JK Rowling in dog house over treehouses

Artist's impression of the treehouse planned for JK Rowling's garden
Artist's impression of the treehouse planned for JK Rowling's garden
Have your say

TWO luxury treehouses being built by Harry Potter author JK Rowling have been slammed by neighbours who said they looked like they had been “lifted from one of her books”.

Planners have given the go-ahead for two new buildings next to her Cramond home, which will stand nearly 40 feet high and cost £250,000.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling

The author’s children – David, nine, and his seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie – will each get their own two-storey house, featuring secret tunnels and bay windows.

Conservationists and community councillors today attacked the decision, saying the structures wouldn’t fit into the area.

Drawings submitted to planners show the treehouses will be built on raised platforms and connected by a rope bridge.

Critics said the absence of any planning condition insisting that the development would have to be screened meant the line of trees surrounding the author’s home could be removed at any time, exposing the buildings to public view and damaging the character of the conservation area.

John Dods, of heritage body The Cramond Association, said: “The buildings look like they have been lifted from one of her books.

“It’s the sheer size of them, the fact that they are up on stilts and ultra-modern looking and all that in an area which is supposed to be a conservation area.

“Her own house is one of the oldest houses in the area and the other houses there are all from the 19th century period. This development is out of character with that.”

Andrew Mather, chair of Cramond and Barnton community council, said: “The feeling depends very much on the integrity of the tree line round the south edge of the property.

“If the tree lining is preserved then there’s no problem. If the trees are removed then there would be a problem.

“We are not unduly concerned about what might happen under JK Rowling’s ownership – you would have thought that she would be concerned to maintain security and privacy.

“But she might sell and our concern is that the next inhabitant wouldn’t be as concerned about maintaining privacy as she is and remove the tree line.

“Those buildings would change the appearance of the conservation area dramatically.”

In a letter outlining the ruling, John Bury, the city’s head of planning, said the proposal would “not adversely impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area”.