Planning is in! We have heard those 3 magic words again: ‘Do Hereby Grant’. This is music to our ears…
So our 1 bed is now a 2 bed, not a bad day’s work!
It is a fantastic result which means the house will now be suitable for us to move into (for now) as this increase in the overall value of the property will enable us to do everything we want and need to build into the property; from our green roof to our PV Panels, our super insulation to our sustainable building materials.
As we have mentioned in previous updates the site itself and the somewhat limited budget, due to this being such a small property, means we are not going to be able to go the full hog and create a ‘zero carbon’ home but we are certainly going to go a long way towards it.
Our house will be Code 4 per the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) guidelines. What we will learn from this process will be invaluable as we strive for that ‘zero carbon’ property.
What this also means, as you will have worked out, is that we will need to do another project after this which is exciting in itself and also means we will learn as we go and hopefully slightly reduce the steepness of that learning curve now.
We have agreed between us that we will focus on 4 key eco elements now, meet our Code 4 requirements and then expand the elements of our build for the next project so we can then push it to Code 5/6 (our build our ultimate ‘Eco House’)
The current focus is finance and I think we have found a more suitable finance offering which we are now applying for. Fingers crossed this comes through.
The other item which is time critical is the ordering of our timber frame. Our build plan is still only a high level plan but is to become more detailed shortly. We do however know that the lead time on this being delivered to site is 10 weeks so as I speak we have just sent off a cheque to the firm for 15% of the cost of our frame – no turning back now! This is so the designers can make start on our timber frame design and the clock can start ticking on that 10 weeks!
The third item we must also focus on are the planning conditions. The planning was granted but there are various conditions attached (hopefully none too onerous) but we have just had the quote through from our energy assessor for the work he needs to do to help us comply and meet the conditions of the Code 4 (one of our conditions) and this is just short of £3K!!
We need to understand exactly what the total costs of meeting these will be before we proceed! This is particularly applicable to meeting Code 4, to ensure we don’t miss anything and get caught out with any unexpected costs down the track!
Just as things are falling into place I get a letter through from the neighbour to the rear of us asking if we would like to purchase ½ his garden as he is selling the house. Wow!
This was actually what we were going to have to do if planning had not been allowed but it ended up we didn’t need to!
Although we now don’t need the extra land it would be nice to have some extra garden which could then give us a garage and an office at the rear! Lets see how much he is asking for, when he comes back to me…
That would just be a bonus but for now there is plenty of exciting things for us to get on with!