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jack last won the day on September 5

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  1. If it's your solicitor pushing for it, push back, for sure. I'd use the arguments above, and encourage him to forward them to the buyer. If the buyer doesn't need a mortgage, then there's no third party compelling them to get this insurance. You're therefore effectively being asked to pay a premium for an optional, and probably valueless, insurance policy that would in any event only benefit the other party. They might as well ask you to pay their mortgage application fee, imo. We have various covenants on our property from the early 50s. Stuff like no circuses or shooting galleries, no lived-in caravans, the requirement to maintain a hedge between points B and C on the plan (but there's no B or C shown on any version of the plan we've been able to find). We were told that the mortgage provider required us to pay for covenant insurance directed to covenant that said the original 1952 seller had to approve the appearance of any dwelling house built onsite. This clearly dated to the time when the surrounding land was subdivided (it was a farm and then a quarry), and the seller clearly couldn't suffer any damage from us technically breaching one interpretation of the language by knocking down the original dwelling and redeveloping the site 60 years later. It was going to cost ~£800, from memory. It was mentioned once before the mortgage was finalised, but it somehow didn't get raised again until weeks after we'd moved in. I ignored the solicitor's reminder around that time, because as far as I was concerned, if it was a requirement of the mortgage, they shouldn't have given us the money without it. In the end, we never heard about it again..
  2. jack

    Getting the neighbours on side...

    Sure, but the neighbours' comments you were asking about have no more relevance to building in the countryside than they do to development generally. Using an experienced, local planning consultant is by far your best bet for dealing with this issue. I'd say that neighbours' potential objections have fallen even further in relative importance, given the broader planning challenge you face.
  3. jack

    Getting the neighbours on side...

    Absolutely not. Re: spacing, there's planning guidance covering all aspects of overlooking, including what is considered reasonable spacing between, eg, rear elevations of properties. From memory, the distance is 21 or 22m. If you're over that, there's simply no basis for objection. As for devaluing their house, again, that isn't a planning consideration and will be ignored. Joe90 is dead right about the building site too - if inconvenience associated with building were a planning consideration, nothing would ever get built, as someone is nearly always inconvenienced by the construction process. Just bear in mind that things get built all the time, often (usually?) in situations where the surrounding properties are affected. The planning office will only consider valid planning objections, and on the face of it, your neighbours don't have any. Also bear in mind that it's very rare for a member of the general public to come up with a valid, reasonable basis for objection that won't already have been taken into account by the planning officer. The odds go up a bit if they engage a planning consultant, but most don't. In my opinion, the main risk associated with objections is that if you get a certain number of them (5 is common, I believe), that may be a trigger for the application to be brought before the council's planning committee. At that point, things can become more difficult, stressful, murky and unpredictable, because councillors rarely have the knowledge or experience to apply the law correctly. This can go your way, but can also go against you. You can always appeal, but that adds to the cost, time and stress of getting permission.
  4. jack

    Getting the neighbours on side...

    Nicely done, glad it worked out so well. Well if they're the only objections you face, great! Why do so many people think not wanting to look at a house in the distance is a reasonable basis for objection? If that were a basis for objecting, there'd never be any new builds other than in remote areas.
  5. jack

    Disabled access

    Jeremy mentioned someone he knew building a temporary ramp out of a weak concrete mix. They just broke it up after signoff. I'm going to try for signoff without doing anything about ours. If they insist, I'll ask them for their help in coming up with a solution. It's private building control, so I'm hoping this isn't something they're going to care too much about. I know for a fact that I could pull a wheelchair across the existing threshold if needed, and if we had a friend or relative who needed level access, we'd buy or make a portable ramp.
  6. Sure, if the developer is Taylor Wimpey sized, I wouldn't for a moment have suggested this approach. I had the impression it was a smaller developer, but looking back, there isn't actually evidence of that, so I may well have jumped the gun.
  7. Agreed, and I can't see why they'd be so reticent to do it given a willingness to pay for it.
  8. jack

    Hi from Devon

    It depends on how long you plan to stay, but are you able to design a house that will have everything you need right now, but be easily extendable in the future (ideally under permitted development) to give a house that is more appropriate to the plot? One approach would be to go for something L-shaped, with provision to extend by filling in the internal corner with another room downstairs and a bedroom above, and perhaps going out on the ground floor with a single storey extension. You could get an awful lot more space this way in the future while having something perfectly liveable and affordable today. You should be able to bring a larger house in at less than £2000/m2 with some careful planning. A nice, simple floorplan is easier and cheaper to build than something "interesting". With careful planning and buying, kitchens and bathrooms (both major expenses) can be done a lot more cheaply than some end up paying. You may not be in a position to project manage, but even being involved in purchasing can help bring the costs down. Builders aren't that interested in saving every last penny by shopping around, so there's definitely a few bob to be saved if you do some of the running around on big ticket items yourself.
  9. jack

    Drying of screed

    I don't believe any sanding is needed. You may want to confirm whether a sealer/primer is recommended for whatever floor covering you plan to lay.
  10. jack

    Drying of screed

    I don't know about the need for moisture readings, but the stuff on the top is called laitance, and it should be removed (by sanding) before any form of adhered flooring goes down: https://www.easyflow.org.uk/additional-services/laitance-removal-screed-sanding/ There are some newer screeds that allegedly don't develop laitance, but the possible costs of rectifying the floor if it fails in the future makes me think that you should sand it anyway.
  11. All other things being equal, a 6 ohm speaker will draw more current than an 8 ohm, so you're requiring more of the TV amplifier. That said, impedance is dynamic, and you need to take into account efficiency, so one nominally 8 ohm speaker could actually be a harder load for a given volume than a different nominally 6 ohm speaker. The ideal would be to see whether there's a line level input available on the TV circuit board. If so, take that to some sort of integrated amplifier (bypassing the TV's amplifier) to drive your speakers of interest, and you'll get much better sound.
  12. jack

    Sioo:x - DIY or factory sprayed?

    In my experience, it's at least as much about rain as sun. There are parts of our cladding that get plenty of sun but have hardly faded at all because they're protected from the rain. You can see a very uneven/splotchy diagonal line inside the deep reveals that marks where the rain gets to. When you take overhangs out of the equation, the north side of the house isn't far off being as faded as the south.
  13. Re: Cochrane and its independence, there's been some issues at the board level lately, resulting in this: https://nordic.cochrane.org/sites/nordic.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/moral_crisis_in_cochrane.pdf
  14. I may well be overthinking it. My electrician is insanely cautious and meticulous (to the point where I really can't afford to have him come and install all these lights). Some of his attitude has rubbed off on me! Sounds reasonable. It's a metal fitting, so grommet required for sure. I found that a few mins ago, thanks. Unfortunately, it doesn't really help where I have two cables looping and out!
  15. Hello Just about to install some exterior lights. At the moment, we have lengths of twin and earth coming out at each location (in pairs, where the light is part of a ring). They exit some PVC conduit close to the wall, having come from inside the vented cavity behind bricks slips on cement board . How can I best connect this to a floodlight? Slip some conduit over it and then make the connection in an exterior junction box? What about where I want to install a rear-entry light without a visible junction box? Any reason not to just connect straight out of the wall and into the back of the light? How well, if at all, will a cable gland seal to the non-round cross section of T& E? And how do I handle this when there are pairs of cable? Unfortunately, the conduit that comes through the wall has been cut off almost flush, or perhaps I'd have been able to put that through the gland. Thanks as always.