Man threatened with ‘enforcement action’ by council after putting up gazebo for his children


Father of three is threatened with ‘enforcement action’ by council and ordered to take down flimsy £27 gazebo he put up so his young children could play outside during lockdown

  • Jonathan Stewarts put up a three by two metre £27 gazebo in his front garden 
  • He put up the structure in north London for his boys aged two, five and six
  • Mr Stewarts received a letter from Barnet Council saying there were complaints
  • He was given 28 days to remove the gazebo or face legal action

Council chiefs have warned a family to take down a a flimsy gazebo from their front driveway because they say it flouts planning laws.

Jonathan Stewarts received a letter warning him to take down the three metre by two metre structure he bought for just £27 because it is ‘unauthorised’ and requires planning permission.

Mr Stewarts, 32, from Hendon, north London, said he put up the seven foot high shelter so his three sons aged two, five and six could play outside during lockdown without getting wet.

However, Barnet Council say they have received complaints and have threatened him with legal action if he does not comply with their wishes.

Mr Stewarts, 32, an estate agents property consultant, told MailOnline: ‘It is absolutely ridiculous to expect me to apply for planning permission for a simple garden gazebo that I bought for £27 from Argos.

Council chiefs have warned a family to take down a a flimsy gazebo from their front driveway because they say it flouts planning laws

Jonathan Stewarts received a letter warning him to take down the three metre by two metre structure he bought for just £27 because it is ‘unauthorised’ and requires planning permission

Jonathan Stewarts received a letter warning him to take down the three metre by two metre structure he bought for just £27 because it is ‘unauthorised’ and requires planning permission

Mr Stewarts, 32, from Hendon, north London, said he put the seven foot high gazebo up so his three sons aged two, five and six could play outside during lockdown without getting wet

Mr Stewarts, 32, from Hendon, north London, said he put the seven foot high gazebo up so his three sons aged two, five and six could play outside during lockdown without getting wet

Mr Stewarts said: ‘They’ve found it tough being cooped up inside all the time due to the lockdown. The older boys are off school so they’ve liked being able to get a bit of fresh air outside'

Mr Stewarts said: ‘They’ve found it tough being cooped up inside all the time due to the lockdown. The older boys are off school so they’ve liked being able to get a bit of fresh air outside’

‘It hardly blights the area, it’s on my property, right next to where I put the car.

‘I put it up a few weeks ago for my boys, so they could play outside safely out of the rain and snow.

‘They’ve found it tough being cooped up inside all the time due to the lockdown. The older boys are off school so they’ve liked being able to get a bit of fresh air outside.

‘The council threatened me with enforcement measures should I not take it down, which is a disgrace. It’s so heavy handed and completely unnecessary.’

The letter from Barnet Council’s planning enforcement team reads: ‘The council has received a complaint regarding the gazebo structure that has been erected at the front of the above site without planning permission.

‘I must request that the gazebo structure is removed from the site within 28 days of the date of this letter

‘Please note that failure to comply with the above request may result in the council deciding that it is expedient to begin formal enforcement action in respect of the unauthorised structure.’

A Barnet Council spokesman said: ‘We were contacted by a member of the public who raised a concern about this structure being in place outside the front of the property for some time. 

‘We have a duty to investigate every complaint we receive and in this case we have now been in contact with the owner about the structure and the date by which it will be removed.’ 

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