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You canít build that here! Wendy house will have to go

Reporter: KEN BENNETT and ALEX CAREY
Date online: 15 September 2015

Jacob Heron has fallen foul of planning regulations - at the age of FOUR.

Oldham planners have insisted his new birthday Wendy House has to be taken down after rejecting his parents application for planning permission.

Michael Heron (26) and Jenna Hulme (25) of Huddersffield Road in Diggle received a letter in late June telling them to take it down or apply for planning permission for the 5ft 7in, £240 playhouse, brought for birthday boy Jacob and his sister Remie, who is two.

A neighbour had complained to housing association First Choice Homes that the playhouse compromised their view. Stunned by the letter, the couple applied for planning permission - which cost another £172.

On Friday the council said the application had been rejected - so it must be taken down or an appeal made.

Mike, a school counsellor, said: “The idea this little Wendy house can compromise someone’s view is baffling. Jacob was really excited on his birthday and loves playing in the house. The thought we might have to take it down is heartbreaking. We are appealing.

“It is particularly weird that Oldham Council has no problem accepting plans for a huge new school just down the road from our house, but a playhouse is out of the question.

“The issue might be that it is in our front garden - but we don’t have a big enough back garden for the children to play. We thought the planning appplication was a ridiculous process we’d eventually laugh about - but we never thought it would turn out like this.”

Councillor Dave Hibbert, cabinet Member for planning, said: “Permission is required for garden sheds, garages, Wendy houses and many other structures where the main garden is at the front of the house.

“We have sympathy with the owner and nobody wants a child to not enjoy their garden, but legislation charges us with protecting the visual appearance of the area. Written objections show other residents had significant concerns and on balance we agreed with that concern.”

The playhouse ban has enraged Saddleworth villagers, who are linking it to their battle over the controversial siting of the new £19.2 million Saddleworth School in Diggle. The site is a few hundred yards from the Wendy house.

Saddleworth parish councillor Keith Lucas, who lives in Diggle, said: “I'm speechless. When I was first shown this I thought it was a hoax. It beggars belief this is a OMBC planning decision. Really, how do you expect anyone in Diggle, Dobcross or the whole of Saddleworth, to have faith in the integrity and professionalism of Oldham's planning team if they can make such bizarre planning decisions?”

Mark Brooks, chair of Diggle Community Association, said: “Is a common sense approach to much to ask?”

Comments

The world really has gone mad and Oldham are leading the way. At the appeal I suggest you claim it is a place of worship and it will get the OK no problem. Just site the mosque next to Tesco at Westwood as the precedent.

Shocking decision.

hilarious double standards from ombc's cabinet member comedy Dave Hibbert!

"legislation charges us with protecting the visual appearance of the area. Written objections show other residents had significant concerns and on balance we agreed with that concern."

how many written objections were there for the wendy house?

compared with the number of written complaints for the new school?

Dave I'd stop now! before you make yourselves look even more stupid!

the nations now watching you now!

They should have declared that it was a Mosque! That way they'd have been guaranteed of planning permission, and they could even build it at 12ft high, 6 feet higher than the planning consent - it wouldn't matter the council would still pass it!
Remember that this is all based on the past performance of Oldham's planning department, and not some kind of conjecture !

beyond belief, the neighbour who complained and ombc,should hang there heads in shame,this is just another example why ombc are a laughing stock.as for the neighbour!!!!!!

Are you sure this story hasn't been cut and pasted from the pages of Viz?

You could not make it up! The Oldham Metropolitan Borough has a planning department that would be more at home in Never-Never Land! Cabinet member(that is a good title for wooden tops)Hibbert never shy to get into the front row of publicity has a very short memory when it comes to planning applications. Not too long ago a certain mosque despite building regulations being totally ignored re-height restriction was allowed to complete the structure. Now we have a Wendy house complaint, Blimey!

Typical , victimise a child but bend over backwards to force through unwanted buildings on green belt land .

What a bunch of braindead jobsworths we have working for Oldham Council.Just wondering if they ever lowered the roof on the mosque in Oldham when it was found to be in breach of the building application. One rule for.................
The crazy thing is it doesn't surprise me at all. What the councils forget is that they work for us and not the other way round. As for the neighbour.......well !!

Why can a Mosque, with its dome, miles over its height, break planning permission and be allowed to stay? and a poor little lad's 5ft 7ins house can't. Political or what?

