My last post here was at the end of March, when we had placed our order with Potton for the timber frame. That triggered a series of steps, that have take until now to work through. I said then that we hoped to start groundworks in May – so much for hope!
Placing the Potton order let us start work with them on finalising the design – the layouts that we had at that point were definitel V0.0, and we knew that we would need to make some changes. The overall size of the building was fixed, but we were able to review (and amend) the internal layout. The result is here, in the Potton Rev D drawings.
The main amendments are the room in the roof space, and some changes to bathroom layouts. It seemed a bit bizarre, considering that all we had were some lines on paper, but we spent ages looking at kitchen and bathroom fittings catalogues, and talking to suppliers of things we won’t need for several months, but we needed to make fairly rigid choices for fittings, so that we could be sure that we could fit in what we wanted.
The result has a few differences from the original design for which we had planning permission, but we were assured that the council would treat them as minor amendments. Until, that was, I spoke to the planning officer at Torridge Council, who didn’t actually suck her breath through her teeth, but told me, with no scope for negotiation, that we would have to apply for new permission. So that was what we did.
Fortunately, because the new application was within 12 months of the original permission, we could use our Free Go and didn’t have to pay the £335 fee. But it did mean, in essence, that we were stalled for up to 8 weeks. We had to go slightly ballistic when we learned that Holsworthy Town Council had recommended refusal of our application, citing ‘grave concerns…’. An ‘assertive’ letter from us (I hope) put them straight (the planning officer at Torridge referred to it as ‘useful’), and shortly after, we got our new permission.
That’s not the end, but I’ll continue in another post.