Should the saying “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” really be applied as an approach to planning?!
After the discussion over the kitchen design (lack of) was told by Redrow that customers are asked to examine the house plans carefully. (Why not give customers a set of the plans then, watermarked if needs be, to peruse at their leisure then rather than in a busy meeting? Or atleast make sure they’re actually available in the office)
So took them up on this and pored over all the plans, particularly the ones on file with Winchester council that formed the planning permission, and found some interesting variations.
The first biggie was that the “Boundary Materials Layout” specified a 2m brick wall at the rear of the garden. Where on a site visit we’d noticed a 1.8m wooden fence. On questioning Redrow, they insisted their plans showed a fence and their plans had planning consent. So a quick query to the council planning officer and he had no knowledge of their plans and that it should be a 2m brick wall.
In fairness, Redrow have now built the wall (although yet to see the finished product). Slightly concerning that the site office had no knowledge/copy of the submitted plans!
After a bit more looking at the plans found 2 more “variations”. The front path to most of the properties have been laid with rather naff looking paving flags “Bradstone Peak Buff Riven”, which has a moulded pattern that is identical to every slab and the manufacturer specifies for using under a shed. The plans specify tarmac continuing from the pavement, which i’m not hugely keen on either though.
There is also a low flint wall at the front of the property, where the approved plans specify it to have half round coping bricks at the top, but has now been built with standard engineering bricks. Redrow say this is to deal with runoff down the wall, the cynic in me says square bricks are cheaper!
Redrow haven’t been keen on reworking these, so i’ve asked they put a planning amendment in. My solicitors have now managed to get this included as a clause in the contract at the last hour.
It seems to me the problems came about as the submitted plans came from the master planners and a separate architects practice was engaged to handle the technical drawings (with more of an eye on cost controls). Changes contained in these detailed drawings didn’t seem to make it to the planners.
Will have to see what happens when the amendment gets submitted, not that there’s a committed timescale for this. The landscaping officer had paid particular attention to the materials on the original plans, e.g. Lead flashing and timber for the door canopies and timber frames for the windows, so will have to see if this paving makes the grade.