Builder whose treehouse home was hailed by Man Made Home’s Kevin McCloud as an ‘inspiration’ ordered to rip it down
A DIY builder living in a treehouse hailed as “truly inspiring” by Man Made Home presenter Kevin McCloud has been told to tear it down because he did not have planning permission, a court heard.
Eddie McIntosh, 52, was ordered by council planners to rip down his hand-built wooden treehouse, cabins, footbridge and classroom on his rural farm near Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales.
The father started developing his “holistic retreat” to live a more sustainable lifestyle in the buildings made out of recycled materials featured on Channel 4’s Man Made Home.
McCloud said: “What Eddie has concocted here is off-grid luxury and I rather like it.”
McIntosh has been embroiled in a court battle with the planners to save his creation on his 12-acre site.
It is alleged he didn’t have planning permission and faces 18 charges in the case by Powys County Council.
The charges are related to alleged failures to comply with notices from 2015 to demolish and remove the buildings by January 2018.
On the site includes a compost toilet, a wood fired bath, a footbridge, motor home, drover’s cabin, shepherd’s hut, and a wind turbine “the size of a Range Rover wheel”.
The council alleges he failed to comply with the notices and demolish the structures.
McIntosh told Merthyr Crown Court he believed he could reuse and keep the structures for agricultural use.
McIntosh accepted he could not use his site Mellowcroft as his permanent residence, “holitisic” rural retreat and holiday accommodation after losing the appeal in January 2016.
‘UNREASONABLE AND EXCESSIVE’
He said he understood the planning inspector’s decision that the land be restored back to agricultural use meant he could keep many of the structures.
Planning inspectors said though the site could be used for agricultural purposes there wasn’t any permission to use it for recreational use.
Prosecutor Christian Jowett said it would have been “unreasonable and excessive” for McIntosh to have remove all of the structures.
The defendant replied: “The enforcement notices say I can’t use the land for recreational use and to restore the land to agricultural use.”
McIntosh said he did begin work to dismantle a treehouse he and his wife and young daughter lived in.
He added that he did keep other structures, including small pallets used as a footbridge, a compost toilet, and a small wind turbine as they could be used for agriculture.
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Honour Judge Christopher Vosper QC asked if McIntosh still lived at Mellowcroft, in a converted trailer on stilts, the defendant confirmed he did.
When the judge asked if he believed he could live there as the residence was temporary and agricultural the defendant said yes.
McIntosh confirmed to the court he had paid council tax to Powys council and kept it informed of his living arrangements.
The trial continues.
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