A controversial planning application for a treehouse hotel near Bratton Clovelly could be coming to an end after a five-year battle.

West Devon Borough Council is due to decide on the outcome at the end of July which would bring to an end a long-winded case beset with concerns over waste disposal, noise levels and breaches in building regulations.

Mrs Caroline Hamlyn, the owner of the treehouse and surrounding land, applied for a Lawful Development Certificate late last year, the most recent of three applications, which would establish the lawful use of the building, as it has been rented out as holiday accommodation for at least two years.

Since 2017 when Mrs Hamlyn and her late husband submitted the first planning application, she has felt in limbo as the borough council has not yet provided a definitive response.

She said she has felt instead that the borough council has been giving her conflicting messages.

‘I am so fed up with the way the council has been treating me. I’m still renting it out as I was told I could but it’s messing with my head,’ Mrs Hamlyn said.

However, some are opposed to the application. At a meeting at the end of November last year, Germansweek Parish Council, in which Mrs Hamlyn’s land lies, objected to the application citing concerns over the environmental impact of the structure and asking for more details on the disposal of human and domestic waste since the building is close to the River Wolf that flows near the Roadford Lake reservoir.

Councillors also noted that the treehouse construction area could impact the floodplain of the river and pointed out that nearby residents had commented on the noise and disturbance caused as visitors to the treehouse need to pass through a residential conservation area to reach the building.

Cllr Caroline Mott, West Devon Borough Council’s lead member for planning said: ‘The application for the Certification of Lawfulness in question, 3877/21/CLE, is currently under consideration. Therefore, we cannot comment at this time in order that we do not predetermine the outcome of this decision. A decision will be made by the end of July.’

Caroline Hamlyn and her husband originally built a summerhouse and treehouse on their land in Eworthy, believing that planning permission was not required.