After informal discussions with Rushcliffe Borough Council the principle of a house on the site was considered acceptable by the planning department, although we had to submit a flood risk assessment to the Environment Agency. This did seem rather unreasonable, since Millions have been spent recently on flood defences along the River Trent !
When we had finalised the design, we invited all the neighbours over to announce our news ! Initially shocked that we were going to move, they were all pleased to hear that we were only moving 15 metres away, and have been very supportive ever since.
It took the usual 8 weeks to gain our approval, and the only amendments requested were a flood evacuation plan.
Whilst waiting for the approval, we started to think about the construction and renewable technologies we might want to include.
Our brief to the Architects was the first stage, and when we really had to think about what we actually wanted/needed. When you are used to a spacious detached house in a double plot, it’s quite difficult to compromise and downsize.
Fewer smaller rooms will mean much of our furniture will have to go, but at least a smaller garden will mean less work and more time for doing other things in our retirement !
Design wise we wanted a house that was sympathetic to it’s neighbours, but with a modern twist rather than pretending it was Victorian.
The design that evolved was Victorian in scale and mass, but built in more modern materials with grey render and aluminium windows. Although we amended and refined the design several times, we felt it was time well spent which will hopefully minimise the need to make any changes once the builder has started work.
We don’t want to incur extra costs and delays, because we’ve changed our minds part way through the build.