Thursday, 25 July 2013

More frustration - can our nerves stand it?

Well, three weeks ago today a crane was booked in to lift the first steels on to the roof and if that had happened we would now be well on the way to having a completed roof...... but No!!! - on this build things couldn't possibly be that simple!

Two days before the crane was due we took a call from our case officer at Canterbury City Council who told us that they'd been contacted by someone in the road who said that the house was too high - everything went on stop. We had to wait a nail biting week for a meeting on site with the case officer and our builders. Indeed, the tops of our walls on the gables had reached as high as the next door house which, on our plans, should have been 400mm lower. The builders have constructed as per the drawings and set the house as deep in the ground as it should be but the council insisted that we would have to put in a new planning application showing the house at the height it will be in relation to next door if we carry on building. With this option, we run the gauntlet of objections from locals (although we didn't receive a single objection to our original application) with a small risk of the application being refused and the expensive roof that we would've put up having to be taken down again. This just seemed too scary.

We contacted our architect who said he could revise the pitch of the roof from 45° to 31° which would bring us down sufficient to be the same height as next door. Will called the council to discuss this option and the case officer said she would be happy with this and we would only need to put in an application for a 'non material ammendment' which would be dealt with in the office (not out to the public) and that she would recommend passing it. So this is what we've done now.

The change of pitch won't make a vast amount of difference to the house as the roof was very high and I think that some of the vaulted ceilings would've felt vast. The bad side of all this is that it's taking a long time to make the amendments - the builder is finding the drawings from the architect to be missing important details, they also have to bring back the brickies to remove and cut some of the blocks and get the steel guys to change some of the details so all in all yet another very frustrating delay in what was meant to be a 40 week build ...... never again!!!


  1. Planning can be a nightmare! Our builders (Fleming Timber Frame Kit Houses) provide a free planning service where they take care of that side of things. They are based in Scotland though alas!

  2. Alas indeed! Thanks for the comment. At last we're through all the planning problems and the new roof height has been approved so it's all systems go .... now need to get on with a new post to update :)

  3. I'm glad you resolved it. We experienced some problems with our neighbours regarding way leave consent for utilities - its so frustrating! Good luck with it all.