Update on our Self build

There’s always something!

Many of you that follow my blog whether its the lifestyle blog or the Interiors blog will know that we were at the first stages of Planning for our self build and I wanted to give you an update. I haven’t written anything of late because once its going through the system of the planners there isn’t much to tell and if there was it changes like the wind from one week to the next.

Having got our design from the architect and agreed all the changes, we had submitted all requested to South Hams Council. Then it was a long old waiting game. Although we were told by the planner that they loved the design so that was a good news.

All didn’t go to plan,to be honest after watching all the self build programs and reading all the magazines available we knew it wasn’t all going to be plain sailing but we were prepared for a few minor issues not what I am about to unveil. Not realising that there WAS actually a reason why the land was so reasonably priced. I am going to take you through all the problems but just the main ones.

When we agreed to buy the land it was under the agreement that it had outline planning which it did. So with this outline we then progressed to get our design done with my our architect. The plan was with all the details that were required within the outline planning consent. So the main rule to follow was the Environmental Agency rules and the FFL (first floor level) for those of you that don’t know this is the height that we are allowed to build from. Doing everything to plan we were ready to go until the first lot of bad news came and that was that the outline planning was out of date and the vendor needed to update it. This is one of those things we couldn’t do anything about but just wait. This took around an extra few months to finalise and put us behind schedule.

When the outline came through we were shocked to find that the FFL had now been raised to a substantial amount and that the plot had been now been placed into a flood zone all be it a low risk flood zone but still a dreaded flood zone. This now meant that our design would not be suitable as the FFL was completely different and due to us wanting a kitchen basement to allow us more room upstairs in the main house we would need to build the house on stilts using a Cantilever design. This for us was not an option due to our budget.

After trying to make the EA see sense and the fact that the plot had never flooded and wasn’t about to if it was going to flood to the level of what was suggested then we may have to build an ark!!! This wasn’t the only problem we were now up against we new that we had a Main Culvert running through the bottom corner of what would be the garden this we could deal with because it wouldn’t affect the build and we were just enough distance away. The EA now (in simple terms) wanted us to prove and give consent that if the need arises they would be allowed access at any time and if they also may need to dig up what would be our garden to maintain the culvert!!! even though we only had a slither of the culvert running along an angle at the bottom of the garden.

Mm not sure this will go down well if we were to sell on??

So a little re cap on our issues.

#1 The design will need changing and placing on stilts using a cantilever design

Outcome….. Above our budget and making our property too big and overpowering for the rest of the street.

#2 Access to Culvert at all times.

Outcome….. Issue when it come to selling the property.

These are not the only issues but are the more apparent ones there were a couple more due to access which had also come out of the woodwork.

So after perseverance and trying so hard to overcome these issues we have decided to step away from what was becoming even more of a headache. This doesn’t mean we are giving up on our dream.We are merely putting it on hold and in the meantime will be looking at doing a renovation and then go back to the build. With a plot that is no where near a culvert and no where near a flood zone. I will continue to blog with regards to our next move within the building and renovating world. We are gutted but our heads are up and we a moving onto our next venture. This isn’t something that has put us off , it is something that has taught me so much, and this will most certainly help us when we finally get to build.

Look forward to keeping you posted on a renovation.

Claire HornComment