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Alfie's Achievements


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  1. @Thorfun - Thanks! Certainly something to consider.
  2. @ETC - thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it's not going to be to everyones liking but I hope my previous replies explain the rationale. Out of interest given you say it will be expensive, what would your estimate the cost be (per square metre)? @CharlieKLP - I'll need to tally it up as the design has altered several times due to the continuing feedback received from the pre-app and DRP. Hoping to now drill down on the final design so will be in a position to answer rough costings in a couple of months. @Thorfun - I've been toying with this idea too. I'm bringing this up today and will see what the ballpark addition cost could be. Does anyone have any idea of basement cost range for new builds?
  3. @TerryE, thanks for the detailed reply. I can bring up the more practical aspects (U-values, airtightness, thermal rating) tonight as this is something we haven't discussed in great detail yet. That said, given we're going for P80 this has been something we've been assured will be of the highest (within reason) standard. I agree on the southern connection of all the rooms. I don't understand the need for the varying sections and would prefer one curved join. We will definitely be involving a QS to ensure we remain within budget. Regarding the architect, far from being inexperienced they have a very strong track record of gaining approval (and more importantly building!) P80 (PPS7/P55/P79) houses. They have been featured several times on Grand Designs and have had several recent P80 approvals within our/and local planning departments. The whole process has been a tradeoff; what would the ideal house look like for us vs what would be approved given the site constraints, previous approvals and a knowledge of what the local planning department like. Living on the site (close to family etc) is more important to us than the design of the house. We're having to make choices based on the result of the DRP (example being one story to due visual impact on the countryside) and whilst unorthodox bedrooms might not be my ideal, the tradeoff is having children grow up in a beautiful area close to family and friends.
  4. This will be discussed today. Thanks for the feedback. The plan is to ditch the en-suites and create a shared bathroom somewhere - we're flexible with the space and can make certain sections larger or smaller. Great points on the lounge and dining room, definitely something we need to consider. WC & cloak will be swapped, with the WC made smaller too.
  5. Both early 30's so zero kids so far, but that's the plan. We need two offices and have close family/friends living abroad who will visit often. The thought process is it's better to build it in one go, rather than tack on additional space when needed in several years time. Super interesting - will check this out, thank you.
  6. The curves are more on the "design" side in order to meet the P80 criteria - a tradeoff between something that *might* actually pass planning, something we could live in and cost. All/most of it to be glass, it will look out onto the lawn/patio area and longer term it means we will be able to see the kids/dogs from most places in the house. The plan is to have some form of canopy type thing that should keep the house at a specific temperature year round, the architect is doing the calcs. The house will sit within a 13 acre field where parts will still be farmed, part will be wildflower meadows/ecology specific plants/ponds and part will be usable outdoor living space. Again, a concern and something that we will be drilling down on tomorrow. Personally I feel that all the en-suites might be overkill and we would be better of utilising that space for wardrobes/living space for the kids and having a family bathroom elsewhere in the build.
  7. ICF = It's likely this will be one of the topics discussed tomorrow. Big chunk = One of the concerns is it being exactly that. We both work from home, visiting the office once per week max, and therefore have moved away from London to gain the additional space. Family and friends will also be visiting so it's the balance of living in a house that feels "cosy" when it's us whilst having enough space for several friends + family to stay. Was there anything that bugged you or you wish you could have changed? Any thoughts on the layout would also be appreciated - the good and the bad!
  8. I can't seem to add an image, if anyone know's how to please let me know Linked here - https://ibb.co/gFck42C.
  9. Updating on this, we've been pressing on and the design has changed somewhat since the first design review panel. Please feel free to add feedback on the layout. Notes: Total size ~350sqm, single story with outside building for either additional bedroom + bathroom, double office and/or garage South facing windows (Dining room and Master Bedroom) We're going to get rid of the family bathroom in one of the bedrooms and either ensuite in each bedroom OR Blow out the area currently labelled ensuite/walk-in wardrobe near the Master Bedroom to a similar size to the Kitchen/TV room area, this would enable a larger master, a larger walk in wardrobe coupled with a large family bathroom + additional storage/room for something We're meeting the architects and landscape architect this week so should have some more updates and images to upload. Alfie
  10. Glad it's all progressing well and best of luck with the DRP. I've spoken to 4/5 folks in similar positions since we last spoke and the ones with issues have mainly been those who have done everything remotely.
  11. We're 12 months into our planning phase for a potential para 80 house with a few months left. My advice so far: - do your research on architects with a solid track record of P55/79/80 approvals, ideally those with approvals within your planning area - expect it to cost more to obtain planning than you think it will - expect it to take a solid amount of time! Happy to have a chat and help out with any initial questions.
  12. I've had several conversations with folks at various stages of planning applications that are geared towards para 79/80 houses and decided to document our journey so far: Firstly we consulted a local architect who has worked on several Class Q developments. They walked the site with us and mentioned that it's highly unlikely we could gain approval due to being classed as "open countryside", however we could pursue a specific "country house" clause that they didn't feel best equipped to pursue. March 2020: Grand Designs: we watched most episodes, making a list of houses that we liked the look off and the architects that were responsible for the designs. This gave us a long list to begin researching. It was here that terms such as the "country house clause", PPS7, Paragraph 55 and Paragraph 79 were mentioned. We started researching para 79e (as it was at the time) housing requirements. There didn't seem to be a ton of information around the process however Studiobark conducted an incredible study focused on previous applications, including creating an interactive map - I highly recommend reading this should you be looking to go down this route. Richard Hawkes has a Youtube channel which was also very helpful in providing additional information and context around the criteria; I'd highly recommend the two video's focused on the Braintree case to provide context on the "isolation" principle that needs to be met. A few more hand links below: - https://www.architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/using-paragraph-79-to-design-innovative-country-houses - https://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/the-exceptional-houses-being-built-in-idyllic-countryside-spots-thanks-to-the-foresight-of-paragraph-79-215618 - https://urbanistarchitecture.co.uk/paragraph-79-house/ - https://www.hawkesarchitecture.co.uk/para-79/ - https://www.hughesplanning.co.uk/para-55-houses-explained After reviewing a large number of both successful and unsuccessful applications the Pareto principle certainly seems to be present - a large number of approvals come from a small number of architects/firms (I'm unsure on the rules with regards to promotion (I have no stake in any of the firms), however I'd be happy to share a list of the firms should admin be happy with this). June: 2020 An initial site visit is the first stage each firm recommended where they would be identifying various strategic opportunities & constraints being presented by the site and its context. This would be followed by a detailed research exercise which would involve a comprehensive analysis of local and national policy as well as looking into planning history within the local area. This stage is crucial as without enough elements to play with any future planning application would likely be unsuccessful. The fee's for this stage varied a lot (several hundred to several thousand)! I'll add another couple of posts later today/tomorrow focusing on: - Site visit to pre-app - Pre-app to Design Review Panel - Design Review Panel feedback and next steps Hopefully this will be useful to some.
  13. Best of luck @Smallholder We had our first Design Review Panel last month, we've got a bit more work to do before finally submitting proper. Sounds like you're a bit ahead of us. Fingers crossed that they fully endorse the design
  14. I'm in a similar position to you with regards to seeking potential funding. My understanding regarding Ecology is that they based their lending purely on affordability (you're monthly salary - committed expenditure, using their calculator) vs other lenders who take into account salary minus their own modelling of what expenditure usually is (generic). Once you get to the application stage I should imagine they will all converge to align closer with the Ecology number. Out of interest, what type of salary multipliers do you seem to be getting? Self-build mortgages seem to be a minefield!
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