A BUSINESSWOMAN has been ordered to tear down the £200,000 eco-home she built because of strict planning controls.
Developer Eve Wilder constructed the “non-toxic” wooden house to the “highest standard” before putting it up for sale.
But now the local council has ordered her to demolish the building within the next four months.
They say that the “unauthorised development was carried out without the knowledge or permission of the local planning authority.”
Highland Council also argued that the home, constructed on the banks of Loch Migdale in Sutherland by Ms Wilder, from Oregon, affects the natural scenic beauty.
A council spokesperson told MailOnline: “This unauthorised development was carried out without the knowledge or permission of the local planning authority.
“The planning authority believe that the unauthorised development was completed whilst the appellant was residing in the United States of America, therefore it can be reasonably expected that the development be removed as there are no guarantees that the appellant will return to the UK and therefore the unauthorised development would remain in situ for an unknown period.
“That being said, the planning authority are keen to have this matter resolved and would be open to the appellant providing a detailed plan of the timescale and works to be completed for the removal of the development as required by the enforcement notice.”
Ms Wilder claims that the issue could be resolved by changing the plan – and seeking retrospective planning permission.
An appeal letter on her behalf said: “It is considered that the requirements of the notice exceed what is necessary to remedy any breach of planning control or indeed any injury to both immediate and wider surrounding amenity caused by that breach.
“In this regard, the site property could be physically amended in design terms to meet the policy design requirements of the planning authority and, as a consequence, such matters could potentially be resolved through a retrospective planning application as opposed to serving a notice requiring total demolition.
“Given the appellant’s residence, it is considered that it is unreasonable to expect the appellant to comply with the terms of the notice within a three month period and falls short of what should reasonably be allowed.
“The appellant would suggest that a six month period would be more appropriate given the logistics of instructing and managing such an operation at distance.’ ”
Government reporter Steve Field said: “I uphold the enforcement notice but allow the appeal to the extent that I vary the terms of the notice by changing the time period for compliance to four months.
“I have considered all the other matters raised but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusions.”