Stuart Pether hopes it is only a setback, not total defeat, but the treehouse he built on the verge outside his Wembley home in Barrett Street is no more.
He pulled it down yesterday afternoon after Cambridge Town Council ordered him to remove it by Monday.
"The children are disappointed," he said.
So is he.
For months, the engineer and father of three fought to keep the treehouse which his children and those of his neighbours loved to play in.
But last month the council voted 6-3 for it to be pulled down. Mr Pether has stored the timbers in a back shed.
"It's basically an illegal structure that's not covered by its insurance," he said.
Mr Pether said Cambridge mayor Simon Withers had advised him to collect a petition asking for guidelines to be changed so such structures could be covered by council's public liability insurance.
The idea is that treehouses could be inspected by rangers for safe construction and registered. The treehouse builders might then pay a small fee towards council insurance.
To sign up, email Mr Pether at firstname.lastname@example.org .