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vegplot

New strawbale build, Anglesey

If you are interested in volunteering to help with a straw bale house on Anglesey, near Rhosneigr, then we'd like to hear from you. My wife and I purchased land on Anglesey nearly 6 years ago, we have provisional plans for an oak framed house with lime rendered straw bale walls, and is practicable a straw bales insulated roof. It will make full use of solar thermal, solar PV and possibly wind (if we can get planning permission). One of the aims is not to use a drop of cement in the whole of the construction. We hope to start building later this year or, at the latest, next year.

If you have experience in straw bale build and wish to lend a hand you or wish to gain some experience then please either drop me an email or response to the post. We will be publishing a web site soon at www.builditwithstraw.co.uk (it's not live yet so please be patient).

This is a serious attempt to demonstrate that straw bale building can become a mainstream building technique rather than seen as some hippy way of living. We want to involve the local authority and the community as much as possible as we, like many others, see renewable building technology as the way forward.
tahir

Sounds great, good luck with it. What will you be using for the slab?
vegplot

It will be an insulated composite earth floor, building regs permitting. The bale foundation and plinth will be reclaimed stone from the demolished stone building which stood on the site.
tahir

Thought you might be going for earth. Sounds nice, but what's a composite earth floor?

Cordwood also looks like a really diyable technique and seems to make great houses.

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/cordwood.htm
tahir

And if you've got the land you could grow some thatch too, someone I know is building a cob house and intends to grow the thatch himself.
BahamaMama

I wish it were closer - good luck and keep us posted with progress.
Chez

We are definitely interested and aren't too far away - but it's a time thing, as always. I will have a word with Arvo and a look in the diary and then PM you!
VSS

Keep us posted please - we're planning something similar in Gwynedd, and would like to know how it goes. Any problems over planning / building regs? Particularly regards roof. No chance of anything except slate round here, though we fancy turf.
vegplot

I'll keep you all posted. The new web site will, when finished, have a subscription service which I will use to send out regular bulletins, if you subscribe, but I'll use this forum topic as well.

However, here's a quick rundown. The land we have is a quarter acre just outside the village of Pencarnisiog. It has incredible views over Snowdonia and Yr Eifls, when the weather is good. You can see some images at http://pencarnisiog.co.uk a website which hasn't been updated for 3 years but we've not done a great deal since.

We have planning permission for a bungalow which expires in September 2008 so we are going to have to resubmit plans and that is our first steps. We were fortunate enough to buy the land when prices were still low. It had a derelict cottage on it which has now been demolished. It would have been nice to renovate it but was beyond redemption.

The house will use a load bearing internal oak frame, we're limited on size so we're designing a 1 1/2 story dwelling. I'd love to have a corrugated iron roof but may not be able to get that through planning. The outer shell will be straw bale reinforced with hazel and rendered with lime both inside and out, that will be the labour intensive part. Straw bale walls are very, very much cheaper than any other type but when you cost in rendering labour costs start to even out. However, straw and lime walls are very comfortable to live in as they breathe and are excellent acoustic barriers.

We're not that familiar with the planning process so it should be an exciting ride. We hope to get the local authority pro-active on this project so they can use it as a model. In outward appearance it will look like a conventional house but will be almost zero net carbon and use renewable or recycled materials.

I have already calculated heat loss and during the coldest period should only require 3kW of heat, a small wood stove, to maintain 19C, but that's assuming we can make it air tight and the build quality is top notch. It's more likely to be 5-7kW still a very low value by today’s standards. Straw bale has a U-value of 0.13 so it’s well within building regs. If we can get straw bale into the roof we will but that will be challenging.

We will use solar hot water and solar PV, there's plenty of sky here. Also, wind is plentiful and consistent so planning for a small turbine will be put in soon.

