Green group in 'spare treehouse' plea

Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth has thrown its weight behind a treehouse built with recycled materials that authorities have said must be torn down.

Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth has thrown its weight behind a treehouse built with recycled materials that authorities have said must be torn down.

The 21ft-high treehouse in a field at Brandon Parva, near Wymondham, was refused retrospective planning permission on Wednesday by South Norfolk Council and proceedings began to get it taken down.

The treehouse has been built by 22-year-old Adam Jackson and his friends and they announced they hoped to appeal the decision yesterday.

Mr Jackson said whether or not they appealed depended on the cost but said they were determined to fight on.

"We are not about to give up and just go down quietly, we do not want to stop here," he said.

"We have had many letters of support from members of the public. People have told us that they are changing the way they will vote because of this."

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Jennifer Parkhouse, co-ordinator for Norwich FoE, said: "It is a retrograde step for South Norfolk Council to say you cannot do this, because this is the sort of sustainable development we should be moving towards, not pulling it down."

If Mr Jackson does appeal, the application will be decided upon by a government inspector and enforcement proceedings for its removal will be frozen until he has made his decision.

South Norfolk cabinet member with responsibility for planning, Derek Blake, defended the planning committee's decision to oppose the structure.

"The decision had nothing to do with materials used, it was the inappropriateness of the location," he said.

"We are fully supportive of youth innovation and the use of sustainable materials but it got a good airing and it was decided it was against our policy."

As well as attracting some public support, the treehouse had faced opposition from the parish council and a neigh-bour for its position in the open countryside and noise from parties in the treehouse.

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