Teenager is rescued from treehouse council built in Islington square without permission
16:04 03 August 2012
Firefighters, police and ambulance teams rushed to rescue a youth trapped on top of a tree house Islington Council put up without permission.
Around 10 firefighters, two paramedics and police officers were called to Arundel Square Gardens on July 19 at around 8.20pm when a young man became trapped at the top of the structure, which stands almost seven metres tall.
It took the emergency services about half an hour to bring him down and luckily no one was hurt.
But the council was left red-faced because they hadn’t received permission from its own planning department to put the structure up.
It was erected in March and is now due to go before a planning committee, probably on September 10.
Louis Leigh, who lives near the square, said: “This tree house appeared in about a day and we were all a bit confused by it.
“Then the other day I was getting my dinner ready and looked out of the window to see this young man on top of it.
“I don’t know if he was trapped or just wouldn’t come down, but a couple of minutes later all the emergency services turned up –it was like a Will Smith movie.
“One of the firemen went up the ladder and walked him down safely.”
“The re-development of Arundel Square has been a huge success but I think the tree house is a step backwards – and this incident shows why it was ill-advised.”
The council didn’t apply for planning permission because they thought the structure was only four metres tall – below the threshold where permission is needed. But it forgot to take into account the roof, which brings it up to around seven metres.
A spokesman at the town hall said the tree house had been constructed in response to residents’ requests for playground equipment for teenagers, and people in the area were informed before it was built.