The timber frame will be contractor built but the rest we’ll do ourselves with a lot of help partly to minimise costs and partly so we can enthuse others to build the same way.
Barefoot Andrew

The very best of luck with this VP. I must wangle a visit to your plot for a gweld and a chinwag.. Very Happy
A.
RichardW

As you already have planning unless you want to alter what the planning is for (assuming its full planning not outline) as long as you have started works before the planning runs out then you are ok to continue & as far as I can see you then can take as long as you like to finish the project.

justme
vegplot

As we're just outside the village development envelope we have three years from expiry of existing permission, it's a stipulation on the permission we have got. We've been told it can't be extended and won't be renewed. Which is a strange comment to make as we've already renewed it once Confused It won't be a problem though as we intend to crack on as quickly as possible.
vegplot

Does anyone know of an architect who has experience, or the enthusiasm to work with eco build. We've done the preliminaries ourselves but need someone to take it to planning and building regs stages.
vegplot

I know the theory but am lacking in practice so earthyvirgo and myself are going on a 5 day straw bale building course at the beginning of May in Suffolk. It's run by Amazon Nails and should be interesting. I'll take camera and post pictures and notes on new web site (when I've finished the CMS).
Grenwich

Sounds brilliant, but we are too far away to be of any practical help I'm afraid.
Have you contacted LILI (Low Impact Living Initiative) near Oxford? they are a mine of useful informtion on all aspects of green building methods, planning permission etc, and of course CAT in Wales?

Good Luck, will watch progress. G.
tahir

vegplot wrote:
Does anyone know of an architect who has experience, or the enthusiasm to work with eco build. We've done the preliminaries ourselves but need someone to take it to planning and building regs stages.


Bugger, sorry haven't seen this till now. Have you found someone?
tahir

ECO architects (all AECB members in Wales):

NASARCHITECTS
Neil Andrew Spacey
Edenlea , Church Meadow , Reynoldston, Swansea, SA3 1AA

ISP ARCHITECTS LLP
Ian Stockdale
61 Regent Street , , Wrexham, Wrexham, LL11 1PF

R SULLY ARCHITECT
Rachel Sully
Hillside , Llanishen , Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 6QD

CHRISTOPHER DAY ARCHITECT
Christopher Day
Pen-y-Llyn , Brynberian , Crymych, Pembrokeshire, SA41 3TL

PATRICK BORER ARCHITECT
Patrick Borer
Cwmwr Isaf , Penybont Fawr , , Powys, SY10 0HP

DAVID THOMAS ARCHITECT
David Thomas
Blaen Cwrt , Talgarreg , Llandysul, Ceredigion, SA44 4EU

PETER STONEBRIDGE ARCHITECT
Peter Stonebridge
Tan-yr-Allt , Bont Ystrad , Denbigh, Denbighshire, LL16 5ST

GEOFFREY CHEASON ARCHITECT
Geoffrey Cheason
7 Augusta Crest , Penarth , , Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 5RL

Nicole Jones Architect
Nicole Jones
Abercytor Isaf , Cwuffrrwd , , Carmarthenshire, SA31 2LX

Nick Ruff
45 Clos Derwen , Roath Park , , Cardiff, CF23 5HJ

ACANTHUS HOLDEN ARCHITECTS

Waterman's Lane , The Green , Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, SA71 4NU

B3BURGESS LTD
Nick Ruff
Castle Buildings , Womanby Street , , Cardiff, CF10 1RG

HEALD PARTNERSHIP
Kim Cooper
Garnets Orchard , Poorscript lane , Grosmont, Monmouthshire, NP7 8LP




Huw Davis
Huw Davies
Cilhaul , Ystrad Aeron , Llanbedr Pont Steffan, Blaenau Gwent, SA48 7QB

PEMBROKE DESIGN LTD
Julian Mansel-Thomas
16 Meyrick Street , Pembroke Dock , , Pembrokeshire, SA72 6UT

HESS KINCAID ASSOCIATES
Christopher Hess
Glanrhyd , Llanfair-Clydogau , Lampeter, Ceredigion, SA48 8LJ

