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Did anyone else watch Grand Designs last night?

How did the planning system get so ludicrous that it becomes viable to jack up the remains of a derelict building, build an underground home that looks like a car park and then put the crumbling old building back on top, rebuilding half of it so it still looks derelict?

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Did anyone else watch Grand Designs last night?

How did the planning system get so ludicrous that it becomes viable to jack up the remains of a derelict building, build an underground home that looks like a car park and then put the crumbling old building back on top, rebuilding half of it so it still looks derelict?

Different programme (think it was that new Beeny programme), but same theme, the floor joists in a building were structurally unsound, but because the building was listed, the joists couldn't be removed, extra ones had to be put in along side. The floorboards then covered the whole thing up. Unless I totally misunderstood what was being said, WTF? Personally, in a case like this I would just do what I thought was best, and **** the planners.

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Missed it, but it looks interesting

Cotswolds: The Stealth House

Getting planning permission to build in open countryside is nigh on impossible, but Helen and Chris have achieved exactly that. Both architects, they decided to move out of London and build their own home in the middle of the Cotswolds countryside.

This creative couple managed to get planning consent through a little-used planning law called PP7. This allows houses of exemplary architectural merit to be built on green belt land. Their house is certainly going to be special, because they plan to build it underneath a collapsing, ruined 300-year-old barn, so their home won't actually be visible in the landscape.

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Different programme (think it was that new Beeny programme), but same theme, the floor joists in a building were structurally unsound, but because the building was listed, the joists couldn't be removed, extra ones had to be put in along side. The floorboards then covered the whole thing up. Unless I totally misunderstood what was being said, WTF? Personally, in a case like this I would just do what I thought was best, and **** the planners.

The alternative is to have decent buildings or buildings of interest trashed by greed or stupidity, although I agree that some of the restrictions on listed buildings can be ludicrous (this sounds like it) and some common sense needs to be applied.

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Why is that a problem?

It's about £500K more than converting the existing shell into a usable house.

The planning system severely limits the supply of housing and makes it far more expensive as a result.

I see that as a problem.

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The alternative is to have decent buildings or buildings of interest trashed by greed or stupidity, although I agree that some of the restrictions on listed buildings can be ludicrous (this sounds like it) and some common sense needs to be applied.

Agree. I think planners should be, for example, preventing houses being turned into flats, without significant improvements in the surrounding infrastructure reducing quality of life and affecting society generally. I also think older building have a far superior aesthetic quality, but keeping them run down just for the sake of aesthetics is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Nit picking about keeping listed joists in a decrepit building is nuts.

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It's about £500K more than converting the existing shell into a usable house.

The planning system severely limits the supply of housing and makes it far more expensive as a result.

I see that as a problem.

Ah - see what you mean. Presumably they were hoping to grant pp on it to a family member...

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I watched the show and couldn't help thinking to myself: "Yeah, really eco. Massive house, loads of materials, looks like a garage and now you have to drive everywhere".

These idiots spent £600k doing it as well.

If they really wanted to be eco-ists, rather than playing the card to get planning, then they should have bought an existing small flat and bunged up a windmill.

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That project seemed to capture in microcosm exactly what is wrong with our economy. Two of the top 1% of the richest people in the country consuming an immense chunk of labour, energy, raw materials, and council time to live in a w4nky hole in a field. Those resources could have been used to build or maintain ordinary housing for ordinary people. Fine you might say, but it's their money and they can do with it what they like. But was it their money? Who actually paid for it? It was the greater fool who paid squillions for their old house in London, no doubt with a huge mortgage guaranteed by the UK government.

We are the idiots paying for these follies, through higher prices for raw materials and taxes to bail out the financial sector.

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indeed it is amazing to see the size of houses these environmentally conscious people build. i guess the location was very good, land price cheap (bought for 5000 pounds from her father). still they had to spend a lot to get an underground 'loft'. i can understand people converting old factory units into spacious lofts with industrial design visible in the house. but to actually go out of your way to acquire a loft sensibility in your house beggars belief. of course they are architects and they probably know their market. this house is going to be one of their show off projects.

all that money spent to acquire an air tight house which does not need any extra heating really shows penny wise pound foolish. i guess they were happy with it and they were planning to stay there for a long time.

