Farmer wins battle to keep his treehouse as council caves in after spending £60,000 on prosecuting him
- Eddie McIntosh, 52, from Wales, previously told to take down his treehouse
- Powys county council has now said he will now be able to keep his wooden site
- Treehouse previously described as ‘truly inspiring’ by presenter Kevin McCloud
A DIY builder who was previously ordered to take down his ‘truly inspiring’ treehouse has finally been granted planning permission.
Eddie McIntosh, 52, from Wales, constructed his twelve-acre farm complete with wooden classrooms, cabins and even a footbridge after purchasing the land, which he named Mellowcroft, at an auction in 2006.
The father-of-three, who built his woodland site over 14 years ago, was told he had to tear the hand-built treehouse down after loosing a court case with Powys county council last year.
However in a turn of events, Mr McIntosh, who ignored demolition orders issued by the council and was also fined £750 at Merthyr Tydfil crown court, will now be able to keep his wooden creation despite the council spending £60,000 on prosecuting him.
Eddie McIntosh, 52, from Wales, (pictured with wife Kim and daughter Ellie) will now be able to keep his treehouse
The father-of-three, who built his woodland site over 14 years ago, was told he had to tear the treehouse by Powys county council
The DIY builder built the site complete with wooden classrooms, cabins and even a footbridge after purchasing the land at an auction in 2006
Sharing his joy Mr McIntosh told The Times: ‘Planning has been approved and I feel numb.
‘I’m really grateful for the support of my community — this is a win for the underdog.
‘I feel vindicated but upset at what the ordeal has done to me and my family. It should never have come to this.’
The site, which was created in order for Mr McIntosh and his family to live a sustainable lifestyle, was previously described as ‘truly inspiring’ by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud on his Channel 4 show Man Made Home.
After purchasing Mellowcroft, Mr McIntosh ran the site as a rural retreat offering education and alternative therapies.
At the woodland site Mr McIntosh grows willow furniture, fruit and vegetables and also produces silver birch water – made from silver birch trees and used as a tonic for rheumatism.
Mr McIntosh (centre front with friends outside court last year) said he was grateful for the support of his community
The builder, was accused of continuing to use Mellowcroft as his residence, ran the site as a rural retreat offering education and alternative therapies
Mr McIntosh had initially been given permission for the site to be used for agriculture but the authority proved it was being used a residence – because he was living in a treehouse there.
He was found guilt of 18 charges of breaking planning laws by failing to comply with planning enforcement notices served on him by Powys Council and ordered to demolish the buildings.
Mr McIntosh was also given a 12 month conditional discharge on three charges, relating to the motor home, a shed and the tree house.
The judge previously said he had to impose a financial penalty but acknowledged the defendant, who is reliant on selling vegetables he grows at Mellowcroft from a trailer beside the A44, only had a yearly income of around £2,500.
Mr McIntosh, who also grows willow furniture, fruit and vegetables at the woodland site, said ‘it should never have come to this’
The site was previously described as ‘truly inspiring’ by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud
Mr McIntosh said Powys council first alleged the site didn’t have planning permission in 2013 when the first enforcement notice was issued.
He previously told Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court: ‘It came out of the blue with no warning, we had a good relationship with the planning officer.
‘I was transparent in everything I did and had an open invitation to come and see the site.’