GEORGE + TOMOS PENSEIRI:ARCHITECTS
Dafydd Tomos
12 Heol Penrallt , Machynlleth , , Powys, SY20 8AL

MACKLEY DAVIES ASSOCIATES LTD
Gill Mackley
Ffynnon yr Eirin , Crickhowell Road , Gilwern, Monmouthshire, NP7 0EH

Michael Rhodes
Trepit Cottage, Trepit Road , Wick, Cowbridge , , Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7Q:L

MICHAEL GOULDEN ARCHITECTS
Michael Goulden
Pen-yr-wtra , Llanfair Caereinion , , Powys, SY21 0HD

OWEN H B SHORT ARCHITECTURAL & ECO DESIGN
Owen Short
29 St Helens Road , , , Swansea, SA1 4AP

DAVIES SUTTON ARCHITECTURE
Michael Davies
Penhevad Studios , Penhevad Street , Grange Town, Cardiff, CF11 7LU

RUSSELL-HUGHES CYF PENSEIR/ARCHITECTS
Ieuan Russell-Hughes
56 Bridge Street , Llangefnl , , Blaenau Gwent, LL77 7HH

WILFRED MARDEN ARCHITECT
Wilfred Marden
Yr Efail , Pandy , Llanbrynmair, Powys, SY19 7DY

JULIAN BISHOP ARCHITECT
Julian Bishop
Dan y Garn , Mountain West , Newport, Pembrokeshire, SA42 0QX

AEDES - ARCHITECTURAL ECOLOGICAL DESIGN
Debbie Stephens
Boughrood House , 97 The Struet , Brecon, Powys, LD3 7SL

GILLARD ASSOCIATES
Alan Gillard
7 Kemps Covert , St Donats , Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, CF61 1YZ

DILWYN ROBERTS ARCHITECTS
Mathew Tench
9 Science Park , Cefn Llan , Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3AH

AIR ARCHITECTURE
Robin Campbell
1 Brynmill Terrace , , , Swansea, SA2 0BA
vegplot

tahir wrote:
vegplot wrote:
Does anyone know of an architect who has experience, or the enthusiasm to work with eco build. We've done the preliminaries ourselves but need someone to take it to planning and building regs stages.


Bugger, sorry haven't seen this till now. Have you found someone?


No, not yet but we have got a list of prospective candidates.
vegplot

That's great. Very many thanks Smile
VSS

vegplot wrote:
Does anyone know of an architect who has experience, or the enthusiasm to work with eco build. We've done the preliminaries ourselves but need someone to take it to planning and building regs stages.


Funny, i was going to ask you exactly the same question
vegplot

VSS wrote:
vegplot wrote:
Does anyone know of an architect who has experience, or the enthusiasm to work with eco build. We've done the preliminaries ourselves but need someone to take it to planning and building regs stages.


Funny, i was going to ask you exactly the same question


I'll let you know how we get on. We're pushing this quite hard right now.
vegplot

We went to see planning today taking along our building brief plus some visuals we produced showing the build and layout of the land.

The good news is they don't see a problem with it, in principle and they are happy with a 1 1/2 storey (dormer) house rather than a bungalow which is already approved. The only down side is they weren’t keen on have a timber boarded wall which faces the predominant weather. As we're rendering in lime we wanted to add some additional protection. We could however weatherboard the whole building so at least we have a choice. We were rather amused that planning don't appear to be interesting in environmental build, just aethestics.

A positive first step.

Next stage is get architects drawings and submit the planning application and have it approved before October when the existing expires.
RichardW

vegplot wrote:

The only down side is they weren’t keen on have a timber boarded wall which faces the predominant weather. As we're rendering in lime we wanted to add some additional protection.


Do it as a third fix (IE after inspection). Leave it a couple of years then do it.
My parents had a granny extention built on the side of the house. They wanted to have a sepperate front door so granny could have more independance. Planners refused the door but did say that if you wanted later on after inspection you could add a door & it would not need planning regs. So as part of the build the door way was built in with joist & the bricks layed in a header style over the door way so it was already to just put a frame in later.

