Grandmother told to destroy garden summer house for being just six inches too big

A grandmother has been ordered to destroy a garden summer house after a complaint that it was six inches too big.

Cheryl Woodley, 61, of Paisley, Scotland, built it two months ago so her four grandchildren – who she hasn’t seen for over a year because of the pandemic – would have somewhere to play when they visit.

But Ms Woodley fell foul of local planning laws after a complaint to the local council that the structure was too big.

Renfrewshire Council went to Ms Woodley’s home to investigate and found the building to be six inches (15 cm) bigger than was allowed.

They ordered Ms Woodley to tear down the entire building, along with a children’s swing from a communal drying area, or face legal action.

The outbuilding is made out of wooden pallets which Ms Woodley painted blue, and has a built-in window and a set of antlers mounted on the side.

Ms Woodley said: “Three of my four grandchildren, Olivia, Bethany and Ronnie – who are aged between nine and 11 – normally come up every year in the summer holidays from London.

“But they missed out last year because of Covid. The idea was that, when they return to London, we can keep all their toys and stuff in the summer house for next year.”

She said the children are staying for six weeks during the summer holidays from school.

A neighbour who shares the garden built the summer house for Ms Woodley.

“The council came down and took photographs and basically said we have to take the whole lot down”, said Ms Woodley.

“The summer house is only 15cm taller than it should be.”

Ms Woodley has been told she cannot appeal the decision.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “Our housing officer visited Ms Woodley on May 18th to advise permission would be needed to build a summer hut in her garden.

“We have provided her with information on the size and specifications of structure she can build in her garden and a form to request permission to go ahead with the work.”