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Found 11 results

  1. Hi, We have recently moved into a property and are looking to utilise all the garden space. Currently the garden is separated by a 2m wall which we want to knock down and extend the garden into the unused space in Picture A and Picture B (yellow line depicts where the 2m wall is currently). We originally wanted to place fencing behind the small wall but pre planning advice has let us know that it will be rejected as it "will negatively impact the character and appearance of the local area". We have attached the Pre Planning Advice Response for reference. So our second thought was to knock the small wall down and erect 1m high rail fencing and plant some 2m high hedging as we know that doing both of these, should not require planning permission. However we have been advised that this will also require planning permission to change the use of the land from from private open space to private garden land. In our Deeds (Picture C) or on our Title Plan (Picture D) it does not show a separation the the two area. We then asked the council to provide where they have acquired this information from and they sent us through an image of the original landscaping plan with a clear divide (Picture E) with this email; "I have attached an extract from the landscaping plan as part of the original planning application which informed my assessment. The plan shows the dwarf wall, the planting location to the rear and then the location of your boundary fence to your garden. Similarly, the planning layouts also show a clear division between the rear garden of the properties and the current wall position. It is for this reason that I concluded that this land is used as strategic landscaping / amenity land. Your proposal would materially change the use of the land from amenity space to garden land and therefore a change of use planning application would be required." No one maintains the area, and it is full of weeds and litter. We believe it is our responsibility to maintain it but we have no access to the area and we would not benefit from putting any effort in, as we do not use or see the space. We now don't know what to do, where to start, or whether it will be futile trying to get the change of use in the first place. TIA. Pre Planning Advice Response Letter.pdf Pre Planning Advice Response Report.pdf
  2. Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum! After a few summers of not getting around to it, I am determined to get a lean-to-pergola erected this year. My procrastination has mainly been down to a few issues I need to be sure of before commencing. Please refer to attached images. I want the pergola to cover the entire area of the raised patio which is 5m x 5m with a height of 2.3m to the centre of the decorative brick course. My idea is for the ledger board to be attached to the garage. I will then have 4 supporting posts (6"x6"?) sat behind the low wall. My 1st doubt is how to secure the posts and would like advice please. Posts 1 & 2 have a drain pipe underneath the patio so digging isn't an option. Post 1 can be secured to the bungalow wall IMO. Posts 3 & 4 could be dug and secured with concrete(?). Post 4 I have concerns as it is right in the corner of the raised patio area and I would suspect that digging will result in the collapse of the immediate earth? (image) Could Post 2 & 3 be secured with a kind of 'above deck' post bracket? I would suggest a bracket for Post 4 too, but as you can see the paving bricks already seem to be falling away so I have concerns about solid foundations for Post 4 if I went for a bracket. These 4 posts would support the main beam (2"x8"?) which has a total length of 5m! The gap between posts 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 would be 1m leaving a span of 3m between 2 & 3. There would also be a number of cross rafters from the ledger board to the main beam, which raises more doubts... 1) The main beam: a 5m length of 2x8 will be quite weighty I imagine. Will I need 1 beam or 2 (1 at either side of posts) 2) the 5m rafters will have no support along their span, is this unadvised? i guess the rafters aren't as thick/heavy as the main beam(s) but still, 5m might be a bit of an ask. -The light post would obv be removed - the existing electric supply would be kept to supply lighting to the pergola. - the low wall would be rebuilt to extend to hide posts. I would appreciate any advice to help with the build. 🙏
  3. Good morning all, Thank you for allowing me to take part in this forum. Just to introduce myself, my name is Eric and I'm a newbuild homeowner. The reason why I am writing on this forum is to seek guidance from other more knowledgeable users in regards to landscaping. I am based in East Devon, in an area which is predominantly very clayey. The land where my development was constructed used to be farmland, and so I assume that it is quite fertile. Anyhow, I think I'll just start off describing my concerns in chronological order: At reservation stage, the developer provided us with a standard specification setting out finishes, colours, etc. One of the items in the spec was the finish to the garden areas (back garden and a strip out front along the facade). The spec stated that the ground would be finished with a 150mm thick layer of topsoil. I was quite glad that this was the case, as my concern was that the underlying clay would challenge the garden's ability to drain rainwater. Fast forward to completion, we get the keys to the house and to my surprise, the garden was topped off with site-won material, i.e. clay. In addition, the plot was plagued with stones the size of fist. To me that didn't look like topsoil... However, the next question I asked myself was: what is topsoil anyway? Doing some research, I found that there is a British Standard entitled "Specification for topsoil" (BS 3882:2015 - in case you're interested). This standard sets out the requirements for a soil to be classified as topsoil. One of these requirements is that the "maximum coarse fragment content" greater than 50mm has to be 0%. In other words, stones