I’m not really sure what
resolution there can be except for being forced into paying a
ridiculous sum of money.
“I certainly can’t risk going down the route of an enforcement order.”
Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “The council has to
follow the rules laid down by
Government for what needs
“Under Government legislation it states that planning permission is required for buildings such as
garden sheds and Wendy houses, where the main garden lies to the front of the house.
“The council has acted properly in advising the owner that they need planning permission and always recommends that property owners contact the council before carrying out work so that we can advise on whether any permission is required.”
Oxford City Council requires that people apply for planning permission before they extend their homes or put up
These rules apply to sheds, greenhouses, garages and many other structures.
If the homeowner does not apply for planning permission before
building they can apply for it retrospectively, but it can be very expensive.
Our top stories:
5:43pm Friday 4th September 2015
A SOLDIER has died at St David's Barracks in Bicester today.
5:33pm Friday 4th September 2015
LOCAL control of health service budgets in Oxfordshire has been included in a £4bn bid to secure major new powers from the Government.
3:46pm Friday 4th September 2015
A DESIGNER clothing firm has today been fined £1.2m for "systematic" health and safety failures that led to a four-year-old boy being crushed by a 7ft mirror.
11:48am Friday 4th September 2015
A woman and her daughter who were missing from Witney have been found safe and well.
11:06am Friday 4th September 2015
A SIGNALLING problem at London Paddington is expected to cause delays of up to half an hour to all trains travelling from Oxfordshire to the capital until midday.
8:30am Friday 4th September 2015
HUNDREDS are expected to attend a demonstration in Oxford this weekend against the UK Government’s stance on refugees.
8:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A MAN who killed his 26-year-old friend by speeding near North Leigh was jailed for a year yesterday.
8:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A “BOISTEROUS and bouncy” dog who “gets a bit psychotic” when he sees a vet has been stuck in an Oxfordshire rehoming centre for eight years.
7:00am Friday 4th September 2015
FRIENDS and the emergency services made “heroic” efforts to try to save an Oxford teenager on the night he drowned, a coroner said yesterday.
6:30am Friday 4th September 2015
EVERY school in the county should be part of an Oxford Mail-backed literacy campaign, organisers have said.
6:00am Friday 4th September 2015
A ‘CHILL-OUT’ space for teenagers, a coffee shop and a computer room should be provided as part of a new West Way community hub., residents say.
6:30pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A 23-year-old man has been jailed for a year following the death of Long Hanborough man Richard Reed in a car crash last year.
8:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
AN 880-PUPIL free school in Oxford has been hailed as the beginning of a new solution to the county’s shortage of places.
5:06pm Thursday 3rd September 2015
A JUDGE has postponed sentencing a designer clothing firm over health and safety failures that led to a four-year-old boy being crushed by a 7ft mirror.