Justme
vegplot

We're now back at work Sad after a glorious week strawbale building (an owlry) on a course run by Barbara Jones of Amazon Nails (Rachel's House, Grand Designs). I'll post a few pics in due course.
vegplot

I still haven't got the website sorted yet but we have a little more progress to report. We've managed to enlist the help of Amazon Nails to prepare the drawings for planning and building regulations. This is a milestone for us as it's the first positive step we made, apart from demolition of the old property, in getting the house built.

Amazon nails, if you haven't heard of them, are the people who have lead the strawbale build revolution in the UK. Barbara Jones is an inspiration and a very clever and practical woman. They're the co-desighners and co-builders of the Grand Designs Eco Home of the Year award. So we're pleased to have them as our architects and advisors.
Cathryn

This sounds like it is going to be very interesting. Smile
tahir

Excellent news
cassy

Congratulation, that's wonderful!

Working with the top people in the country will be great. Brilliant coup for your project!
vegplot

Things are progressing slowly but surely. We already had some design ideas back from Amazon Nails and it's looking good. Our first meeting with them went very well as we seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet and our impression so far of their ability to meet our needs is very positive.

A recent meeting with the planners seemed to go well enough but it's difficult to judge what their final assessment will be until you hand over the application and paid the fees.

We been discussing using the idea of foamed recycled glass to provide the insulation for the for the solid floor. It is very light weight, has good mechanical properties and doesn't wick moisture. It's an excellent insulation material. We may also use it on the inside of the stone plinth to avoid any cold bridging at floor level but we've not yet developed the detailing for that bit yet.

Our intention is to make the house super insulating so it won't require any heating. However, were going to perform some thermal simulations and will, most likely install a small wood stove but we don't think we'll need any larger than 3-7KW depending on the final build quality of the house and it's ability to retain heat. I wanted a Rayburn but it may well turn out that it generate too much heat but I can't have everything and it will save some money.

We decided to move away from our original L shaped layout and settled for a simple rectangular shape. This simplifies roof construction enormously and the cost saving on this should allow us to use a green oak roof. Unfortunately the location of the building dictate the roof faces south east rather than south west but were going for a hipped roof which will means we can mount our solar hot water panel(s) on at least one near optimal slope. There may be enough room for solar PV's but I can always mount them on a separate structure if not.

My next challenge is to move the container storing all my tools and things prior to getting the ground works started.
earthyvirgo

vegplot wrote:


My next challenge is to move the container storing all my tools and things prior to getting the ground works started.


Ooo "My next challenge..." does that sound to you like I'm getting out of this bit? We're talking SHIPPING container here, not a shed or anything small.

... perhaps I'm providing refreshments for the workers Smile

EV
vegplot

It'll be a doddle. It's only 2.25 tonnes when empty. Either that or it'll make an interesting talking piece in the living room.
RichardW

vegplot wrote:
This simplifies roof construction enormously and the cost saving on this should allow us to use a green oak roof.

My next challenge is to move the container storing all my tools and things prior to getting the ground works started.


I know some one that does green oak work. Even with welsh oak if required.

Are you getting rid of the container?


Richard
earthyvirgo

RichardW wrote:


Are you getting rid of the container?

Richard


Please, Richard!! Where would all the stuff go???
We could have BIG ebay session I suppose Smile

EV
RichardW

Where did you get it / what did it cost?

Richard
vegplot

earthyvirgo wrote:
We could have BIG ebay session I suppose Smile

EV


Careful, you could be auctioned off instead. There is nothing in there I don't need.
mihto

The project is astonishing. A few questions:

What are you looking at climatewise? Max/min temperatures, yearly rainfall, snow?

What is the fire hazard regarding the building materials?
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
Where did you get it / what did it cost?