greater than 50mm in diameter should not be present at all, which is something that my garden clearly doesn't meet. I have gone back to the developer with this (it's been more than a month already) and they are still figuring out what to respond. I am not trying to be picky here, but I've paid a large sum of money for my new home and I will always try to make sure that I obtain a quality product that meets the minimum standards. I should add that the NHBC standards specify that gardens should be finished with a minimum of 100mm of topsoil. NB: my neighbours have placed a ver thin film of topsoil on their garden after picking out the majority of big stones. They then planted some grass seed and it's growing well. However, I think as soon as they start transiting the grass, the clay will compact and it'll become boggy with rain, which will eventually compromise the health of the grass, etc. I would be grateful if others could share their views/experiences on the matter, as I'm not sure if I'm making this a bigger issue than what it really is? Thank you very much, Eric
  4. Hi all, Very much a novice with a small project here but this looks like the place to come to get some great advice and experience. We are landscaping our garden and have just finished decking outside the kitchen door area. There is a very ugly block concrete wall directly opposite the door, running down our lovely new decking which is an eyesore but cannot be changed. It is north facing and gets 0 sun exposure all year round so I cannot hide with planting. We looked at timber cladding it but the opposite side of the house will be timber, as is the decking so I thought that might be too much wood. We have decided to go with Corten to cover it as I really like the look once it has 'weathered'. I think it will work well alongside the timber as well. My question is, how to I fix it to the concrete block wall? Ideally I do not want to have to put timber framing up as it will eat into the decking space. Can I just screw/ nail it to the wall? Do I need special screws/ nails for this? I would like them to bend in with the Corten once it has weathered. I have trawled through Google but have only found one vaguely useful video on how to put it up (attached directly onto the concrete (not block) wall with "Hammer-set" Heavy duty nail drive anchors.). These stand out against the rust colour though and i would like to avoid that. Has anyone else done anything similar? Any advice very welcome. Thank you
  5. Hi There is a strip of land that runs along the rear of the properties in the street we live. The land was originally bought by the housing estate builder when the estate went up. I believe the land was set aside as a natural area between two phases of the estate and along the public footpath that runs between them. The land used to get strimmed for a couple of years after we moved in, then this stopped, presumably due to inaccessibility. Without our using or maintain the land, we would have had huge tees over hanging our garden by now. For over 10 years we have been using the part of the land to the rear of our property for various activities garden related. The are is about 10m wide x 4m deep. Then a further 3m is a public footpath running down the 10m length. The land has a lot of trees, some up to 25ft. It can also get very overgrown with weeds. The public footpath is not very visible from the land as there are a lot of branches blocking the view both in and out. We have been using the land for BBQs, fire pits, storage and log store for over 10 years. About 5 years ago I put a shed on the land, with access from our garden. The front of the shed is plane with our garden fence, so it's sticks out into the land. The shed can barely be seen from the footpath. I have always opposed putting a fence around it, despite suggestions from other neighbours. I don't intent to put anything else on the land. I have tried to find out who owns the land in an attempt to buy it. But the builder went bust so I have never made any progress. Unfortunately, the council has received a complaint that some residents (there are others who have cut trees down) are taking over the land. The council has contacted me and claims a change of use of land has taken place. They don't seem concerned about the neighbours cutting down trees or maintain the land. They have advised me to apply for planning permission under the 10 year rule or a lawful development certificate. Both at a cost of £462! Can someone confirm whether the 4 year rule applies to anything in my situation? I am also aware of adverse possession. Am I right in saying they are different. AP deals with ownership of the land, whereas change of use is planning. I have not fenced it off over the 10 years so don't think I have a claim on that. However, even if I did, I would still need planning permission for a change of use, is this correct? So my situation is purely planning and getting that approved, whether I own the land or not? I can't prove that I have been using the land as garden for over 10 years as I have no photos, documents or anything. There is a photo of the kids in the log store from about 9 years ago. The best I can manage are the neighbours signing an aphidavit to say I have used it as a garden for over 10 years. My Preffered option would be a LDC, but I don't want to spend £462 with no hope of getting approval. What are my chances with the limited evidence and my circumstances, am I wasting my money? What else could I do to improve my chances? Thanks Simon
  6. Hi All, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Michael, 33 years old, Psychological Therapist and I live in Lancashire. I'm hoping to undertake a garden renovation project over the next couple of summers and would appreciate any advice I can get. I'll post some pictures shortly, including the 'plans' I have, which include raised beds (rendered concrete blocks), composite decking, artificial turf and a porcelain patio. I'm hoping to do most of the work myself! Cheers, Michael
