2015 is going to be a massive year. We have two special anniversaries, four important birthdays and the small matter of a house to build. The block and beam slab is now finished and waiting for delivery of the frame. Our builders worked through extreme weather conditions and had to do a lot more work than was anticipated, when the building inspector and NHBC inspector both insisted on deeper footings and additional concrete pads for the steel structure at the back of the house.
The slab looks huge. The house floor space is a total of just over 300m² and we keep being told that when the walls go up, it will look even bigger. We are so excited now and can’t wait until the 26th of this month when the frame is due to arrive. There have been some logistical issues with access to the site but thankfully they’ve been sorted now, I remain concerned about the state of the site which resembles a swimming pool in parts! But, we’ve got to crack on — no going back now!
An update on the Section 106 issue. Shropshire Council are in the process of re-writing their affordable housing policy and we are hoping that part of this will cover self-builders obligations, both now the legislation has changed and also for us and others in the same boat, having agreed to pay the levy, but not actually having done so yet. I recently spoke with a planning appeals expert who told me he had just dealt with two identical cases — in one, the LA removed the obligation with no problem and, for the other, the clients had to re-apply for planning permission and the obligation was then removed. Both positive steps so I’m hopeful we can come to a similar agreement with Shropshire Council. Having had a protracted fight with them over planning permission in the first place though, I’m not counting my chickens just yet!
Next blog will be done when we have walls — just walls but at least it will look more like a house.