Richard


I bought it about 2-3 years ago. The cheapest place I could find at the time was Royal Wolf in Liverpool. I bought it new and if I recall correctly it was £1400 + £200 plus VAT. They are very well made and make an excellent workshop/store. When it's in its final resting place I'm going to clad it in timber to encourage climbers. I want to mount the solar PV on an angled frame on the roof. I've a tentative plan to build a roof over it and turn the resulting space into a owlry or bat cave.
Gervase

I can thoroughly recommend the foamed glass - it's far better than LECA as a sub-base for floors and is very easy to work with. It's also significantly cheaper than LECA.
As for containers, a chap I know locally here in Cardigan has just started selling them, new, for £1600 plus VAT for the standard size and £1100 for an 8x12.
RichardW

Gervase wrote:
I can thoroughly recommend the foamed glass - it's far better than LECA as a sub-base for floors and is very easy to work with. It's also significantly cheaper than LECA.
As for containers, a chap I know locally here in Cardigan has just started selling them, new, for £1600 plus VAT for the standard size and £1100 for an 8x12.


Its not the cost of buying them as they are avaliable all over the country cheap (once they dont meet the shipping safety rules they sell them off). Its the delivery cost Sad
I guess I will just have to build some thing.

Richard
vegplot

mihto wrote:
The project is astonishing. A few questions:

What are you looking at climatewise? Max/min temperatures, yearly rainfall, snow?


Snow? I wish we had some. The local climate is maritime. Temperature rarely falls lower than freezing average summer temp around 19C, but we did up to 32C last year for a day or two. Rainfall is not as high as the mountains as it's out of the condensation zone, monthly average varies between 60-125mm, about 1000mm over the year. It can be windy at times.

mihto wrote:

What is the fire hazard regarding the building materials?


Rendered straw bale as a rated fire resistance of 2.5 hours. Which is better than a plasterboard clad timber stud wall which is about 30 mins. Tightly baled straw doesn't tend to burn very easily. Straw bale construction easily exceeds fire regulations.
vegplot

Gervase wrote:
I can thoroughly recommend the foamed glass - it's far better than LECA as a sub-base for floors and is very easy to work with. It's also significantly cheaper than LECA.
As for containers, a chap I know locally here in Cardigan has just started selling them, new, for £1600 plus VAT for the standard size and £1100 for an 8x12.


It's good to get a recommendation. I've not had much exposure to it as a material but have briefly handled the small chunks and the block. We'll probably use it in the wall plates, which are a timber ladder construction as it will be difficult to compact straw properly in some of the spaces.
vegplot

Drawings are now complete. Amazon Nails have come up with an excellent design and it has curves!

Planning application is now being prepared and am writing supporting documentation to go with the application.
RichardW

Fingers crossed time then.

I guess in 2-3 months time you will get the decision then?

Richard
earthyvirgo

The only real point of 'concern' that our pre-planning application meeting raised (along with slightly raised eyebrows) was the dry composting ...

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of pp for this type of waste management?

I'm finding bits and pieces online but mainly for allotments, nature reserves etc, not residential use.

Any definitive (positive and negative so we can avoid any pitfalls) cases would be really helpful to read through and reference.

Diolch
EV
cassy

We've just got planning permission for a house with composting toilets, but I'm led to believe that Building Standards is where the problem may lie. We had a pre-application chat with SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency eq. to Environment Agency, I think) who were very helpful and explained what our responsibilities were regarding pollution/leaching/the outfall from our reedbed (for greywater). Our greywater system was designed by an environmental consultant.

We have not got to Building Standards yet. We intend to move on site in the next few months, into a caravan then begin applying for our Building Warrant.

We're thinking of using an off-the-shelf product as it comes with all the relevant certification for its county of manufacture which may help reassure the Building Standards. We're hoping to install one in the caravan, to try it out and then move it to the house, once constructed, if successful. I would prefer to build our own, but this seems the sensible way to start, for us.