  7. Hello All, Thank you for accepting me onto this amazing site. I am completely new to property development and my question is rather complex and specific. Much searching on google has not provided me with any answers and a local estate-planning solicitor has quoted me between 7-10 K upwards just for providing me with some initial advice which she warns might not even provide me with the answers I am looking for! I hope that someone, somewhere may be able to offer their advice for a little less! So here goes: My mother owns the freehold of a large semi-detached Georgian family townhouse at the end of a street in south west London (Richmond) with a spacious garden that wraps around the three sides of the house. My mother has recently been granted planning permission to build a new, architect-designed, semi-detached property at the side of the existing house. The result would be that 2 separate properties would be created: the existing house would become a terraced property (with a slightly smaller garden, making it in-line with all the other gardens in the street) and the new smaller property (with a small garden of its own). The idea behind the scheme is:To allow my mother to downsize by creating a bespoke, smaller property for her to live in, whilst maintaining the existing, larger family house as a rental property to provide her with a regular income (or even for potentially selling it at some stage if renting doesn't prove easy). The overall cost of the project would be far too great for her to carry out alone, mortgages aren't easy to acquire at her age (74) and equity release is very costly, therefore I have suggested that I would provide half the capital as a joint project to help her get her bespoke house built, and also as a potentially nice investment for me for the future. If she were to take the practically easier route, sell up and look for a 3-bedroom flat to downsize into in this area, it would probably cost a good deal more than building a new 4-bedroom house on her own land, so this project does seem to be a no-brainer from a financial point of view. I do, of course not wish to underestimate the problems associated with a new build. While I am very happy to be able to make this project feasible now by investing my own capital, even with the best will in the world, I could not afford to simply write-off my invested capital as a gift to my mother without some future hope of benefit. That is to say, I would hope to share in this project in the same way as I would if I were investing my capital in any other property. So, ideally, I would like to own half of the new property, equivalent to the amount I will invest : 50%. The problem as I see it, is rather complex: 1. My mother currently owns the freehold of the entire property, including of course the land (garden) upon which the new property would be built,. There is simply no way that I could afford to both buy the freehold of the garden from my mother as well as investing in the building project. 2. If I pay for half of the new build, and therefore own half of the new property together with my mother, I will still not own the land on which the new house is built, as that will still belong to my mother. Of course, she could gift the land to me....BUT.... 3. Since my mother would move out of the existing house and live in the new property, she would be seen to be "benefiting from it" by HMRC. This would create complications as regards inheritance tax. I am aware that gifts can be made from parents to children, and that my mother could gift me the freehold of the land, which would no longer be part of her estate after seven years. BUT, gifts from parents to children (ie. potentially exempt transfers) only work, tax-wise, if the parent will no longer benefit from that gift during the rest of their life, after the gift is made. In order for that gift of the land not to remain a "gift with reservation", she would have to pay me an annual rental fee at market rate. In that way, after her demise, the gift of the land would not be included as part of her estate and would not be subject to inheritance tax. I assume the annual rental she would have to pay me, to satisfy HMRC, would only need be equivalent to my initial capital investment, so 50% of the market rent? Would this model actually work, would it be legal and would HMRC look upon it kindly?The second issue relates to the existing house. Part of my investment would be used to refurbish it for rental purposes, and again, I would like, as an investor, to gain something in return, such as a share of the freehold, or a share of future rental income. Would this be feasible? The second way I can see of making this project work, should investing directly prove too complex for tax reasons, would be to set up a discretionary trust in my name, loan the capital to the trust, which would in turn provide a loan to my mother to finance half of the new build. After my mother's demise, from what I have read, the amount loaned to the trust would then get repaid to the trust and hence to me, without any inheritance tax implications. Does anyone have any idea about this method and whether it would be a better way to finance this project than my investing directly? If one does make an investment via a trust, does the value of ones investment increase with time in line with property prices, or would the trust, on my mother's demise, simply receive back the exact same amount it invested in the first place? I am guessing the latter, since the trust is only loaning the capital, and is therefore not a part owner of the property. I am not sure if I have explained this at all clearly! To conclude, the basic idea is to come up with a workable model which would enable this project to go ahead: provide a smaller, bespoke house for my mother to downsize to and a rental income from the existing property, whilst simultaneously enabling me, her son, to invest my capital wisely for the future, whilst also mitigating my mother’s estate's inheritance tax liability. Would be extremely grateful for your thoughts. There may be other tax issues I have not even considered? I should add that it is my parents intention to leave 50% of their estate to me (my father has already passed away) in any case.
