How Much?

So now the numbers start getting real. And scary. Not just the numbers but the minefield that is planning consent. We want to live cost effectively on site so we can nurture the land and oversee the build. We stayed in a static caravan for this visit and the experience was less than we’d hoped for (I’m 193cm with – allegedly – poor spatial awareness, so damage to person and property was a frequent event and my new catchphrase became ‘ouch’).

So we are looking at log cabins/sheds we could re-purpose for later use. But we can’t do that without planning consent. We can’t submit the detailed consent application until house plans are firmed up. First step? Find an architect with some knowledge of the quirks of the local planning office.

Elsie in the sunshine
Elsie enjoying some rays
Reinforcing the entrance
After having to push the car out of mud and snow at least twice in our first few weeks, we have resorted to laying a strip to drive onto. This is a temporary measure – we’re not keen on using plastics of any sort on the land – until we are ready to start laying hardcore.

The upshot is, we received a recommendation for a local architect with adventurous ideas (if not quite sharing our view on budgets). One of neighbours volunteered to use his earth moving equipment to build a bank and beech hedge between our plots. I’ve been humbled by this generosity. What the village may lack in infrastructure (the local switching box is daubed with graffiti proclaiming that ‘decent broadband is welcome here’.) But old fashioned community spirit is in abundance.

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