Every project seems to have a story regarding Planning Approval and this project is no exception.

The project formally started when we appointed our architect in September 2013 with the intention to commence the build in March 2014. In December 2013 Glenys approached the local planners with an outline of the proposal and after looking at the plans was informed that Planning Permission was not required.

We are both good friends with an ex senior planner and he advised that if we wished to sell the house in future the buyer’s solicitor would ask for evidence that the changes we have made were legal. He further advised that the two options open to us were either to apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development or Planning Permission. He further pointed out that the danger with the former route was that if any problems were found we would then need to apply for Planning Permission. If this was the case the delay would be over two months.

So in early January my wife applied for a Certificate of Lawful Development and eight weeks later we were informed that we needed to apply for Planning Permission. It was also clear that the original plan for external insulation on the front elevation was unlikely to be approved.

New plans had to be produced by the architect, new calculations made in the Passive House software (PHPP) and potential ways of mitigating the additional Thermal Bridges considered. A bigger problem was that internal insulation on a solid wall in the rainy North West of England was not something to be undertaken lightly! A start in 2014 was no longer sensible so in one sense the pressure was off.

Planning Permission was duly applied for and Approval obtained at the end of August 2014. There was one reserved matter - the colour of the render had to be approved by the planners. The render sample was submitted on February 13th 2015. We were unclear when this would be approved (ever the optimist) but at least if they take more than 12 weeks we will receive our application fee back. At the end of March we found out that It wasn’t approved so a new panel had to be selected and resubmitted.