Big Jimbo

i hope i am not rambling (as often accused by my wife)

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Promise i will keep this short.

I own a nice plot. 90ft wide x 200ft deep. On it sits an old bungalow of aprox 650ish sq ft.  It's in the green belt. After a lot of effort i have obtained planning permission to extend the bungalow to aprox 3000 sq ft.

Now the extension i got passed is not the best looking thing you will ever have seen, but atleast i now have that as my fallback.

In truth i dont need a 3000 sq ft house, and in the next couple of months i am going to become a double grandad. I have also had to help my 3 daughters onto the property ladder which has cost me about £300,000 pounds. This has involved me in paying deposits to buy dumps, gutting and re-newing everything in the properties, and turning them into desirable places for them to live, where they should have a good place to live for atleast the next 10 years or so without having to spend too much money on the places.

My background is basically in designing and building high end furniture fixtures for posh new build houses. Stunning Kitchens, Wardrobes, Vanity units, Studies, Cinema rooms etc. Now i have had a fair bit of fun doing it for about 25 years, but at 57 i have got a bit grumpy, and just can't be asked to chase the work, or put up with the site work anymore. It's always been a small afair with me doing the work, and my wife doing all the accounts, and buying the stuff in.

We have never earned a fortune, but have had a great life together, and we both enjoyed the time we have spent on our 3 daughters houses. we have also done 5 houses over the years. Bought dumps, maxed out extensions, re-furbed to a high standard and sold them on. (If my daughters were asked what was it like where they grew up, they would always say. "We lived in a series of dumps. When Mum and Dad made them nice we moved

Now my one brain cell has been ticking over, and the result is that i think it would be better to build 2 houses for future generations that would be more affordable than 1 large house, which will only end up being sold to some overpaid footballer, or banker from London. I'm about 15mins drive outside the M25, and within 10 mins drive to 2 underground stations in Herfordshire. that , and the fact that i would quite like my Grandchildren to be able to drive past in years to come, and be able to say, "My Gran and Grandad built those 2 houses"

To that end i drew up 2 houses that fitted inside the footprint of the 1 large house, and the bulk of the 2 houses was slightly smaller than the bulk of the large 1 house. I stuck this into my local planning dept, and this was refused because they viewed the proposal against the existing bungalow, and not the extended house that they had already given permission for. GRRRRR Short sighted tossers.

Anyway, i have now approached a local planning consultant, who is gamekeeper, turned poacher, (X head of planning) who thinks that he could provide a good arguement for 2 houses in place of the single large house. I have gone back to my pencil, and designed 2 houses that have a considerably smaller footprint that the large house, and has a reduced bulk therefore making the greenbelt more open that the 1 large house would. I know that sustainability, is not just about the house, but when i asked him if i should try and build the houses to as high a standard as possible (possible Passive) he said it would help but didn't think it would be a deal breaker !

Now i fundamentally believe that 2 houses would be better than 1, and i would like to prepare for the possibility of going to appeal, if the council don't see sense.

Although, i can work out "u" values, and design out thermal bridging, is there any software available that i might be able to use to show, on a more official basis, how well the houses would be built in relation to energy efficiency above and beyond the current Building control levels, and do any of you think that doing so might be worth my while in relation to the planning process or posible appeal ??

Thanks for reading, told you i ramble.

Regards to all. Jim

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so you going to build a large semi  then ?--that would be cheapest way  to get 2 houses and sharing founds +services etc ,etc,

 

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I don't think the eco slant will hold any sway at appeal. The sustainability they are looking for is stuff like walking distance to amenities, bus stops etc.

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6 minutes ago, scottishjohn said:

so you going to build a large semi  then ?--that would be cheapest way  to get 2 houses and sharing founds +services etc ,etc,

 

I have thought about that. certainly possible to build one large house and sub-divide into Two. Just seems a real shame as both houses could have 2mts each side to boundary, and 8 mts in between them.

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5 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

I don't think the eco slant will hold any sway at appeal. The sustainability they are looking for is stuff like walking distance to amenities, bus stops etc.

If that is true, than it is a great shame. This country is full of newly built, crap, leaky, houses. We should be doing better, and it should be taken into account. If i was a planning inspectorate looking at an appeal, i would certainly be looking more positively at the planning policies, and twisting them to enable me to pass it on appeal.

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It is more building regulations part L that is used to improve energy usage standards although some LAs have standards exceeding those and will add them as planning conditions.

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44 minutes ago, Big Jimbo said:

I have thought about that. certainly possible to build one large house and sub-divide into Two. Just seems a real shame as both houses could have 2mts each side to boundary, and 8 mts in between them.

one large house sub divided is not same as building a pair of houses as semis detached from start-

8m between them that's another house .LOL

-make a row of good terraced ones .

cost per house gets even better

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Sadly it is true that, as far as planning goes, they couldn't give a stuff about sustainability in terms of low energy demand, reduced CO2 emissions etc.  I had first hand experience of that when putting together our planning application. 

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Are you planning to build the 2, one for you one for familly? or is this a way to make money to retire?

