CHILDREN can carry on having fun in their playhouse now it has the planning permission their father failed to apply for.
Councillors approved a retrospective application for the back garden building – with the planning committee chairman saying he was flabbergasted at having to decide on such a trivial matter.
Raman Dhillon had to ask for permission for the playhouse at Xanadu House, Potter Street Hill, Pinner, after complaints from neighbours.
People living nearby said children using it were too noisy and that brought the natural beauty and peace of the area into disrepute.
Mr Dhillon was contacted by Harrow Council planning officers following the complaints and told he needed permission for the playhouse and the platform on which it is built.
His application was debated by the planning committee on Tuesday last week.
Mr Dhillon attended the meeting to tell the committee: “Children are children. They want to play in their garden. I did not know that a swing and slide for kids required such planning.”
His application was passed by the committee with four members voting for approval, and three abstaining.
The committee chairman, Councillor William Stoodley (Independent Labour), later told the Observer: “I was absolutely flabbergasted that something so trivial ended up in front of the committee.”
Neighbour Michelle Hope – who enlisted the help of a planning and economic development expert in her opposition to the playhouse – said in objecting to the application: “It is most surprising that the owners were unaware planning permission would be needed.
“Most of the treehouse and slide can be seen by surrounding neighbours alongside and behind Xanadu and in many cases it also overlooks those properties.”
She also described the noise made by children on the platform as ‘very disturbing for nearby neighbours’.
Pinner Hill Residents’ Association also objected, noting the ‘unacceptable style of the playhouse’ and claiming it was ‘visually obtrusive and its use allows an invasion of the privacy of neighbouring properties’.
At the meeting, Mr Dhillon read out a letter from a neighbour who said they found no problem with the playhouse. It added that they ‘liked the sound of children playing’ and it reminded them of happy memories when they too had children growing up.
A report which recommended the committee approve the application said the playhouse was not harmful to the character of the area.
What do you think?
Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org