On September 13th, we received approval from the planning department for the new footprint placement of the house and some add-ons (i.e., dormers and a porch). Good news? Yes. However, we then had to make a lot of decisions pretty darn quickly, because “approval” doesn’t mean “go ahead and build it”. It means, “we’ll let you build it as soon as you give us more information and we approve that information”. To give you an idea of what I mean, the information I had to return is at the end of this post.
We’ve become friends with a couple who have just moved into their new build home and they have been invaluable to us. We’ve asked them a lot of “What did you say to the planners about this?” questions. However, they asked us a question just yesterday:
Friend: Have you given your information to Building Standards, yet?
Me: I beg your pardon?
Friend: Building Standards. They need to see your SAP reports and structural designs, etc., and pass them before you are given building warrant.
Me: Probably? I’m sure that’s been dealt with by my better half. Maybe.
Friend: I hope so, because they take six to eight weeks to process everything.
So, today, we sent an email to our planning officer asking her about sending things to Building Standards and our planning officer very helpfully told us:
Yes you need to forward these to both myself [sic] (in order to comply with the carbon neutrality condition) and also to building standards as they require the information for consideration as part of the warrant application.
I say “very helpfully”, but — really — why could we not have been told this at the planning application stage? And why could our planning officer not have given us the phone number or email address of Building Standards in her email?
So, today, I called the planning office to ask for the number of Building Standards. (Yes, I could have Googled it, but was making a point. To whom, I’m not sure.) Our officer was out, and so I asked the person I was speaking to for the Building Standards contact information…which he didn’t know and didn’t have to hand. He was helpful though and took my information so that Building Standards could return my call. Which they did within fifteen minutes.
To make a long story short: our architect liaises with Building Standards…and might have already done so. My goodness, I sure hope so. The last thing we need is to wait until mid-November to receive building warrant. If that happens, it is unlikely foundations will be able to be laid until spring of next year.
So, tomorrow we call our architect and try to get to the bottom of things. Wish us luck.
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- Wall render (house and garage): smooth render; British Standard Colour 08-C-31
- Timber Cladding: cedar cladding with clear coat sealant
- Rain Water goods (house and garage): black plastic UPVC rainwater pipes and gutters
- House Finishes (windows, doors): All to be RAL 7012; windows either timber or timber with aluminium cladding.
- Garage Finishes (windows, doors): All to be RAL 7016; windows either timber or timber with aluminium cladding.
- All current vegetation will be retained.
- No new individual trees will be planted, as their is already a variety of mature species. A mixed hedge on the SW border will be planted, as per the attached drawing.
- Schedule of plants:
- Species: Beech, Hawthorn, and Blackthorn, as per the attached drawing. Depending on availability, we also intend to include some or all of the following: gooseberry, Guelder Rose, Viburnum
- Plant sizes: 0.6-0.8m
- Numbers: As necessary to complete the required border length.
- Density: Whips will be planted in a staggered double row roughly 0.5m apart. The spacing of each plant will depend on how quickly and how big it will grow, but will be roughly 1m apart.
- Hard Landscaping: concrete paving that resembles stone paving in the patio area.
- No existing trees to be removed. Although it was recommended that two trees be removed as they were within the final 10 years of their life, we are conscious that such trees are an important habitat for insects. As the two trees are not in danger of falling over, we choose to keep them as they are.
- All landscaping will be completed during the planting season immediately following the commencement of the development. As indicated in the planning permission, any planting which, within a period of 5 years from the completion of the development, dies, is severely damaged, or seriously diseased will be replaced by plants of similar size and species to those originally required to be planted.
- Three Schwegler bat boxes will be purchased (General Purpose Bat Box 2F). This box was recommended by Wildlife & Country Services (www.wildlifeservices.co.uk) as being the most suitable for the brown long-eared bat.
- The boxes will be set up around the circumference of one of the Douglas Fir trees near the entrance of the drive in accordance with the advice given from the Bat Conservation Trust webpages.
- It is our intention to use the existing well on the property and that the dwellinghouse not be connected to the public water supply.
- In order to use the well safely, a treatment system will be put into place after the required testing has been completed.
- attached to this email
- Parking / turning area will be tar macadam
- driveway to be graded & compacted aggregate, the same or similar to that of the current make-up of the shared driveway.
- The building company has a copy of the original tree report’s fencing recommendations and will erect Harris chain link style fencing to protect the trees.