Bruce Clegg, 49, threw himself into the DIY project to cope with the death of his 20-year-old son Nathaniel Hemingway-Clegg from complications from type one diabetes.
The 16 square meter wooden structure cost around £ 1,750 and is located in the back garden of his townhouse owned by the town hall.
It is equipped with a bar that bears Nathaniel’s name and features family photos and favorite Harry Potter memorabilia.
But a neighbor complained of “antisocial behavior” that prompted a visit to the Wakefield District Housing site, and was ordered to tear it down, piece by piece.
Workers said it was “unsafe” and too close to the neighbor’s fence, even though warehouse worker Bruce pleaded that it was vital to his pain recovery.
Bruce, a father of three, said he is preparing to tear it apart, but fears it will leave him with nowhere to safely and happily remember his son.
Bruce from Wakefield said, “Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a person – Nathaniel was a great guy with a good heart.”
“That is why I wanted to build the summer house in his memory: it is a place to go and sit and have a drink, look at some pictures and remember it.”
“When any of us walk in there, it makes us feel like he’s still around. I started building the summer house to deal with the pain of losing Nathaniel and it didn’t even occur to me that we would need permits because I was only thinking about my son.
“Now it looks like we’re going to have to start over from scratch, or lose what has brought so much comfort to my family. We need the summer home to help us through this difficult time – it has helped me stay strong for my children.”
Bruce began building the memorial summer house in June 2020, a month after losing his oldest son.
Despite being diagnosed with diabetes when he was just one year old, Bruce said Nathaniel, a chef-in-training, sometimes struggled to control the condition as he grew older.
As a teenager, you suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis, in which harmful substances called ketones build up in your body as a result of a lack of insulin.
But due to fear of catching Covid-19 in the hospital, Nathaniel kept his poor health a secret and finally died at home on May 2 of last year.
Bruce, who is also the father of Craig, 19, and Michael, 17, took up the DIY project as a way to process his grief and to honor Nathaniel’s legacy.
The family spends time there when they miss their brother, as it would make them feel “like Nathaniel is still around.”
But in April of this year, just as Bruce was adding the finishing touches to the house, a complaint from a neighbor prompted Wakefield District Housing (WDH) to visit him.
The representatives said that he had not asked permission and that he had to tear it down until he had it.
Bruce said: “In my grief, I had never thought about the permits as I just wanted to do something for Nathaniel. Seeing the lease didn’t even cross my mind.
“I have tried my hardest to change my mind, explaining how much the summer house means to my children and to me, but it hasn’t worked. Going there makes me tearful and is the perfect way to remember Nathaniel and everyone I just want. your memory alive.
“We have lost a large part of the family, so this summer home means a lot, it is much more than wood to all of us. It kept us all in balance as we dealt with Nathaniel’s death, and having that project was the thing. The only thing that kept me focused and strong enough to support my other children. “
Mick Walsh, WDH Executive Director of Housing said: “First, I would like to share my deepest condolences with Mr. Clegg and his family following the passing of his son. During what I am sure has been an incredibly difficult time, I am pleased that our Wellness team was able to visit Mr. Clegg and his family to offer support.
“It is very important to us that our clients can feel that they can make a house a home when they live in our properties, which includes being able to make home improvements.
“When considering home improvements, the safety of our clients, their neighbors, and anyone who visits their home is of the utmost importance, which is why we ask all of our clients to seek our permission before starting work, as part of Your lease helps ensure that any work is carried out to a high standard, which is why we challenge this particular structure.
“In this case, Mr. Clegg had not requested our permission in advance. Following a complaint of antisocial behavior, our surveyors and property managers visited the property and assessed the structure as unsafe due to the quality of; materials used, electrical work installed and proximity to the boundary …
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This notice was published: 2021-08-25 14:06:59