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1 hour ago, Big Jimbo said:

[...] is there any software available that i might be able to use to show, on a more official basis, how well the houses would be built in relation to energy efficiency above and beyond the current Building control levels,

[...]

 

Yes. PHPP.  But @JSHarris quick spreadsheet is as good and  a much less Teutonic way.

26 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

Sadly it is true that, as far as planning goes, they couldn't give a stuff about sustainability in terms of low energy demand, reduced CO2 emissions etc.  I had first hand experience of that when putting together our planning application. 

 

And I, first hand experience of the opposite.  In general  planners couldn't give a stuff, but I think it's fair to argue in certain circumstances, it does matter. It might even depend on the quality of the  relationship between your planner and the planning official. 

1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

[...]

The sustainability they are looking for is stuff like walking distance to amenities, bus stops etc.

 

And this aspect of sustainability  has only just (last year or so) become relevant. So you'll need to be careful about that.

 

Your wife is right.

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44 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Are you planning to build the 2, one for you one for familly? or is this a way to make money to retire?

I would like to keep 1, and sell the other one. I doubt i would make more money if i sold both, or sold one big house. I just think it would be a better thing to do.

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1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

Sadly it is true that, as far as planning goes, they couldn't give a stuff about sustainability in terms of low energy demand, reduced CO2 emissions etc.  I had first hand experience of that when putting together our planning application. 

i'm going to have to get into politics then if i want to change that. Trouble is i think they are all tossers.

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48 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

 

Yes. PHPP.  But @JSHarris quick spreadsheet is as good and  a much less Teutonic way.

 

And I, first hand experience of the opposite.  In general  planners couldn't give a stuff, but I think it's fair to argue in certain circumstances, it does matter. It might even depend on the quality of the  relationship between your planner and the planning official. 

 

And this aspect of sustainability  has only just (last year or so) become relevant. So you'll need to be careful about that.

 

Your wife is right.

i will try and find the JSHarris one. Thanks

Well the planning consultant likes my planning officer so that might help.

So i could provide 2 houses for future generations.....Built to standards that would vastly exceed building regs. May prevent future owers from being in fuel poverty. are outside the village boundary, but at least as near, if not nearer to the Village Green, Football Club, Tennis club, than most of the houses within the village. 10mins drive to 2 London underground Stations, again, nearer than most of the houses. have a bus that drives past the front of the house. 18 mins walk to the village high st. No probs with off street parking. 4 cars per house. can easily hide all the bins. To top all that, 5ft hedge to the front, which is 7ft from the road surface. I can plant a load of trees behind the hedge at any time, so that even if you walked past on stilts, you wont be able to get a view of my fab Green belt. What am i overdeveloping, and what harm am i doing ? Only doing good as far as i can see.

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1 hour ago, Big Jimbo said:

[...]

Well the planning consultant likes my planning officer so that might help.

[...]

 

Thats exactly what happened in our case. Bear in mind that the plot next door to ours was refused - at Appeal too, just a few months after ours was permitted.

 

Both Politics and micropolitics are important

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A lot depends on whether you want to do what is best for the community or best for yourself.

 

As others have said, efficiency won't make much difference to planners. I doubt they really understand it anyway, you could probably build something quite standard and flummox them like volume builders. They can also definitely argue that two houses appear larger than one also, there will be more driveway space, patios etc as well as the larger amount of house.

 

What you are suggesting is commendable, two modest houses are more sustainable than one large house. Although in truth the planners could free up land to build houses if they want to, so I don't know that it is your responsibility.

 

Just to note the economics -

 

Say houses in the area sell for £500 a square foot, could be up to £700 depending on the area from a quick Google.

 

You already own the land. Assuming a generous build cost of £200 a square foot then you are going to make £300 per square built.

 

Thus if you build a 3000 square foot house you will make £600,000 profit, it to fit two houses on you downsize them as suggested so that you build 2x 1250sq foot houses, you are going to only make £500,000. So your community spirit could cost you a lot of money.

 

If your planning consultant can get 3000 square foot across two houses in then they will cost slightly more to build maybe than one house but the economics will be OK.

 

You might also consider what kind of house is most appropriate for the area. If it is out on its own it may be that one large house is more what is expected and may even sell for a premium. It also depends on if you want to keep or sell a house, cashflow etc.

 

Having thought about it, I think what you do is decide what house you want for yourself, a very personal decision. It may be that you want something small, it may be that once you start planning you end up at 2500sq feet. Once you have decided that see if you can build something else with what is left over out of 3000 square feet.

 

 

Edited by AliG

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30 minutes ago, AliG said:

A lot depends on whether you want to do what is best for the community or best for yourself.

 

As others have said, efficiency won't make much difference to planners. I doubt they really understand it anyway, you could probably build something quite standard and flummox them like volume builders. They can also definitely argue that two houses appear larger than one also, there will be more driveway space, patios etc as well as the larger amount of house.

 

What you are suggesting is commendable, two modest houses are more sustainable than one large house. Although in truth the planners could free up land to build houses if they want to, so I don't know that it is your responsibility.

 

Just to note the economics -

 

Say houses in the area sell for £500 a square foot, could be up to £700 depending on the area from a quick Google.

