Sussex man told to take down ‘Eiffel Tower’ in front garden

A Sussex man who built a replica of the Eiffel Tower for his wife after plans for a trip to Paris were dashed by the pandemic has been told to take it down by the council.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 11:09 am

Nick Charman, 56, and his wife, Bernie, 47, were planning to visit Paris to mark the 25th anniversary of their honeymoon.

Nick took three months to make the tower, using measurements from Google Images to build the model.

The father-of-seven, of St Leonards, spent £250 and used more than 600 wooden pieces and 1,200 screws to complete the 22ft model.

Nick and Bernie Charman pictured with their Eiffel Tower model, Alma Terrace, Silverhill, St Leonards. Pic Justin Lycett SUS-210223-090525001

Bernie said: “Nick built the Eiffel Tower model completely from scratch as a nice surprise for me and put it in the front garden.

“It started going up in September and was completed by Christmas. We did get a letter from the council before Christmas telling us we’d not sought planning permission and the tower needed to come down.

“It was never meant to be a permanent structure. We didn’t respond to the letter because we always planned to take it after Christmas.

“We were hoping to in early January but we couldn’t get anyone to help us because of the restrictions and I also caught Covid.

Nick and Bernie Charman pictured with their Eiffel Tower model, Alma Terrace, Silverhill, St Leonards. Pic Justin Lycett SUS-210223-090458001

“Nick also caught it so we were unwell and in isolation. Had we not caught Covid the tower would have come down.”

A spokesman For Hastings Borough Council said: “Planning colleagues received a complaint about the tower on November 27.

“The owner was contacted, but did not respond. He was contacted again on January 22, but again we had no response at all, so a planning contravention notice was issued.

“We now understand the tower will be removed in the spring, and we will not pursue the matter at the moment provided the owner confirms the structure is safe.

Nick and Bernie Charman pictured with their Eiffel Tower model, Alma Terrace, Silverhill, St Leonards. Pic Justin Lycett SUS-210223-090512001

“But if it remains indefinitely and we receive further complaints we may take further action.”