Hi, we just wanted to introduce ourselves and our Red Kite mascot. Our Kite is a life size steel sculpture made by a blacksmith in Pembrokeshire - started out bright steel but is now rusting nicely to a lovely red kite colour. We love it, and its carefully mounted on a temporary post in anticipation of the demolition of our scuzzy 60's bungalow and moving to our snazzy self-build.
Well now at last we can join the ranks of the Self Builders - after a 4 year battle we FINALLY won our second Appeal and have Planning Permission (we just can't stop grinning). We can't tell you what a relief this is: 4 years of 'life on hold' and at the whim of an inordinate number of stupid Willy Wonkas who seem to have either egos the size of a planet or brains the size of plankton. Planning has been a complete nightmare and is worthy of a blog post in its own right - a combination of a painfully slow and inconsistent LPA (6 planning officers and counting), being surrounded by some truly VILE neighbours (105 letters of objection!) and vicious local politics with an 'interesting' planning committee ( we made three appearances and vowed 'never again'). So a combination of 1 pre -app (complete waste of time and money), 3 CofL's , 4 Planning apps and 2 Appeals (both with officer approval and rejection by committee), we are there and we can finally move from Dreaming the Build to Building the Dream. It is, as they say, water (and a lot of money) under the bridge, and we are trying to put it behind us but as anyone out there who has been through it will know, it has been a truly unpleasant experience.
But now this is where the really EXCITING whirlwind starts - the pace just seems to accelerate, and sure the storm is just starting to build up. So far lots of meeting with Architects, SE's, Timber Frame vendors, Window makers, Money men, Accountants, Services, Groundworkers etc etc. As yet no decisions on build route or construction method but accumulating lots of information, reading this excellent Forum, picking brains and thinking a bit.
The plan is to build two contemporary, lowish energy houses and live in the bigger one. The challenges are a sloping clay site with tricky drainage, building into the slope, and a bungalow that we are itching to move out of and demolish!
We will try and keep up with a few progress posts and a pose a few interesting questions to the knowledgeable community out there. We are on the Gloucestershire / Wiltshire border so if there members nearby we would love to see what you are doing.
Oh and by the way did we say we are just so EXCITED to be building!!!!! We am sure Self Building will have its lows but its hard to imagine it being worse that 4 years of Planning misery.