Bought Some Scotland

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

The last full week in September was quite a good one from the point of view of my house build project.

Purchase

Most significantly, the purchase of the land finally went through at the end of that week. I am now the proud owner of approximately 2.7 hectares of Scotland, with planning permission in principle for two houses.

The only fly in the ointment is that it's still croft land but, as I described in the update at the bottom of my Five Months! post, the signs are that it shouldn't be too much of a problem to decroft.

Pre-planning Enquiry

Back in early August, after a bit of messing around to get an acceptable location plan, I put in a pre-application planning enquiry to get a rough idea of whether my general house design would be acceptable - avoiding the need to pay for a house designer to come up with drawings that the council would then reject.

They're supposed to respond to such enquiries within eight weeks. I was therefore thinking that I'd have a short holiday (with gliding friends at Aboyne) in the first full week in October then be in a position to start chasing them and open the negotiation on what would or would not be acceptable.

Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response about seven weeks after my original submission. I read it with some trepidation at first but changing to glee as I progressed through, particularly as I read:

The building design is unusual in the context of other buildings in Caithness, with an A-frame structure. The design, orientation, colouring and suggested materials have been outlined for their ability to maximise the solar gain potential of the site. This approach is welcomed.

There's lots of detailed stuff about archaeology, drainage and road access but nothing terribly unexpected. They do suggest an alternative route for the entry track which I like as it'll give more flexibility and privacy to the northern plot (the one I hope to sell eventually) and will be cheaper for construction in the short term as it gives a shorter path to the intended plot and also avoids the wettest ground.

I've sent various sketches to a house designer I previously discussed the project with. He's busy for a while but we plan to get a full planning application in in December with a building warrant application some time not too far into next year. Hopefully construction of access, etc, can begin some time in March with the house itself starting not too long after that.