In the end, we did send our planning officer all of the information that she required before the deadline of September 3rd.  (Whew!)  I learned a couple of things along the way, however.

1. There is something called a RAL colour chart.  It has hundreds of paint colours and standardises them across the building industry.  (In case you’re interested, our window frames and doors are going to be RAL 7012.  Not exciting, but typical of this area, less expensive than other paints because of this — I kid you not — and will elicit a sure-fire “yes” from the planning office.)

2. Look at your final plans and don’t assume anything.  For instance, on our final plans, the ones submitted to the planning officer, there are little bars drawn across the little windows.  I assumed this was a pretty way of drawing windows.  When I went to NorDan to get a quote, I found out that instead this was a promise to the planners that we would be including glazing bars across the middle of all of our windows.

Well, shit.

Is this something that could be changed by submitting an amendment to warrant?  My architect didn’t think so.  Still, I think we’ve caught it in time since we have not yet had everything signed off.  I’ll find out on Monday when I get a call back from our planning officer.

Our planning permission was granted 3 years ago this coming September 3rd.  Or so we thought.  Turns out that we missed replying to a (very important) email from our planning officer asking us to confirm 1) what we’re doing about providing a home for the bats; 2) what our materials are going to be for our house; and 3) what are our landscaping plans?

Question 1, I understand why she asked it.  Questions 2 and 3 are written on our plans.  The plans we submitted and were official and from a real, live, certified architect whose job it is to put that information on the plans.  Our builder informs us that we still have to answer the questions even though the planning office already has the answers, and that this is usual practice.  Also, there is some paperwork he has to fill out and return.  In three days.  Or our planning application is invalidated.


Still, everyone is on it and answers should be before the deadline.  (I answered the bat question.  Our planning lady was all, “What?  You want to put up three bat boxes?  Not just one?  I’ll have to check that with our bat expert.”  Me: “Ummm…okay?  Looking forward to hearing back from you?”)



This week our architect has been on fire!  Within three days, he has sorted out the look and layout of our revised elevations; he will be meeting with our builder at the site, tomorrow, to see first hand where the house needs to be positioned on the plans; and he will send everything off to the planners for approval on Friday.  Then he goes on vacation.

Our builder popped around, today.  (We live in the same town and he’s a face-to-face kind of guy.) He figures that once our planner has the papers it will take about three weeks for her to give the okay for the lateral movement of the building site…which is just about when our builder returns from vacation.  This is a much better timeline than the three months I was expecting.

Still, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.  You shouldn’t, either.


Just when we think we are making progress…

Word has come back to us from the planning office via our architect that if we want to build the house 8 meters from where it is currently situated on our drawings (so that it will be on firmer ground, not near the well, not sitting under trees and over tree roots), we will have to re-apply for full planning permission.

Full.  Fucking.  Planning. Permission.

Yep.  I said ‘Fucking’.  Not clever and not pretty, but it certainly sums up how I feel right now.

Ah, my friends.   Hello.


Yes, our site has been scraped and roughly levelled.  The lady with the GPS-thingy and the neon paint has been to mark the corners of our buildings onto the dirt as they relate to the plans signed off by the planners.

Which brings us to the first hitch:  the house and the garage, as marked on the plans, are too far to the North-East, sitting almost on top of the well and definitely on top of lots of lovely, large tree roots.  We agree with our builder that everything needs to be moved 8 meters to the South-West; however, he needs permission from the planning office to do this.  *sigh*  (Would we have to go to the planners for such as this if building in Canada?  I’d love to know.)

This is certainly a delay for the builder, as he wanted to start pouring the foundations for the garage this coming Monday.  In the big picture, though, since this problem did occur, it’s good that it has occurred now.  We have to go back to the planners, anyway, because we have changed the look of the outside of the house.  We have removed a few windows and added a few more, and — on the advice of the builder — we have increased the height of the porch to bring it up to the second storey, allowing us to move the upstairs bathroom to this space, giving us more room for storage.  Remember:  UK houses don’t have basements, so storage is at a premium.

We go back to the planners via the architect, rather than the builder at this point, but he was on a motorcycle trip this week . We’re hoping he can send off the changes to the planners by the end of next week.  When will the planners get back to us with a decision?  I’ve been told perhaps three weeks.  Do keep your fingers crossed for us.

making memories#






Me: “The lilacs are blooming at the croft…”




You: “Wait.  WHAT?  Is that a backhoe behind those lilac bushes?  Are those the actual lilacs at the actual croft?  Does that mean….?  Oh.  I’m feeling a bit faint; I need to sit down.”


You almost won, moss.  You almost won.  You managed to stall the gas-powered lawn mower twice and, for that, you have my respect.  We are still at war, however, and it is autumn: the ideal time for scarification.

You have been warned.