Following my meeting with the Conservation Officer it was time to set out a detailed outline of the work we need to undertake, confirm what needs Listed Building Consent and / or Planning Permission and decide on how to proceed with the necessary applications.
The Conservation Officer helpfully sent a detailed email summarising our discussions and confirming our agreement on what needed consent.
With that in mind we have broken the work up into 3 packages for the most efficient progress through the consent process:
Package 1 is basically to undo the damaging 20th century work that has incorporated inappropriate modern materials into the buildings.
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Much of this is inhibiting the breathable performance of the fabric, some has interfered with the structure and some detracts from the character of the house.This package includes stripping cement based plaster from the walls, removing fibreboard and plasterboard ceilings and partitions, digging out solid concrete floors and raking out cement pointing from the stonework.
These will all be replaced by appropriate, breathable and natural materials including lime, clay, and wood fibre. I’ll describe all of those options in detail when we get on to carrying out that work .Because of the sensitivity of the building we can’t do any of this until we have Listed Building Consent.
However all of these elements have the full support of the Conservation Officer and require little or no design input. Hence a very quick application can be put together and will be approved in a couple of months.
This is obviously a priority so we can actually start work. Once we have consent there is enough in this package to keep me busy for about a year, while we do the background work for the rest.
Package 2 includes replacement windows and doors, stripping the external render to re-render in limeand some internal re-ordering of the first floor. We have agreed the style of the new windows and doors based on the evidence of some surviving historic fabric and our 1970s photo of the house but detailed design and drawings are needed before an application can be submitted.
The internal re-ordering principally involves moving some modern partition walls to improve flow, enlarge the main bathroom and provide an en-suite. This is all uncontentious. However we also need to replace the main staircase.
The existing staircase is precarious and largely unsupported. It’s also so inconvenient that it is positively dangerous to use –particularly getting from the bedrooms in the main range to the bathroom in the rear part of the house. The Conservation Officer is unconvinced about the need to change it, so we are going to have to work hard to make our case and come up with a sensitive design.
Package 3 will involve remodelling the 1990s annexe, including reconstructing its southern elevation, demolishing and replacing the 1970s lean-to and removing a redundant chimney. These elements will require Planning Permission as well as LBC.
Grouping them as a separate package means we can submit simultaneous, identical application.