Tree house ‘breaches building code’

The Dunedin City Council has ordered the removal of a tree house because it breaches the building code. I bet the building of it also breached safety codes by not surrounding the tree with scaffolding during contrutction. And it hasn’t got smoke alarms or any tsunami warning system.

1 News: ‘Seriously get a life’ – Council tells Dunedin family to remove backyard tree house they say breaches Building Code

The tree hut, built by grandad Trevor Norman, has given his grandsons Logan, Devon and Ethan hours of fun.

But a visit from the Dunedin City Council – prompted by a privacy complaint from the neighbours – has seen the tree house in line for the chop.

Trevor – who built the platform with a friend – is questioning what the council is spending its resources on.

“What’s wrong with kids playing in their own backyard anymore, are we not allowed that?” he said.

“I don’t see why the Council would waste their time on it.”

There probably aren’t safety mats on the ground under the tree house either.

The platform, ladders and railing sit in the plum tree owned by Trevor’s daughter Janice Norman-Oke.

“They’ve all had their friends over. We’ve got quite a few kids in the neighbourhood, they’ve all been over climbing it. They all have gone home and said to their parents they want one too,” said Janice.

But shortly after it was built, Janice was notified by the Council that a neighbour had complained the tree house disturbed their privacy.

Rachael and Martin Morris said they approached the Council asking about “guidance regarding privacy, and in the process alerted the Council about the tree house structure”.

Council inspectors visited, and decided that while there was no breach of privacy – the tree house didn’t meet the Building Code.

“I think it’s rather ridiculous,” said Janice.

The structure isn’t exempt under provisions for private playground equipment, because the safety railing takes the overall height to more than three metres – which means, it needs a building consent.

So why not just remove the safety railing? That would probably breach something else – including common sense.

I must admit the tree house and swing I have made don’t have RMA approval, and the trolley I built doesn’t have a warrant of fitness.