Some resources (apologies if you have these already) -

Brands
Biolytix (Australia)
Rotaloo or agent
Cotuit
Ekolet
Envirolet
Natsol
Urine diverting toilet
Biolet
Sun Frost
Nature's Head boat toilet
Separett

DIY and Advice
The Trouble with Composting Toilets
Re-uk
Sustainable Build
Brief advice
Advice fro NGO's
How to make a sawdust toilet
DVD form Spiral Seed
Toilets That Make Compost

Urine and Faeces facts (to support your case/help you to size your system)
Using urine as fertiliser
Volume of excreta per day per person
Um, more on volume of excreta per day Embarassed
Various facts

Books (you've probably got these)
Humanure Handbook
Lifting the Lid and Sewage Solutions amongst others from CAT.

Further details on Building Standards/Regulation for toilets
Scottish Building Standards
"3.12.2 Waterless closets
If a waterless closet is installed it should be to a safe and hygienic design
such as:
a. National Sanitation Foundation Certification to Standard NSF 41:
‘wastewater recycling/reuse and water conservation devices'; or
b. NFS International Standard NSF/ANSI 41-1999: ‘non-liquid saturated
treatment systems’; or
c. to the conditions of a certification by a notified body .
Although some European countries manufacture waterless closets, they have
not as yet been tested to any recognised standard. This does not mean that
they are unacceptable, just that care should be taken in their choice to
ensure they are both safe and hygienic in use."

NSF Standard 40
NSF Standard 41

In England and Wales - Building Regulations (2000)
Part G - Hygiene
Part H - Drainage and Waste Disposal

Edited to add Building Standards/Regs info.
earthyvirgo

cassy wrote:

Some resources (apologies if you have these already) -

Brands
Biolytix (Australia)
Rotaloo or agent
Cotuit
Ekolet
Envirolet
Natsol
Urine diverting toilet
Biolet
Sun Frost
Nature's Head boat toilet
Separett

DIY and Advice
The Trouble with Composting Toilets
Re-uk
Sustainable Build
Brief advice
Advice fro NGO's
How to make a sawdust toilet
DVD form Spiral Seed
Toilets That Make Compost

Urine and Faeces facts (to support your case/help you to size your system)
Using urine as fertiliser
Volume of excreta per day per person
Um, more on volume of excreta per day Embarassed
Various facts

Books (you've probably got these)
Humanure Handbook
Lifting the Lid and Sewage Solutions amongst others from CAT.



Thanks so much Cassy, a really useful list of links.

EV
RichardW

We are going to use this



(the big lid is the toilet & the small lid the storage for the saw dust)

It has a platic bucket under it. The contents will be transfered to a composting pile.

It not a proper composting toilet because the composting is taking place some where else. Sort of a bucket & chucket but modified to composting. In use the busket will get plenty of saw dust to cover the contents each time its used & again when added to the compost pile.



Richard
vegplot

Looks good Richard. I made a small one hole box and used a 4 gallon central heating header tank as the container. I didn't think to make one with a sawdust container as part of it though. Very convenient ( Rolling Eyes )!

One thing I didn't do was make a tight seal between the toilet seat, lid, and the box. Flies were a problem before I corrected that mistake.
RichardW

All my own work lol

The top & front are removable to make changing barrels easier.

Wont the header tank be a bit flimsey when full & hard to carry?

We went for the 5 gall brewers barrels with carry handle.

Oh & for flies use cedar saw (but does take longer to compost) dust & back up with citronella oil. Make sure you add enough saw dust to fully cover all your deposits.


Richard
vegplot

It was a prototype. You're right they are a bit wobbly. Your front loading bucket system would be better.
gil

This last section of the thread on composting toilets is so useful in its own right, I'm wondering whether to split it out and give it a readily identifiable title.
RichardW

vegplot wrote:
Your front loading bucket system would be better.


