A businessman is fighting to save the holiday cabin with tiki bar, pergola and hot tub he built in the grounds of his Colne Valley home without planning permission.

Simon Murphy, of Mulberry Brook in Manchester Road, Slaithwaite, created the holiday retreat – known as Kelly’s Kabin – when his plans for a cattery business fell through.

The land is in the Green Belt where development is severely restricted and Kirklees Council refused retrospective planning permission.

The council said the development had “urbanised” what was previously an open and green garden and caused “significant harm” to the Green Belt.

The council could have ordered demolition and clearance of the site but instead Mr Murphy has proposed changes which he hopes will find favour with planners.

Kelly’s Kabin with pergola (left) and tiki bar (right)

Mr Murphy had created a concrete driveway but he now proposes to encase the concrete in an “environmentally-friendly resin” which would look more natural and less stark.

The current electric gate onto Manchester Road would be replaced by a traditional wooden six-bar gate which would be sited five metres back from the kerbside to again be less obtrusive.

Fencing around the site was described by a council officer as “inappropriate” and “overpowering” and Mr Murphy says he will replace it with evergreen hedging which would mature and screen the cabin within three to five years.

Twelve silver birch trees would also be planted along with shrubs and plants including corn cockle, corn marigold, poppy and cornflower which would attract insects and birds and would boost biodiversity.

READ MORE: This is what councillors said about Kelly’s Kabin and the tiki bar

Mr Murphy says his proposals will reduce the look and feel of “urbanisation.”

Mr Murphy had previously secured permission for a cattery but his plans to launch the business were scuppered by the start of the pandemic.

Instead he placed a mobile home on the area approved for six cat pens and his step-daughter and her family shielded there during lockdown.

The decked area and hot tub

After that the cabin, with a pergola, decked area and tiki bar, an exotic Hawaiian-style cocktail bar, was rented out to holidaymakers.

Most weekends were booked up last summer with tourists from around Europe and even Japan and Mr Murphy told councillors tourist accommodation in the Colne Valley was urgently needed.

The new plans are open for public consultation until November 10 with a target date for a decision on December 1.

READ MORE: Kirklees Climate Commission could have a strong voice on planning matters