 

You already own the land. Assuming a generous build cost of £200 a square foot then you are going to make £300 per square built.

 

Thus if you build a 3000 square foot house you will make £600,000 profit, it to fit two houses on you downsize them as suggested so that you build 2x 1250sq foot houses, you are going to only make £500,000. So your community spirit could cost you a lot of money.

 

If your planning consultant can get 3000 square foot across two houses in then they will cost slightly more to build maybe than one house but the economics will be OK.

 

You might also consider what kind of house is most appropriate for the area. If it is out on its own it may be that one large house is more what is expected and may even sell for a premium. It also depends on if you want to keep or sell a house, cashflow etc.

 

Having thought about it, I think what you do is decide what house you want for yourself, a very personal decision. It may be that you want something small, it may be that once you start planning you end up at 2500sq feet. Once you have decided that see if you can build something else with what is left over out of 3000 square feet.

 

 

I could prob make more money if i built 1 big house. I could tech it to hell, and build in loads of sexy hand built furniture that would be exclusive to the property. Large motorised wall mirrors, that glide away at the touch of a button, to reveal large t.v's etc etc etc. All done be me previously on large 3mill + houses. jog on down to Watford Football club, and sell it to one of the players. I would'nt be able to keep it myself, as i would be skint, and i don't want to really work anymore. I would rather play with my old Classic car. We don't have a date stamp behind our ear, so none of us know how long we are going to last. If i could build 2 more modest houses, i could keep 1, and have a few quid in my pocket.

Regardless of that, i just think it would be the right thing to do for the future. First house for eldest daughter. Watford £245 paid £25k spent. now worth about £600,000. Second house 1 year later. Could no longer afford Watford, so had to buy in Chesham, Bucks. £200k paid, £25k spent. Now worth £400,000. Third daughter 1 year later. Could no longer afford Chesham, so had to go up to Bletchley, near Milton Keynes. £235k paid £55k spent. You can see where i am going with this..... I'm just glad that was the last one, or i would be looking in Leicester !!!! and that would be a hell of a journey daily to do it up.

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I totally see where you are coming from @Big Jimbo. Money can't buy you time with your family.

 

That's why once I thought about it, I came down on simply decide what house you want for yourself. It seems like you can build whatever you want for your self and you may or may not be able to build another house too. Don't start from the position of wanting to build two similar houses as that may not be best for you. Best for you is living in a house that suits you, near to your family. So I would design that and if that allows for another house to be built then that's good, but I would make a decision for you and your family first and then see what possibilities you have after that.

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It may be worth applying for a knock down and single new 3000ft2 dwelling as a halfway measure. If it got consent, the planners would then have to view a subsequent application for 2 dwellings against this.

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7 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

It may be worth applying for a knock down and single new 3000ft2 dwelling as a halfway measure. If it got consent, the planners would then have to view a subsequent application for 2 dwellings against this.

Would they have to, or could they continue to view it against the existing bungalow ? they have stated that they consider that i have involved some gamesmanship in my approach. Bunch of backward thinking twats.

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Their job is to approve applications that comply with local and national policy. Ask you planning consultant what they think. If you got consent for a new dwelling, you could demolish the bungalow. The consent would then be locked in.

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20 minutes ago, AliG said:

I totally see where you are coming from @Big Jimbo. Money can't buy you time with your family.

 

That's why once I thought about it, I came down on simply decide what house you want for yourself. It seems like you can build whatever you want for your self and you may or may not be able to build another house too. Don't start from the position of wanting to build two similar houses as that may not be best for you. Best for you is living in a house that suits you, near to your family. So I would design that and if that allows for another house to be built then that's good, but I would make a decision for you and your family first and then see what possibilities you have after that.

Trouble is, if i build what i want for myself. About 1200sq ft. without knowing that i could get a second house on. I would loose a far old few quid on the sale of my one small house at some point in the future. + i really need the second house, to enable me to keep the first, and have a few quid to live on. If i can't get the certainty of being able to build 2, than my only option will be to do the large one, Flog it, and bugger off

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1 minute ago, Mr Punter said:

Their job is to approve applications that comply with local and national policy. Ask you planning consultant what they think. If you got consent for a new dwelling, you could demolish the bungalow. The consent would then be locked in.

The joke of a planning officer told me to build half the big house, then go back to them, and apply to knock it and build 2. They would then take into account the large house instead of the existing bungalow. What a great idea .....I could either give £100,000 to a local Dog's home, and homeless charity........ or i could waste it on starting a house and then knock it down, and build 2.  You could'nt make it up.....Where is the joined up thinking ? We answer to such muppets.

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Semis do not have to be the same.

 

You could build something big that could be subdivided by blocking up one or two doorways, to give 2 halves ( or a 2/3 and a 1/3) which are different and distinctive, and happen to align with a straight through division of the plot. And that when divided naturally give good privacy.

 

The extra cost required would mainly be in thinking time, and you seem to have the skills and contacts to achieve it.

 

The expensive things are bits like 2 potential sets of services etc.

 

[Bonus comment: There are lots of creative divisions of old buildings into 2 or 3 - a modern version of that?)

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand
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