Three years of fighting and justifying our need for a house at the farm and I thought that was the worst over with and that we would soon be in our new home…wrong! This is now the second building warrant application we have submitted as David and Building Control had a ‘difference of opinion’ in the estimated build costs of our house. Some changes have been made and it has been resubmitted as a different catagory of build. I live in hope we might have our building warrant by Christmas and be able to crack on with the build as soon as Winter has passed. Fingers crossed!
It was simply by chance today that I was looking at our planning application on Stirling’s website and at first glance there seemed (as usual) to be no change…then something caught my eye just as I had clicked on to a new page…
I quickly clicked back and read and re-read the bit that had stopped me. Puzzled, I looked at other sections and then back again…the status said ‘approved’, but the estimated date for a decision wasn’t for another two weeks. After many minutes of dumbly staring at the same bit of the screen and looking for other explanations the penny eventually dropped and a rather excited phone call was made to David.
Without any fuss, objections or problems (which is a first for us) our FULL planning application has sailed through and I can’t quite believe it! Of course it’s great news but after such a battle over the last few years I wasn’t expecting things to suddenly start to go so well!
The house design is fabulous…and most importantly, David loves it too. The SIP building company has been appointed and are working on creating their own set of drawings to use to cut all the panels. Gas and electricity are on board and plans are under way to dig up the road(!) We have been costing underfloor heating, slate roofs, limestone flooring boilers and solar panels etc….I’m hoping what they have come back to us with are ‘opening bids’ from where we can negotiate as the rule of thumb seems to be “never supply a quote of less than £8000”!!!
The building warrant application has been submitted and as soon as we have that (in 6-8 weeks) then there will be no stopping us….it is begining to seem possible for us to be in by Christmas 😀
We decided at the last minute to pop along to the SECC for the last couple of hours of the Ideal Home Show. I was resigned to the fact it was going to cost us £30 to get in as I had been unable to get advance tickets and unlike last year there were no free tickets to be had! 🙁 David though had other plans and while my back was turned he sweet talked a security guard to let us in for free….result!!!
I’m so glad we didn’t pay as I was rather disappointed…if you were looking for a new sofa or some dodgy artwork or a log cabin for your garden then this was the place to be. The womans beauty section seems to be taking over a HUGE area and it’s just no fun walking through it being pounced on by numerous beauticians wanting to give you a beautiful glow, stencil on eyebrows(!?!?) or try out the latest massage chair….David on the other hand LOVED all the attention and I’m surprised I didn’t leave the show with a transvestite on my arm!!!
The food court was interesting and we love to see who else is selling pork and for how much….unless we missed it, there didn’t seem to be a hogg roast there this year. Jacqueline O’Donnell owner and chef at The Sisters restaurant in Glasgow (and one of our favourite customers) did a fantastic cookery lesson which she made look so easy I may even have a go myself 🙂 We also met some chefs who were running the Greig Wallace restaurant so David went straight over and introduced himself and handed out cards 🙂
We tried to speak to some stands about renewables and it has made us reconsider our (or should I say, our architect’s) decision to go ahead with a ground source heat pump and mechanical heat recovery system. The advice by the ‘renewables experts’ was “if you can connect to mains gas, definitely do that!”. Obviously we can still supplement our energy usage with PV panels and possibly a turbine.
So for a free visit it wasn’t bad….I’m still kicking myself at missing the Housebuilding Show a couple of weeks ago!!!
We had quite a challenge obtaining planning permission for a house on our farm but in October 2010 after submitting a detailed business plan, being refused twice, appeals, site visits from Councillors and the Planning Panel and even two hearings we managed, at last, to convince the Planners that we were not in fact developers looking to make a fast buck and planning in principle was granted!
As our farm and business has grown we have found it exceptionally difficult living miles away…we have pigs farrowing every month, daily tasks which at best take us a total of four hours each day to complete (and that’s only doing the bare minimum!). Our only rest comes from the odd nap in the car or trip to Milgavie’s McDonalds for a coffee….it’s not a way to live, but we’ve had to do just that for five years now. It is just impossible to nip home as it is a one hour round trip! We also have the constant worry of security hanging over our heads 🙁
It has taken us many months to come up with a design for a house that will out live us and remain a permanent part of the countryside. We wanted it to look like it had ‘always been there’ – It also took us three attempts to find a draughtsman who could simply copy our design and fight the urge to “make it their own”, which was very frustrating!!!
So off we go with this next exciting stage. The full application has been submitted and the building warrant application will follow in a couple of weeks time….
…and if you want to view it then click here