After designing the house, I made my first planning application in December 2012 but it wasn’t until May 2013 that the planning department made the decision to refuse it, mainly on the grounds that it did not reflect the look and style of the heritage aspects of the farmhouse. Dormer windows included in the design needed to go and the ‘size and mass’ needed to be reduced.

The irony of Royley village being savagely pulled down and the later requirements of the planning department to ensure new builds now complement the vernacular was not lost on me. However, working with a new architect, we managed to get something closer to what the local authority wanted.


A barn on the site

The style became more cottage-like, windows were pulled beneath the eaves and the size was reduced and we also agreed to use the stone from the old barn to further embellish the heritage features of the design. New plans were submitted in October 2013 and we finally, having had the application taken to committee because of numerous complaints from local residents, had our application granted, albeit with 17 different planning conditions attached!


Views of the plot from the south (above) and north (below)


Six months on and we have waded through some of the red tape but not all. The land contamination survey, the land stability survey, the structural engineer’s report and the tree survey have all contributed to the delay of the build and they are not all done yet. There’s still more paperwork to shuffle but we have used the time to flatten the site and put up some safety fencing. A few more rubber stamps from the mortgage company and I am hoping that my aim of having a roof on my cottage by Christmas is not just a dream.

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