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Planning permission … the journey to it … and thanks!

Dreadnaught

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Good news! I today obtained planning permission :D and so I am starting my build blog. 

 

Thanks to everyone on BuildHub for your help and support so far. I have already learnt so much from this forum, all the way from questions when I was viewing the plot and every stage since.  And an especial thanks to all the Buidlhubers that I have had the pleasure to visit so far. You have all been warm and welcoming and your advice and inspiration has been invaluable. Thank you! Thank you!

 

My plot is in Cambridge, quite central, near the banks of the river Cam, just behind a row of college boathouses. It is opposite an ancient common and in a Conservation Zone. It is a garden plot that constituted the end of the long garden of a large late Victorian villa. Access is from a narrow access road (not owned by anyone) which runs behind the the boathouses. The plot itself sits behind a mature horse chestnut tree, whose roots I must preserve. The plot is is about 300 m² and is in flood zone 2. The dwelling will be a modern bungalow, 2-bedrooms, near passive house, with a green roof and clad in buff brick slips.

 

Here is the timeline until today:

 

10/3/18, first visited the plot, advertised in Rightmove as a house.

13/4/18, my offer to buy it was accepted.

24/4/18, I made my first visit to BuildHuber to start my long learning journey

29/4/18, visited my second Buildhuber

31/5/18, the plot already had planning approval but before buying it I started a process for a re-design with the seller

4/7/18, visited my third Buildhuber

26/7/18, visited my fourth Buildhuber (and watched her build, with five additional visits to date)

19/8/18, visited my fifth Buildhuber

6/9/18, I finalised price negotiations with the vendor

18/9/18, plot topographic survey

26/11/18, submitted for planning permission

17/12/18, completed on the purchase of the plot

 

7/1/19, planning application formally accepted by council

11/2/19, visited my sixth Buildhuber

26/2/19, consultations revealed I needed to redesign the pitched roof to be a flat green roof to meet SUDS requirements

12/3/19, met the tree officer with my arboriculturalist on site

30/3/19, taking advantage of a neighbouring development having the road open, I installed a temporary electricity supply to the plot

2/4/19, engineers supplied drainage calculations including green roof

6/6/19, vendor approved the revised design with flat roof (deed's required it)

20/6/19, visited my seventh Buildhuber

29/7/19, visited my eighth Buildhuber

23/8/19, visited my ninth Buildhuber

19/9/19, council advised that my application is scheduled for the 2 October planning meeting

24/9/9, council advise that my application was bumped to the 6 November planning meeting

6/11/19, planning application approved unanimously, with two councillors choosing to comment that they particularly liked the design. One objector spoke against.

 

Next step: build a house … :D

 

 

 

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Thank you!

 

2 minutes ago, Thedreamer said:

When do you hope to break ground?

 

Not at all sure. Have lots of pre-commencement planning conditions to sort out and a I need to design the timber frame and the foundations (screw piles). Now that planning is in the bag, I need to reorientate myself towards these tasks. If I can achieve it, I am keen for the timber frame to go up in the spring. 

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1 minute ago, Dreadnaught said:

Thank you!

 

 

Not at all sure. Have lots of pre-commencement planning conditions to sort out and a I need to design the timber frame and the foundations (screw piles). Now that planning is in the bag, I need to reorientate myself towards these tasks. If I can achieve it, I am keen for the timber frame to go up in the spring. 

 

Looking forward to seeing this develop in 2020, hopefully we will be done by then.

 

How about a nice photo of the plot? 😃

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Fantastic news - the very best of luck with it all - that said, you seem well prepared and to have done as much has you can, to get things straight in your head.

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6 minutes ago, Thedreamer said:

How about a nice photo of the plot? 😃

 

Oh yes, good idea but the plot looks rather like a jungle at the moment. I live about 2½ hours away from it so I haven't been a dutiful gardener.