Front & top loading, dint want any errors of allignment whilst unloading it. With the top & front removed its easy to lid up the container before moving it. There are no braces / battons in the way on the front & top, all the framing is in the sides & back. The top is thick enough on its own to take the weight but does have some thin braces to help the joints / glue. The front has battons down each end that are a friction fit with the side frames. This might need altering after a while but we will see.

Richard
VSS

just don't put liquid in it - makes emptying much easier.
vegplot

Plans are done and finally applying for planning permission. I decided to do this online at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk.

It's a good web site in that it contain useful information and the online application form is comprehensive and well designed. I seem to have caught it on a bad day and it keeps crashing. At least it doesn't lose information entered just before it produces a not very friendly "error: 500" message, but frustrating nonetheless.
RichardW

With Gwynedd you can do it online direct from the council site (or it has a link that implies that any way).

Justme
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
With Gwynedd you can do it online direct from the council site (or it has a link that implies that any way).

Justme


They encourage you to use the planning portal. There's a new planning application 1APP form which will, from the 1st Oct, be the only legal way of making a planning application in Wales. It's a standardised simplified form.
RichardW

vegplot wrote:


It's a standardised simplified form.



Simplified? Why does that worry me lol?
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
vegplot wrote:


It's a standardised simplified form.



Simplified? Why does that worry me lol?


For once, it is. The new planning system is less confusing and ambiguous, at least I found it so.
vegplot

We used the online planning portal and have submitted the application (at last). There was a fault on the system which didn't allow me to enter the number of dwellings, this resulted in a fee of £0. I tried different browsers to no avail so I just sumbitted the application as is. I emailed theie support stating the problem and asked how do I go about paying the fee.

Their response was along the lines of "thanks for your query, let us know if it happens again - bye".

I'm not going to raise the issue again, duty done, let's see how far it gets Smile
RichardW

Only prob is they might not actualy process it & just let it sit there.

You can use the track & trace on gwynedd web site
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
Only prob is they might not actualy process it & just let it sit there.

You can use the track & trace on gwynedd web site


It's Anglesey, different LA. I don't think they have that feature in place yet.
cassy

Best of luck with your application, hope it all goes smoothly (and quickly) for you. Very Happy
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
Only prob is they might not actualy process it & just let it sit there.


And that is exactly what happened. Three weeks after the application we enquired what the progress was. "Oh" they said "we haven't received payment and so have just sat on it". *Thinks* It would have been nice if you let us know that *stops thinking*

Payment made. A further delay. I won't go through the dialogue but it transpired we hadn't completed an access report, a species survey nor drawn on the plan how the sewerage was being managed. This was despite the application already having a access report and that we're using dry composting. It turns out our LA are still working on the old system and haven't moved over to the new simplified system (which is now obligatory).

After hearing "it's more than my job's worth" we buckled and wrote an access report and explained in great detail, yet again, what dry composting involves (they'd never heard of it). As for the species report that came about because we included a picture of the previous dwelling that was demolished five years ago (permission had been granted and we told them later it had been done).

One email later re-iterating all the above, Miss JobsWorth proudly announces they had now accepted the application and are now processing it. Hu- swearword -rrah.

I have a mental picture of this particular planning assistant sitting at her desk with her hands clasped together thumbs a twiddling. Slightly over weight due to lack of exercise with a huge pile in her in tray staring vacantly into space waiting for the phone to ring or once every couple of days have a quick look at her email.

To be fair on them they have been helpful when pushed but the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly and it can be frustrating.
RichardW

Sometimes I dont like being right.

I have the same image of the planning officer that is handling (or not handling) our PP.

They gave full PP for our gate way then a month later changed the conditions hoping that I had not seen the previous ones. Now they wont reply to my letters. They will not like it next week when the appeal arrives as that goes to the assembly and then they will know what the local officers are up to. Luckily we have copies of the original permissions.

Richard
vegplot

Splay

We've now had two sets of consultations back. One wanted technical details of the composting toilet and also evidence from the Environmental Agency that a soakaway to deal with grey water from a shower is acceptable.

