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About Me


Found 9 results

  1. We are nearing completion of our self build and one of the last major tasks is to install the soakaway for rainwater. Prior to starting our build we had to carry out a percolation test and provide a scheme for dealing with the surface water and this was submitted and Discharge of Condition was approved by the Council as part of our PP. However, our percolation test result required a whooping 40m3 of soakaways to cater for a roof size of 120m2 plus 45m2 for the double garage. I've spoken to the firm who carried out the calculations a couple of times and they verified their calcs are correct. Installing a green roof or rain harvesting tank would not offset this at all. Building control will return to check for underground drainage of pipes and inspection chambers but are not really interested in the number of crates installed. My question is: when does planning get involved with this? Do they check what is installed before I cover over....?
  2. I am getting close to starting. My latest job is to discharge the planning conditions. I have nine to discharge and I think I have now written drafts for all nine of them (including copying bits from when a neighbouring boathouse discharged their conditions for a rebuild about a year ago). But I also have a few non-material amendment (NMA) items to get through. And I have no idea when, or indeed if, to do these. Question 1. The NMA items I have are: slight resizing of a few windows and rooflights, some tweaks to the drainage runs disclosed to the SUDS people, and the addition of an ASHP. By the way, I know its a bit of a stretch to get an ASHP through on a NMA but perhaps its worth a try. What does everyone think? Question 2. (By the way, my permitted development rights were removed as I am in a Conservation Zone). Here's question 3. To save money on the fees (£114 per go on a group of discharges), could a sneak these NMA items through as a discharge of Condition 2, which reads: "2.The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the approved plans as listed on this decision notice"? See what I mean. Any comments or thoughts gratefully received.
  3. I just read @Sensus mention in another thread that: "the rules are that [planners] should not impose Planning Conditions unless a number of tests can be met - one of which is that the Condition must be enforceable, which it is not" (my emphasis). It was not in that case because it related to influence over an object (a wall in that case) on land which the subject did not own or control. In my case, I have the planning requirement shown below. However, none of the trees near my plot are actually on the land I own, they are all either in neighbours' gardens or in the access road outside my plot. (At least the tree's trunks above ground are not on my plot. Their roots extend under my plot of course.) I wonder, does this requirement therefore not apply to those trees in my case? Can it only relate to trees that are on land I control?
  4. I am of the view that there seems to have been an increase in the number of consultant reports required by self-builders (and developers, but that is not the topic here) over the last 20 years. My view is that this is in part down to Councils playing safe because it is more attractive to demand a report anyway when somebody else pays the expense, rather than the scarier prospect of not insisting on one. However, that is anecdotal. My suspicion is that we are in a position where a dynamic exists where some bodies want more reports to grow their businesses, in addition to protect whatever they say they are trying to protect. But I need to begin to get a handle on some evidence. I am trying to frame an FOI request to get data from a typical authority about 2 sample periods (perhaps Sep-Oct 2018, and Sep-Oct 2006), to get a snapshot sample. I think a more-complete request would be too much expenditure to get through, and to be justifiable as a load to place on Council Staff. Question 1: Does anyone have or know of any data on this? Question 2: Where is the definitive list of statutory, and hopefully non-statutory, consultees? Any comments are most welcome. Ferdinand
  5. vivienz

    ......or not.