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10 hours ago, Dreadnaught said:
10 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

How about a nice photo of the plot? 😃

 

Oh yes, good idea but the plot looks rather like a jungle at the moment. I live about 2½ hours away from it so I haven't been a dutiful gardener.

 

We like jungles. How about a nice photo of the jungle?

 

And good news to see.

 

*polishes nails on tie on behalf of entire forum*

 

So on that timeline you completed on it before PP was approved - how did you come to that thought?

Edited by Ferdinand

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There's always a piece of music, but here it seems to be either the folk song or this one, which is quite cool. The tune and variations.

 

 

Apparently (alleged in Youtube comment, but sounds plausible):

 

Wonderful, mysterious, evocative. Composed just after the Munich Agreement - the composer - a Czechoslovak saw a newsreel of the British royal Family singing this British folk song under a chestnut - representing the values it was hoped the Munich Agreement would safeguard. Poignant! the composer escaped to Ohio and later St. Petersberg, Florida!
 
Edited by Ferdinand

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Excellent news, indeed. The screw piles will be very interesting  - take plenty of photos!

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Well done!

 

Would you dare to post your budget costings, so they can be compared against actual at the end?

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1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

Would you dare to post your budget costings, so they can be compared against actual at the end?

 

Haha, what an idea! What public accountability! Building-the-Dream and Charlie-Luxton style.

 

My budget is more of a cost tracker. Its a complex spreadsheet where each figure is matched by a confidence rating. As I learn more about a given item, drywalling for example, I increase the its confidence rating. That then can be summed to a bottom-up total figure for the cost of the build.  Currently about half the items in that sheet are nothing more than guesses.

 

However, another way to answer your question is: £360,000. That's a top-down figure. That's the target figure to ensure the land + plot ≤ to the sale price.

 

So that is about £2,400 per m² for the build including everything except the plot cost. It includes, for example, the conveyancing costs, planning permission costs, and the proverbial kitchen sink.

 

My bottom-up figure and my top-down figure have a current gap of £9k, which is in effect the current contingency amount but that has been shrinking as I learn more.

 

At present I intend to be hands on a do as much as I can DIY. Whether that intention will survive even first contact with reality remains to be seen.

 

On the time/cost/quality triad I am firmly aiming for cost and then a sensible compromise between quality and time.

 

 

Edited by Dreadnaught
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Great news. Do you have a time line for the construction or will it take as long as it takes.

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Thanks @PeterStarck.

 

I'm hoping for foundations and frame in the spring next year. Weathertight as soon as possible thereafter. And then probably at least a year's worth of first fix, second fix, and finishes. So completion in summer 2021 would be a pleasant surprise but won't be rushing things and happy to go slower.

 

My getting-my-hands-dirty approach will be nothing compared to what you achieved! I will be using the trades regularly but doing the bits I can. But I am also trying to design the build to be as simple and easy as possible. For example, I am keen to use no-wet-plaster approach if I can. And I am choosing a brick slips system for cladding that does not require a skilled installer, let alone a brick layer.

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If you are single storey timber frame, bricklaying is simple and cheaper than slips. Not on the critical path. Wet plaster v. jointing and sanding there is not much in it. Fermacell = Fermahell.

 

Your budget allows you to get decent contractors in for the whole project and it should not take too long.

 

As soon as the frame is up you can get bricklayer, plumber, sparky and roofer on site.

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Thanks @Mr Punter. Good advice, appreciated.

 

I have to admit to being wary, hence the wish to de-skill as much as possible, do as much myself as I can, and be close to the detail of everything.

 

This is not related contractors as such but Its interesting to note that at even at this early stage, without having broken ground, I have already experienced two occasions on which experts have blatantly tried to take advantage of what they assumed was my lack of knowledge to over charge (and who knows how many I didn't spot).

 

As the spend now ramps up, I suspect I am going to doubly vigilant (perhaps to a fault).

Edited by Dreadnaught

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There are plenty of people here who have your back.  No fee.  Just ask.

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