Living treehouse holiday-let would appear incongruous

A holiday let in the form of a self-supporting treehouse has been refused by an inspector at an amenity area on the edge of a village in Devon as out of character with its surroundings, despite accepting the business case for eco-tourism in the area.

The proposal comprised the replacement of a shed and summerhouse on the site with two more traditional holiday lets and the introduction of a new holiday let in the form of a tree house, the latter as an amendment to an already approved holidaylet dwelling at the site.

The inspector considered the two traditional holiday lets proposed met with the council’s adopted local plan policy on the subject, but he was concerned with the form and appearance of the treehouse. This was particularly because there was very little evidence about how it was to be constructed as it would comprise a living willow and therefore would need to accommodate a growing root structure. Whilst he accepted there was a business case for the tourist holiday lets at the site and acknowledged there was a demand for eco-tourism in the area, he concluded that the roof design of the treehouse would represent an incongruous feature that would be out of character with its vernacular surroundings and would give rise to demonstrable harm to the character and appearance of the area. 

Inspector: CJ Tivey; Written representations

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