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That project seemed to capture in microcosm exactly what is wrong with our economy. Two of the top 1% of the richest people in the country consuming an immense chunk of labour, energy, raw materials, and council time to live in a w4nky hole in a field. Those resources could have been used to build or maintain ordinary housing for ordinary people. Fine you might say, but it's their money and they can do with it what they like. But was it their money? Who actually paid for it? It was the greater fool who paid squillions for their old house in London, no doubt with a huge mortgage guaranteed by the UK government.

We are the idiots paying for these follies, through higher prices for raw materials and taxes to bail out the financial sector.

I caught the show.

I think i heard them say that they had put their London house , not sure which suburb it was - but they were fairly well-to-do upper middle-class professional types , onto the market at 650K and had no takers. She blamed it on the credit crunch ;)

Eventually they sold it for 525k, so a 20% hit, And i thought prime areas of London had been unaffected by HPC :lol:

End result was ok if you like eco-living (??) nuclear-bunker chic which obviously appeals to the architectural elite these days.......

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I watched some of it and actually I thought it was OK, if a tad expensive. :o

But the main thing escaping any thought was winter in the cotswolds. That slope to the garages will take some clearing and unless they get a big 4x4 (unthinkable surely for people in an 'eco' house), the surrounding access lanes will be death-traps.

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I think i heard them say that they had put their London house , not sure which suburb it was - but they were fairly well-to-do upper middle-class professional types , onto the market at 650K and had no takers. She blamed it on the credit crunch wink.gif

Eventually they sold it for 525k, so a 20% hit, And i thought prime areas of London had been unaffected by HPC laugh.gif

I think prime areas of London were affected by the credit crunch but the debasement of our currency, 300 year low base rates and the bail out of the banking system have combined to mean that prices recovered after they sold and, by the first half of this year, were back at 2007 levels.

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So you can build in the country if...

  • You build something architecturally exciting and modern
  • If it looks old-fashioned, then no chance
  • It's so marvellous that it has to be hidden from the view of the general public...
  • ...behind something old-fashioned
  • And you must be rich

Something irrational about the planning regs, perhaps.This is just...grrr

I've recently watched 'Downfall' (great film), so I can appreciate the bunker like qualities of the place.

Kitchen looks nice and clean, good working environment for post-mortems.

Edited by whalewatcher

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Did anyone else watch Grand Designs last night?

How did the planning system get so ludicrous that it becomes viable to jack up the remains of a derelict building, build an underground home that looks like a car park and then put the crumbling old building back on top, rebuilding half of it so it still looks derelict?

People digging holes, to live underground?! :blink::unsure: Talk about "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth"! :lol:

Just bonkers!

In a few decades this building will be of historical value, to exemplified the madness, "madness, I tell ya!", on the naughties.

Even the presenter, Kevin McCloud (!) at one point said it was "mad"! :huh: His word! That was the most important moment in the show for me. It showed that the penny is finally, finally dropping, even for the craziest w@nkers around!

Bonkers!

Moronic! Actually, to be precise: imbecilic!

Collective, national madness!

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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It's about £500K more than converting the existing shell into a usable house.

The planning system severely limits the supply of housing and makes it far more expensive as a result.

I see that as a problem.

+ 1 !

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Most people wouldn't want to live in a hole in the ground anyway, but this house was far lighter than the Cumbrian underground house in a much earlier show.

Why they couldn't knock the barn down & just rebuild it, just shows how crazy some planning laws are. Do we really need to preserve an abandoned falling down barn anyway ?

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Most people wouldn't want to live in a hole in the ground anyway, but this house was far lighter than the Cumbrian underground house in a much earlier show.

Why they couldn't knock the barn down & just rebuild it,

I suspect that they probably could have done. But they wanted something four times the size and that wouldn't be allowed

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The whole thing was basically an architect's wet dream - lots of technical challenges, a UK first and absolutely ugly. I did like the use of the solar panels to provide shade as well as generate electricity. Nice creative thinking. But as others have observed - hardly low impact living. Have to wonder how well the glass and rubber roof will last a few UK winters. And funny how the only one of them getting a decent view was the wife via her office in the old barn.

Family clearly not short of a few bob as Daddy can afford to give them their own field in the green belt to play Lego in.

I wonder if it has translated into lots of business for them?

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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