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About oldkettle

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  1. Unfortunately the level of discussion went completely off the rails in the US. If you are not with us you are an enemy and anything goes when fighting an enemy.
  2. While I do agree it is highly unlikely the prices will fall substantially, there is a significant potential difference with the aftermath of the financial crisis. 10 years ago the interest rate was cut which saved a lot of money to mortgaged home owners. If the interest rate rises back to 5% (again I doubt it will but nonetheless), it can suppress the prices somewhat.
  3. oldkettle

    Footings for second storey on a bungalow

    I dug the hole to expose the foundation then called the local building control officer. He was very nice, arranged a site meeting and confirmed he had no issues with our plans.
  4. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Got a quote from a planning consultant. £3K, comparable to what we paid to the architect for the whole long process. It looks like we will have to do it ourselves. They mentioned that even when an appeal is rejected the specific reason for the rejection is stated, rather than "mass or bulk" mumbo jumbo, making it potentially easier to address in a new application.
  5. I was sure the name came up in one of the discussions here regarding software but annoyingly a quick search brought nothing. May be it was on ebuild.
  6. Autodesk Sketchbook is now free - only requires registration https://sketchbook.com Via hotukdeals
  7. oldkettle

    Pull-Down shelving: recommendations?

    Only 3kg per shelf though 😕. It's quite a bit of money for so little storage.
  8. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    In our neck of the woods you can't even meet one unless you are a developer. Well, officially you can't anyway and I wouldn't go any other way. There is a recording of the guy saying during the debates that the roof above the entrance door is "the porch" hence the ground floor extension. I wish there was a way for me to use this. I also got a confirmation that local politics is less logical than the big one. Or rather the standard stereotypes don't quite work. Who would have thought that it would be the Labour councillor from a different ward who would speak most confidently in favour of approving the largest house on the street. And I certainly didn't expect my own Conservative councillors to vote against. What happened with "live and let live"? Well, they won't get our votes now.
  9. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Well, we lost We took a report prepared by the planner and added our comments, showing every bit of misinformation. We put it in an email, attached pictures demonstrating our statements and added a summary. Sent it to every committee member. My wife was worried delivering letters in person was a bit of "we know where you live". SHMBO. The first disappointment was when no-one else but the head of the committee replied saying he forwarded our email to the planner asking to prepare a presentation. That was the sign for me he was not on our side despite calling the case to the committee in the first place. The second disappointment was that even though our neighbour was happy to come and speak it was not allowed as there were no objections in the first place, hence I was not allowed to speak either. So it works like this apparently: the planner presents the case repeating all the lies, then the councillors discuss the case, some of them citing the lies told by the planner as concerns, then they vote. 4 vs 4 twice, then back to square one where the head joined the vote against us. Shocking process. I honestly can't believe the answer to our statement about say the discrepancy in the size of the building stated was "I measured their plans". How about the size that we specify - does it count for nothing??? He then on a request of one councillor presented the net increase in the footprint which is way over the real one. He claimed we have a ground floor front extension - porch - pointing at the roof above the front door. All is recorded on video. They are clearly not afraid to be caught. Anyway, on every item they voted as planners told them. Sleep now. Prepare to appeal later. The only good news is we talked to someone else who had a similar problem with the planners and they won the appeal. Seriously considering getting a consultant for this as it just takes too much time and I would rather be told right now if it is hopeless.
  10. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Thank you, Peter. The reason I am asking these questions is two-fold. First, I don't want to be kidding myself. I am not a professional and there are plenty of things that are not common sense. Second, and it is based on the first of course, I want to know whether - in case of a rejection - we have a good chance at appeal. If my common sense guesses are correct, I would think with a reasonable consultant the chances would be there, but only in that case.
  11. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Sorry, as I still can't find a good online source explaining it - may be our resident architects could comment please ( @Dudda @Temp @caliwag ) ? Reading about "bulking and massing" of a house, I found that at a very basic level a mass is a visible area of the building. From http://mcmansionhell.com/post/148605513816/mcmansions-101-what-makes-a-mcmansion-bad The primary mass is the largest shape in the building block. The secondary masses are the additional shapes that form the façade of a building. Windows, doors, or other openings are called voids. Voids allow creation of negative space that allow for breaks within masses. Placing voids that allow for natural breaks in the mass create balance and rhythm across the building’s elevation. Looking at our plan and comparing with the neighbours, I naively say: we are a bit higher in the ridge but since our ridge is perpendicular to the road the area and our house is less wide our roof area and hence the mass is lower than that of our neighbours' houses. So - question one: is this completely wrong, wishful thinking? And question two: does visibility of the house, i.e. whether the walls are fully exposed or partially hidden affect the massing? I.e. comparing say the house on the left - this is the closest to our plans in terms of shape, having its walls hidden to a large degree so that only the top 1m is visible with the house on the right here I feel that the latter has a 5.5m*10m brick wall fully exposed hence even though it may be a bit smaller in size it looks heavier to me. Am I completely wrong again? Thank you in advance.
  12. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Unfortunately, the councillor said he talked to the senior planner and "the bulk and mass" were too important to him as well, so not getting any help from there. Our architect has offered to speak for us. He is a nice guy but he had a few conflicts with the planner in the process. I spoke with the Councillor so it is probably down to me - if I can get the neighbours on board of course. The planner raised 2 issues, requesting to hip the roof (which we did but at the front only, not at the back) and to decrease the depth by "at least 30cm" (which we did not). So I was quite surprised to find references to the height of the house and the ridge level difference with the neighbours among the issues - these were never raised as concerns. 30cm on 11.75m or 12.71m wall - and impossible to see from a public land.
  13. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Thank you, Jeremy. Well, I think there are a couple of points that we could suggest to be spoken about safely, such as maintaining the height of the shrubs between our front gardens, i.e. not replacing with a standard low fence. He could also mention that there is a phone cable above both his and our front garden serving our other neighbours. I would probably accept having to arrange for a new pole or underground cable to replace it - but I don't think it has anything to do with planning. On the other hand I wish I didn't need to speak as I am certainly not good at it. I've gone through the document so many times and have not found a single point he made that I - trying go be absolutely objective - could accept as a real problem and would complain if somebody else was doing it. Not one. Makes me so angry.
  14. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Thank you for the suggestions. In our case it is the external size that is the issue and taking into account a lot of our neighbours have been here for 30 years (and more) only a couple of properties have been on the market. Called the council today and got a confirmation I will not be allowed to speak (unless someone objects) but I am welcome to send the comments. Not surprisingly, the lady who is a maternity cover and probably contacted the planners, asked for a copy to sent to her to share with the planners 👹 Not sure yet whether I want to give them the opportunity.
  15. oldkettle

    Planning permission refused - options

    Oh, I did. There haven't been much development in our area over the last 15 years for which documents are available. There are houses with larger footprint but these are bungalows. One of them is absolutely massive semi-detached, but who can see from the outside that it is indeed the case? Anyway, I was going through his document again and it finally struck me that there are more interesting measurements. He claims that the depth is going to be 13.25m, where is it is clear from the plans the north wall (exposed, according to him) is 11.49, and the south one is 12.71. I guess he's measured the roof size but even my usually calm wife was disgusted when she saw it. He also claims our ridge is going to be 1m higher than that of the neighbours where as it is no more than 0.65m. I've created a couple of superimposed images - I know they are amateurish but that's all I've got. In black - our neighbours, in grey - our current house, dashed and dotted - the proposed size. Honestly, can't see what all the fuss is about - but I am biased. The satellite image to confirm I have not invented the sizes.