  8. caliwag

    Garden ideas

    I make a point of thinking about the window/house relationship to the garden spaces at an early stage of self build design, in my book...'Self build design...the last thing you need is an architect' and associated blogs. I have a mate who attends and sells at garden furniture shows around the country, seasonally of course, but you would be amazed how much people spend. Of course you do need to have the 'designed' infrastructure for any furniture to work and look good! There are a couple of blogs on the 'outdoor space' theme and house relationships. Some of you may well remember same. Don't leave it too late. Garden design, spatially, is no different from home design...just different words...and design is all about words, initially. Discuss. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/topics/indoor-outdoor/?utm_campaign=interestrecommendations&e_t=2bd5b0820a39434e86267d0db9900e5f&utm_content=958361284376&utm_source=31&utm_term=2&utm_medium=2024
  9. I attach some thoughts from Pinterest about small garden spaces. The key is the three dimensional nature of the designs...a clue to success. A clue to garden design is to itemise/list nice to haves, needs and wants, taking into account views, overlooking, climate and seasons, indeed not dissimilar to house layout, and of course changes in fashion, plant growth etc. Another must is to observe sun angles (OK that's climate and seasons) but it's easy to make assumptions. Obviously think about family changes, as you would for house layout. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/216454325818739013/?utm_campaign=popular_pins&e_t=ecee4d7b9e454551878dfe4f94fa37c3&utm_content=216454325818739013&utm_source=31&utm_term=6&utm_medium=2012
  10. caliwag

    Front Gardens

    This is a follow-up of a discussion that has taken place on a couple of forums in the past. A book that I have not referred to in my book to be found in cargocollective.com/selfbuildhome is Bernard Rudofsky's 'Behind the picture window' an excellent little book from 1955 by a writer, teacher and architect. (Sadly £50+ on ABEbooks.co.uk) It is written from an American perspective, though the sentiments seem to apply equally to the UK. Indeed when I worked for a speculative house-builder, open plan front gardens were the order or the day, insisted on by my bosses, the planners and probably the sales department as well. I did manage to break the mould by drawing beech hedges along and between the house fronts which were duly ordered up and planted...the planners assumed it was an enlightened builder and my bosses assumed it was a planning condition...haha 1-0 to Caliwag. So in the above book, Bernard was completely anti silly lawns..."in its present state, the front lawn does not invite play or rest. It is not a place where one might want to read a book. There is no question that it belongs to the street rather than to the house" Depending on the location of your front door and entrance hall, orientation and indeed the house layout, use and planting of a front garden could be similar to a side or rear garden. Mr R suggests "Even the average front lawn has enough room for a sunny place which, on bright mornings, may serve as a breakfast nook: a shaded corner for discovering the therapeutic value of a siesta: a well screened patch of grass for sunbathing: perhaps a sand pile for the youngest or even a paddling pool. And there may be still space left for flower beds and a herb garden. An inexhaustible repertoire of walls, hedges, fences, pergolas and trellises, tents and sun-sails may help us to feel more at home under the sky. The habitable garden could thus become additional living space and, in a sense, a nobler version of the house" All very interesting...a nice check list to set one thinking, and very 3D. As an architect, Mr R did 'defy the local authorities by-laws by building walls and trellises and unfortunately he does not outline the outcome. A fascinating alternative to creating effectively back garden to the front, is to follow the modern advice/trend of, what has been dubbed "a new perennial movement" using bold drifts of herbaceous plants and grasses as outlined by Piet Oudolf in one of his many books 'Planting, A New Perspective' 2013 about £20 on ABE...it is a new way of low maintenance planting with fascinating seasonal planting schemes...defo anti lawn Happy Designing Folks
  11. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/mum-told-needs-planning-permission-12086429#rlabs=4 rt$sitewide p$1 "An astonished mum has been told she must get planning permission for her daughter’s wendy house."
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