    Chance meetings, research and no fear of being nosy have stood me in good stead for many years and it's proving no different with getting a house built. The 'dig deep' thing was bothering me, mainly the thought of having to go down 2m over the entire footprint of the build and the cost of all that muckaway, as well as the risk of it all turning into a giant, muddy swimming pool during the process. I will freely admit that up until about 10 days ago, the thought of having to get piling included in the build struck terror into me due to what I perceived as the potential cost and complexity involved, all down to my own ignorance about piling. As a new comer to the world of self building, the only thing I'd really picked up on in the past was hearing about remedial work to houses that were falling down and the huge amounts of cash involved. I'd already had a mooch around this site to see what I could see on the matter of piles and had a look at @recoveringacademic's blog and his comments and rapidly lost my fear but not my trepidation over costs. I also had a visit to the build site of another BH member who has been very helpful and encouraging. It was a spontaneous visit as I was really, truly just passing by his site on the way to my own, but his structural engineer was there at the time so I stood quietly by and ear-wigged, as you do, and then one thing led to another and we started chatting about my site and my clay dilemma. The upshot is that the SEs were really helpful guys and I'm engaging them to design a piling system to support my MBC build and overcome the risk of both lateral and vertical movement that my site is very vulnerable to. I'm also having them design the drainage system while they're at it. They will liaise with the architect, building control and the timber frame company and make sure that my build not only gets out of the ground but stays in the same place once it's done. I've never had an issue with professional fees as long as they are ones that are genuine and add value to a project. In this case, it will be money very well spent and a huge weight off my mind. How best to approach the drainage plan had been vexing me for the last few weeks, particularly as my clay soil means that soakaways don't function. One thing that I think may be worth mentioning is the combination of the passive slab and a piling system. The soil beneath the building is not just highly shrinkable clay, but also very dessicated thanks to the long term presence of a few trees and a super thirsty hawthorn hedge. Although these are all now gone, their long term potential affect on the soil will remain for a long time. In particular, the risk of heave. The piling system will keep the building in place, but does nothing to stop the swelling of the clay directly underneath from pushing up and breaking the floor of the new structure. The SE started to talk about a suspended floor to mitigate against this. However, a few days ago I read a BH discussion where @JSHarris mentioned the issue of an airgap under a passive slab having a detrimental affect on the insulation of a slab so was able to say with some confidence that I wanted the slab to rest on the ground, and my reasons why. The SE was fine with this and all the gubbins under the floor will now include a layer that is a honeycomb structure with the face of the cells resting on the ground so that if it does expand, it has somewhere to expand into without damaging the slab. The helical piles are part of an impressive system - no piling mat, no excavation if you don't need it (I need some to make sure that the floor level of the house is level with the ground), super quick to install and little vibration. This will save a huge amount of time and money compared with digging deep and a far more elegant solution with the dangers of heave solved as well. In all, the cost of the SE and the piling won't cost me any more and it may be somewhat cheaper. The time element is important, too, as the lesser amount of excavation will be much speedier and keep me on track for the main part of the build to take place from end of May onwards, assuming everything else is ready. The cherry on the cake was put in place this morning with full discharge of all the pre-commencement planning conditions. All in all, a good week.
  6. vivienz

    Bat update

    Another day, yet another little gem of learning. I've been getting a bit worried because although I got the bat licence last week, my glacial paced architect had done nothing about getting the pre-commencement planning conditions discharged for several weeks, even though everything was in place for some time. But that's another grumble for another day. Anyhow, I've got to get the roof off by the end of April, which is why I was getting my proverbial knickers in a twist over the pre-commencement stuff, so I decided to cut out the middle man and rang the planning officer to ask whether, pleeeease, nice Mr Planning Officer, would you mind awfully, as you're such a nice chap, if I sort of, kind of, well, take the roof off the bungalow to make sure no pesky bats come back? Pretty pleeeeeease? Nice Mr Planning Officer said 'no problem at all, no need to grovel, you are entitled to re-roof your house any time you like. Just because you don't get around to putting new tiles back on, that doesn't stop you taking off the existing ones to begin with. Now stop grovelling.' He didn't really tell me stop grovelling, but his tone implied it, along with the strong impression that he couldn't care less about the bats. Either way, result. Fate being the fickle creature that she is, but no more so than the aforesaid architect, I got an email from the architect's admin person late this afternoon to say that they had submitted for discharge of the initial planning conditions. I prodded them with a very sharp stick on Monday morning - the architect has possibly just taken this long to notice. I'm waiting to co-ordinate availability of ground worker and bat guy over the next 2 weeks, then off comes the roof. Followed by the rest of the house shortly afterwards, with luck.
  7. Hey all We are living in temp accommodation whilst I do the build ; the boss is finding this difficult!! If later we moved into the build and it wasn’t complete but had a usable bathroom would the bco sign it off as complete because we are living in it ? My concern is once that happens we only have 3 months to submit all the vat returns and yet the truly completed project ( and therefore valid receipts ) could be another year away . So can I live in it but not have bco sign it off ???? ?
  8. Well the foundations should be going in soon, the ground-workers are all lined up for clearing the plot .. but Stop! We found out a few days ago that 4 (of my 11 conditions) need to be signed off before we do ANY work, expressly making an entrance to the site from the road ...(sigh) anyway i have all the stuff they need so i fired it over, but then got told that i need to fill in this DISCHARGE form ...which looks like a mini planning app But what i didn't think was that each time i ask for a condition to be "ticked off" i pay some dosh! So i read the attached advice from the site, and was under the impression (see what you guys think) that if i submit ONE form, with the 4 conditions on it ...as there is provision to list several conditions on it: then it should be one fee although i was told on the phone it is one fee PER condition
  9. Can I have quick confirmation. I believe this Planning Condition restricts future Permitted Development (in this case Improvements to the Dwellinghouse). Is that correct? Cheers Ferdinand
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