by Laurentiu Toader -

Laws about building a treehouse

Do I need planning permission - yes almost certainly. 

Senior planning officers have confirmed all tree houses now need full planning permission, including flat-pack play structures bought from retailers such as Argos and John Lewis.

The cost of applying for permission is usually at least £150, with parents also having to pay extra to provide detailed drawings and Ordnance Survey maps plotting the exact location of the tree house.

The rules, which came into force in October 2008, now mean that even a basic self-assembly playhouse from Argos, costing £215, could end up costing well over £400.

Many retailers and garden designers are unaware of the rules and starting to be caught out by local councils.

"No verandas, balconies or raised platforms" are allowed without planning permission, under the new rules, with "raised" defined as a height of over 30cm.