The American businesswoman who built a £200,000 eco-house in the Highlands was ordered to demolish it because she failed to get planning permission
- Eve Wilder, of Oregon, had built a wooden property in Loch Migdale
- A property described as ‘perfect’ for a highland vacation and using ‘non-toxic’ materials
- The Highland Council ordered Mrs. Wilder to demolish the site within four months
An American businesswoman who built a £200,000 eco-house in the Scottish Highlands has ordered its demolition after breaching strict planning controls.
Developer Eve Wilder, of Oregon, had it built on the shores of Loch Migdale in Sutherland before it was put up for sale on the property market.
Described as the “perfect” highland getaway, the one-bedroom eco home was built to “the highest standards” and every material used was “non-toxic,” according to the property’s sales brochure.
However, Highland Council has now ordered Ms Wilder to demolish the building within four months after “carrying out the unauthorized development without the knowledge or permission of the local planning authority”.
The eco house was put up for sale by the developer before it was removed from the real estate market when the controversy over demolition arose.
The £200,000 eco home (pictured outside) is built on the banks of Loch Migdale in Sutherland, Scotland
Landlord Eve Wilder, of Oregon, has now been ordered to demolish the site within four months. Pictured: the interior of the property
The council also said that development is affecting the scenic natural beauty of the Dornok Firth.
A council spokesperson said: This unauthorized development was carried out without the knowledge or permission of the local planning authority.
The Planning Authority believes that the unauthorized development was completed while the appellant was resident in the USA and therefore removal of the development can be expected as there are no guarantees that the appellant will return to the UK and therefore the unauthorized development will remain on site for an unknown period.
However, the planning authority is eager to resolve the matter and will be open to the appellant to provide a detailed plan for the schedule and works to be completed for removing the development as requested in the Notice of Implementation.
Ms Wilder was initially told that she would need to remove the one-bedroom property within three months, but after the council’s time frame resumed, she was now given four months.
The eco-friendly home is described as the “perfect” haven in the highlands and every material used is “non-toxic,” according to the property’s sales brochure.
The council said the development affected the natural beauty of the Dornok Firth landscape and that construction “was done without the knowledge or permission of the local planning authority”.
The one-bedroom property in the Scottish Highlands will now have to be demolished within four months
She also claimed that the problem could be resolved by changing plans and seeking retroactive permission for the house.
The letter of appeal on her behalf stated that: “The notice requirements are deemed to go beyond what is necessary to remedy any breach of planning control or indeed any harm to the immediate and broader relief of such breach.
In this regard, the property of the site can be materially modified in the design terms to meet the policy design requirements of the planning authority, and as a result, these matters can be resolved through the implementation of planning retroactively rather than by giving notice requiring total demolition.
Given the appellant’s place of residence, it is considered unreasonable to expect the appellant to comply with the terms of the notice within a period of three months and less than it should reasonably be permitted.
“The appellant will suggest that a period of six months would be more appropriate given the logistics of directing and managing such a remote operation.”
Government correspondent Steve Field said: “I support the enforcement notice but allow appeal to the extent that I change 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 is nothing that would lead me to change my conclusions.”