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Ferdinand    413
On 18/09/2017 at 08:46, Ed_MK said:

Lot of Great Advice and examples ..Thanks !..I should get it all in before the end of the week.

I have noticed that on some D&A Statements ...the writers ..(and I am presuming architects here?)

seem to have a LOT of references to one Planning Act or another

 

Town and Coutry this, sustainable housing that, Guidance for Conservation plan, such and the like
...Subclause 5, line 6, amendment so and so (i think you get the picture)

 

So as i REALLY don't know any of these documents ..but of course i could read them all (and still be none the wiser)
IS there a need, or indeed a requirement for a lot of this "legalese"?

 

Would it make the app look better? ..more professional?

 

 

@Ed_MK That is probably not legalese - it is quite likely to be people with not-run-of-the-mill designs or sites with some difficult aspect trying to demonstrate to the Council that their unusual approach meets all the policies. That is (channelling and modifying Cromwell o.O) watering the opposition's potential gunpowder before the start of battle.

 

In the last few years with Local Plans passing and not passing and being approved / not approved / half-approved / going round in circles, a lot of people have used the "presumption in favour of sustainable development" national guideline which applies when a Local Plan and supply of Housing Land is not in place. That often needs a planning argument.

 

Sometimes there can be some bluster, or sometimes the argument can be a work of art. The ideal is not to need to do it at all. It all depends on the context, and you with advice from your architect or professional have to decide what you need to do. 

 

A good architect or professional will also - crucially - also tell you what in their opinion you do *not* need to do. That is something it is useful to say when you set the tone of the relationship, and useful to ask from time to time.

 

Ferdinand

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Ferdinand    413

@Ed_MK Reading the pre-App they seem to want a) More turning space but b) Less hardstanding. O.o I think that "permeable paving" may be useful here for part of your turning/parking area ... ie the stuff that is a matrix but lets grass grow in the gaps. Not that expensive, and can be very recycled (point that out). @Calvinmiddle used this in his plans.

 

It may be that the things that are easy for people to say in the 'this is our opinion' pre-App may evaporate once they have to take responsibility for it properly. You do not have to do every dot and tittle they want, it has to be I think "acceptable in planning terms".

 

If they fixate on something, parking is quite good - at least there are defined objective standards for it, so you are not eating blancmange with chopsticks while debating the finer points of oenology with a teetotaller.

 

One possibility for your drive/parking could be an in/out driveway, say with echelon parking in front of the house or against the hedge. Visitor parking can then possibly be on the driveway itself. That might well give the Landscape Architect a fit due to the extra 0.000000000014% of Milton Keynes' endangered stock of hawthorn bushes it would cost, but if you put a net benefit into your landscape plan or your D&A backed by say a letter from your Tree Man (or natural-ologist if you have one) eg double the thickness of the hedge between the entrances, then it might be acceptable on balance.

 

I think you need to take great care as to what you say "we will do", "the applicant intends to do" etc. Do not over promise on specifics where you do not need to. That could be a rod for your back. One for a conversation with your architect. Shades of grey are very useful colours.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

 

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Ed_MK    7

Thanks!

 

I guess the issue here is the ONLY Architect so far is the guy (at Potton) who gave me the house plans.

The rest I have tried to do myself ...I dont have an independent architect or surveyor or the like to "lean on"

..its not that i don;t VALUE them ...But since we started this venture and the prices we had wrote down so, so many months ago

.....are starting to solidify now into quotes ..which due to time have increased (to say the least)

..hence the need to save where i can 

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JSHarris    871

We didn't use an architect, but I did spend a great deal of time trying to learn enough about architecture and building regs to design our house myself.  I passed this outline design (once we'd got planning permission) to a company that supplied the insulated foundation and airtight, insulated, frame, as a package, and they did all the detail structural design. 

 

I looked at it in terms of my time being free, so the more I could do myself, the more I could save.  Not the fastest option, but we did save a lot of money.  In terms of building work, I just did the stuff I felt comfortable doing, and left the other stuff the sub-contractors that we hired in.

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Ferdinand    413
13 hours ago, Ed_MK said:

Thanks!

 

I guess the issue here is the ONLY Architect so far is the guy (at Potton) who gave me the house plans.

