Four weeks from my last post, and the barn still isn’t ours but we’re inching nearer to a completion date, tying up some loose ends.
The mortgage people have had us (well, Mike) jumping through hoops again, but the application was finally submitted last week, and we’re waiting to hear if the bank will let us have all the funds we need.
I had a meeting with architect Gavyn to kick things off again. Mainly discussed fulfilling the outstanding planning conditions which are “not too onerous”, he says.
One is the need to refine the basic garden plan with more info on planting schedules, soil preparation and plant species. Can’t afford the services of a professional landscape architect so it’s down to me – and Google.
Another pretty major planning condition concerns protected species, which in our case means bats. No building is allowed where there is a risk of disturbing them, and common pipistrelles have been known to roost in this barn.
A past survey thankfully found no evidence of either a pipistrelle maternity colony (potentially bad news) or of brown long eared bats (really bad and expensive news) but the time of year is against us. It means there is a limited window of opportunity before any bats using the barn start hibernating, so we had to bite the bullet and book a bat survey update. That’s another £900 to add to the growing bill.
I used to quite like bats.
Soooo, so far we’ve paid for an architect, a solicitor, structural engineer, quantity surveyor and a conservation expert. We don’t yet have a mortgage offer, or a revised contract with a problem clause removed by the original landowner (the huge legal issue I mentioned last time) or the land searches completed, but I’m feeling optimistic.
Well… I’m calling it optimism. Sounds better than stupidly naive.