His parents applied for planning permission which was rejected - end of story !

Yet they then report it to the press in the hope of getting public sympathy !

Well, they ain't getting any from me !

Some might argue that's "it's only a Wendy house" but the Council have received a complaint about it and are therefore only doing they duty in applying the rules.

The parents and the parish councillor might say all of this is ridiculous - but obviously at least one neighbour thinks differently.


Well I have faith in the integrity and the professionalism of Oldham's planning team. What evidence does Mr Lucas have of lack of integrity? None - innuendo and smears. There are guidelines, clearly published and they follow them. The playhouse ban has "enraged Saddleworth villagers" - no it hasn't, it has upset a few people.

So Sad the neighbours should be ashamed of themselves for complaining

not sure what concerns the other residents had, maybe because their kids wernt allowed to play in it perhaps. laughable

If by some slim chance it's a real story, then one of two things need to happen. The neighbour who complained needs to find a life and Oldham Council need to find at least one brain cell.

The family are right to complain. This is a nonsense. On what grounds was it rejected? Seems subjective from reading the officers report. The report even dismisses the complaints from neighbours but is more worried about others putting up similar structures! This is one off for a kid who will grow out of it and it can be removed in a few years. Anything like sheds can be rejected in the future. Why didnt they just approve with a time limit? Useless council, with a bully mentality.

Thou Dumber as many here have pointed out, the planning department duty in applying the rules appears to some more than others.
If the council applies its rules fairly and equally then perhaps people wouldn't have so much of a problem.
My own view on this is that it shouldn't be a permanent structure - maybe 4 or 5 years and then the property owners should remove it, after all the child should have grown out of it by then.

The planners are working to the rules and laws of planning. There will always be winners and losers, shouldn't take it out on those people doing their jobs. They can't afford to be subjective or emotional. Can't imagine this would have made that paper if it wasn't in Diggle

The parents say it was in their front garden because of no room at the back.

I for one would not enjoy looking at that in the front garden next to my home every day - and the size of it suggests it would compromise a view.

People here have failed to realise that the wendy house is a temporary structure and does not appear to be on a concrete or permanent base. No permission is required. All the parents have to do is move it a couple of inches every month and the council or neighbours can do nothing about it.

Flake, don't foget that in this town all ethnic groups are equal. It's just that some are more equal than others.

Oldham council planning department again eh? Maybe its about time they were investigated.

I had to check the date on this story was not April 1st.
If it was you could laugh. Dave Hibbert might protest that the planning Dept has a duty, but they also ought to use a bit of common sense. After all they get paid enough. If it had been a Mosque or a supermarket building on its car park it would have gone through on the nod of heads. As for the pathetic neighbour what a miserable creature he / she must be.

"Thou Dumber", the name says it all!! It's laughable for Oldham Council to hide behind rules and regulations when they bend them so frequently to suit their own purposes. As for needing planning permission in the first place what next, MOT's and Road Tax for pedal cars. Get a grip Oldham Council and try not to make yourselves look any more stupid than we already know you are.

If you put wheels on it, planning permission isn't required as it won't be a static item.

flake makes a valid point. the lad will grow out of it in no time so it will be gone. must be fun living around there with that shower of neighbours.. the planners really have to much red tape itus and not enough common sense.

what is also a complete farce is the councils lack of common sense and double standards on safety.

this wendy house is only sited in the front garden as these properties only have a tiny back yard. the front garden is enclosed by 1.0m high walls and gate which provide a safe area for little Jacob to play in.

yet the major concerns for childrens safety with the new proposed school all seem to be overlooked by ombc.

funny that.


What a lot of negative replies we have here and very little in the way of constructive help.

I feel awful sorry for the people who complained as they obviously do not have children of their own - they don't know what they are missing out on.

Now if I was the parent of this little boy I would buy him the biggest blowup swimming pool and castle I could find and also lots of tonka trucks and a sandpit. Oh yes and don't forget the trampoline, that should fill up that nice neat little front yard.

A little PS.

I don't live in the UK and I found this report rather frightening as children need sunshine and outdoor activities.

My kids had a trampoline in the front yard and an aboveground swimming pool in the back yard - no neighbors complained and my kids and the neighbors kids had lots of fun and sunshine.

 

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