The rest I have tried to do myself ...I dont have an independent architect or surveyor or the like to "lean on"

..its not that i don;t VALUE them ...But since we started this venture and the prices we had wrote down so, so many months ago

.....are starting to solidify now into quotes ..which due to time have increased (to say the least)

..hence the need to save where i can 

 

skill-and-judgement.jpg.ab74bdf6783b23218a46f3394ebc028f.jpg

 

:-) 

 

(which is where we all are in some way or other)

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Ed_MK    7

You are showing your Age Ferdy!

I still remember my dad hunched over spot the ball, putting tiny X's on there.

 

Of course that was the dark ages ! ...these days we have online Gaming, fixed odds machines and Lottery..
now you can lose your hard-earned in seconds ! with no FUN at all ..

 

 

 

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Ferdinand    413
22 minutes ago, Ed_MK said:

You are showing your Age Ferdy!

I still remember my dad hunched over spot the ball, putting tiny X's on there.

 

Of course that was the dark ages ! ...these days we have online Gaming, fixed odds machines and Lottery..
now you can lose your hard-earned in seconds ! with no FUN at all ..

 

 

 

 

Heh.

 

The difference being that in Spot the Ball you got perhaps 25 crosses and 10 bonus crosses for £2.

 

If we get our one cross in the wrong place it can be more expensive :-).

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Ed_MK    7

Don't make me panic even more !!

 

I just read the soil report <it just landed in my inbox>  and if I am reading correctly..

 

as well as a gas membrane (methane etc) .....dt to being within a 250m landfill buffer (1970's)

 

I might also need to "scrape 600mm off any soft landscaping or lawn and replace with CERTIFIED topsoil"

:o

 

I mean its a meadow ....its always been a meadow (or part of one) ...I have eaten fruit and veg from it, the grass is lovely and green.

But I am expected to throw away 100 tonnes of great soil?  (see pic) ..the moles LOVE it too !!!

 

<alternative being> to go down a route of test pits, pipes in the ground, 4 months of testing, send stuff to labs.....OH and fork out £3-£5k

 

I must have been a bad man in a past life :(

 

 

 

 

 

landpic1.jpg

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Ferdinand    413
Quote

As I prepare to finish my submission for planning ...I noticed one of the "REQUIRED" docs is a "heritage statement"

 

Now I know I am on the edge of a conservation area...this was discussed at Pre-Planning ..and they say due to the lands location they didn't have an "issue" with it ...But i suppose i better also submit the heritage thingy ?

 

Has anyone done one before?

 

Take great care here, or you could create rods for your backs. It is shorter to take the time you need now rather than spend 2 months doing gas monitoring later.

 

Soil Conditions

 

At this point step back, take a breath, and over the w/e read what the report actually says - eg what is a "must" and what is an "ought to", a "could", and what is a "perhaps". Remember you do not *have* to submit this particular report. They are your consultant and you can have a conversation with them about more appropriate wording (or omission of some parts), given any further information you find out.

 

Watch out for the box-tick reflex here. The Council's easiest response will be "he should do what his own consultant told him to do", which will translate to a Planning Condition. If you do not want to do a Phase 2 + monitoring then you need to be able to justify on balance not doing one. 

 

I think you need some more data eg are you actually in the Landfill buffer, or is it just the bottom of your garden, have tests been done before, have other developments (esp. single houses) between you and the Landfill been allowed with only a Phase 1, and so on. You should be able to access public data on eg monitoring points on public land or the landfill itself.

 

You also need to watch what Council policy was back then vs what it is now. No good arguing on the basis of a policy that has been superseded.

 

I think you are going to need some sort of Ground Conditions report a a separate item. Take care with what it says.

 

Did not @JSHarris note that you could do your own Phase 1 report somewhere?

 

Suggest you re-read Jeremy's Food Risk Assessment linked earlier in the thread. It is a good example of how to use official data to argue for your own justified conclusion. Even the last para is designed to use the existence of official data, as well as its content, to create the path of least resistance for the Council to be to follow the Applicant's desire. There is no pussyfooting "in the opinion of the Applicant" here.

 

Quote

Conclusion 6. The risk of flooding, based on the flood risk data provided by the Environment Agency, is considered to be extremely low.

 

Heritage Statement

 

Though this is flagged, the need has also been undermined by the Pre-App, so you will be quoting that for a start. I would work out why it is supposed to be a Heritage area, what the relevant Heritage Assets are, and show how that is not affacted by your plot (hopefully you can show it doesn't, otherwise you may be employing Archie the Ologist to watch your builders dig holes).

 

You can do things like choose a method of construction which involves less digging.

