Finally, some progress. A pre-planning meeting with the local Amber Valley District Council planning department has been held. This was to sound out some changes we would like to the current planning permission already granted. This was a mixed bag of some being agreed to and some not. The main changes we needed were to plot 1 where the L-shaped bit is very narrow and is a separate mono pitch roof. This can be changed to be a wider section of building and a dual pitch roof to be fully integrated into the rest of the building. The second change that was absolutely essential was to have permission for a front door for plot 2. Currently, the only access is all the way around the buildings and accessed via the courtyard, and again, this has been agreed to. The change that we wanted for our house which is plot 3 has not been agreed to. We would have liked a garden room extension as there are few openings into the walled garden; which is going to be our garden, but sadly this has not been agreed to. It's not the end of the world though, and I'm sure there will be other options for gaining access and views to the garden. The next step for us is to send our wish list to the architect indicating which are 'must haves' and which are 'would likes' and he will endeavour to fit it all in.
A topological (or is it topographical?) survey has been booked for this week and with the results of this the architect can start our plans. You might wonder at a topological survey being commissioned as we already have plans. The reason for this is that the existing plans were drawn up by a different architect and do not contain all the measurements for the elevations. It will also ensure that the ground levels are measured around the barn so that all pipe work can be laid at the right level to make sure that the flows are in the right direction. It would be tragic if sewage didn't drain properly.
An update to the existing ecological survey has also been booked. This is to check that bats haven't moved in since the last planning application was made.
For actual physical progress, this week we have been making inroads into the slightly jungly walled garden. Some trees have been taken down and are ready to be burned and the worst of the brambles have been attacked although they did their best to attack back. Some more of the canopy has blown down, but the rest is still standing (more or less). We have looked into having this taken down before the builders get on site, but it hasn't been so easy to find someone with the correct certification to remove the asbestos panels. Also, one of the barns is tiled with asbestos tiles and so it's not wise to remove them just yet as the building will then be completely open to the elements. They really need to be removed in one go as it is so expensive to get the asbestos removed and disposed of.
A few photo's of the garden and buildings....