 

I would make the Heritage Statement a carefully worded section of your D&A explaining whatever it is you find out, and how that means it is appropriate to do 'X'.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

 

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Ed_MK    7

Thanks Ferdy ....wise words (as usual)

The Soil Study is LONG ..I mean its in 2 parts for a start ! ..possible close to 100 pages total.

It seems to give me the option of 

 

a) Having the soil / gas tested (£3k and a 12 week delay)

 

b) Putting in Gas Barriers and also digging out any soft plant areas (£2k and whatever premium topsoil to replace costs ....BUT no delay)

 

I think thats what it boils down to ..

I did ask the chap (nice man, by the way) ...would it be possible to "skirt around" or even swerve certain sections that i didn't like the look of ...

but he said it would be basically "glaring by omission"  <sigh> so they have to stay (i guess)

 

However I DID happen to poke around on planning and i found the ORIGINAL documents for several houses that are built directly ON TOP

of the landfill ..I am at least 100+m away from the EDGE of it

 

And what do you know ...??

They had their reports there too :) handy!

 

now these were built in 2012, and the reports date to 2011,

do you think they are any good for my case ? ...maybe later

 

I have attached it

 

(ts public domain ..so i dont suppose i am breaking any laws sharing it ..anyone can download it ....its FINDING it thats a bit hard :)

 

 

 

 

Analysis_Report.pdf

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Ferdinand    413

Interesting 63-page Phase 2 report, of which about 2/3 to 4/5 are references, appendices and the normal stuff. And it ends up recommending NO ACTION.

 

Google and the map interface on the council w/s are useful ways to find things sometimes.

 

In your shoes I would very carefully consider employing an appropriate professional to review my application before submission, as a quarter way house between self-planning and getting a professional to do the whole thing. I would want someone with significant (= 5+ years) local experience of this type of development with this particular Council, and ideally in the same geographical area. I would find one by asking in independent local estate agents for their MRICS, and then have a conversation with the MRICS to see if they are appropriate or can recommend a professional colleague. You could also look at people who wrote reports for previous applications that impress you. When we did our (housing estate on family land) Planning App I chose the chap who was in the local paper stories who won the permission for a controversial housing estate.

 

Should you go down that route, the brief of what you want to know is crucial as you need to use their time efficiently. I think I would expect to need up to a day of their time, including a detailed 1-2 hour feedback and questions meeting, and budget up to £400-£500 - perhaps making clear that it was advice for which I would not expect liability cover. Negotiating your terms is quite tactical.

 

The benefit for you would be a better understanding of how the LA will approach it, and more corners k ocked off your planning app, and what areas you can de-emphasize etc. eg You could potentially save your barrier and soil costs if they know information that helps your case. That is for your judgement on the Time and  Cost/Benefit and Risk Management triangle.

 

On the topsoil, whether they ask for a landscape plan or statement or not, you can include one (and to design your house) which involves removing minimal topsoil during construction and afterwards. That is *if* you are confident that the soil is OK. You could design it as a family football garden (ie the existing surface as lawn and raised beds) or similar. Personally I dislike the habit of micromanagement of developments years after completion - it is another example of planning overreach. Apply KISS. Like the Heritage Statement, it could just be a para in the D&A perhaps with a sketch plan. You may need to exclude most of the back garden from construction traffic to prevent disturbance. Would they buy that? What does your Soil-chap say when you ask him how much soil would need to be removed?

 

You could of course also use your dug-up topsoil for reprofiling areas of the garden. Not sure how it is handled, but I can see someone deciding on the basis of the Soil Report that it must be treated as Controlled Waste or something similar, just in case - I have infinite faith in the ability of big organisations to make excessive decisions because it seems sensible at the time. At which point your skip bill becomes a little larger than it was before. Perhaps other BHers know better on that.

 

If you want certainty then it is one of your two options. 

 

Over to you. X marks the spot :-). 

 

F

 

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Ferdinand    413
10 hours ago, Ed_MK said:

However I DID happen to poke around on planning and i found the ORIGINAL documents for several houses that are built directly ON TOP

of the landfill ..I am at least 100+m away from the EDGE of it

 

And what do you know ...??

They had their reports there too :) handy!

 

now these were built in 2012, and the reports date to 2011,

do you think they are any good for my case ? ...maybe later

 

I have attached it

 

(ts public domain ..so i dont suppose i am breaking any laws sharing it ..anyone can download it ....its FINDING it thats a bit hard :)

 

 

The copyright laws include an express exemption for private research, study and commentary.

 

F

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