However, the biggest barrier is the highway dept. have recommended that the visibility splay be 2.4 by 120 metres and say the site does not meet this requirement. They advise that we obtain evidence of actual vehicular speeds in order to reduce the requirement. How on earth do we go about this? They've given us 10 days to get back to them.

Then puzzling things is we've already got planning permission on the site for a building we don't want to build.
RichardW

What is the speed limit for the road?

How far can you see each way?

Have the council done any road assesments re speed cams or speed reduction / road safety?

Try asking the Heddlu if they have any data.

Is data avaliable from the hi-ways agency?

Volume of traffic & times of day?

Are there any ATC (automatic traffic counter) cameras in the area?

From the DFT site

Quote:

Road traffic in Great Britain
The 2008 quarterly traffic estimates are provisional. The provisional figures show a decrease of 2.2 per cent in overall estimated traffic levels between the third quarters of 2007 and 2008.

The bulletin includes breakdowns by vehicle type and road class. Key results include:

Car traffic decreased by 2 per cent
Light van traffic was unchanged
Heavy goods vehicle traffic decreased by 4 per cent
Traffic on motorways was decreased by 2 per cent
Traffic on rural 'A' roads decreased by 3 per cent
Traffic on urban 'A' roads decreased by 2 per cent
Traffic on both rural minor roads and urban minor roads decreased by 2 per cent
Provisional 2008 quarterly figures are likely to differ slightly from the final figures which will be published in August 2009.


so traffic is getting less which is a help.

Might be some thing to help here


Check the assembly web site too & the local council one

Oh & the planning portal too



Richard
vegplot

Thanks Richard, useful information. The road is a very quiet country road. It's on a bus route but the only traffic is local and agricultural and this is low volume. The property is some 100m from the 30mph zone from Pencarnisiog which is a tiny village and most of the local traffic uses the main road to Rhosneigr. The road itself is reasonably straight but our entrance is on a slight outward curve so vision is less restricted than if it were straight.

Highways say they want a splay of 2.4 x 120 m which if I interpret it correctly means if I stand 2.4 metres back from the roadside I should be able to see 120 metres (60m either side?) with no obstruction higher than 1m. If I stand at the road edge that easily achievable but not further back. I suppose this is to ensure safety of vehicles leaving the property.
RichardW

Should be easy to achive that. Using car head height as the viewing point you can just trim hedges & banks to enable the view to 120m each way if the road goes that far without bends (they cant make you do work on other property as part of an PP application so if you need to do work on some one elses property do it before submiting the PP). Not sure to were in the road that 120m is measured to (near side, off side, center line or center of aproaching lane. I thought they were asking for a splay 120m wide lol.

How wide will the drive be? That can affect the angle by going to the right to turn left & left to turn right you can vastly increase the distance you can see.

As the total stopping distance at that speed (60mph) is 240 feet or just over 72 meters they are being tight. If they & you cant spot each other over 50m then you should not be driving. An observant driver should be able to see you & stop before getting any where near you if you pulled out with out looking. So it would take two crap drivers to cause a crash.


120m does seem to be the standard they ask for. The people that bought our house will need to do the same but then they do drive very fast down that road.

2.4 meters back sounds a lot too. How long is the average car from bumper to head rest? Plus a small safety gap between bumper & road.

Justme
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
I thought they were asking for a splay 120m wide lol.


That what I thought at first

Quote:
How wide will the drive be? That can affect the angle by going to the right to turn left & left to turn right you can vastly increase the distance you can see.


Good point. At the moments it's two gates wide so about 22 feet.

Quote:

As the total stopping distance at that speed (60mph) is 240 feet or just over 72 meters they are being tight. If they & you cant spot each other over 50m then you should not be driving. An observant driver should be able to see you & stop before getting any where near you if you pulled out with out looking. So it would take two crap drivers to cause a crash.


It's a slow road as it's only just outside the 30mph limit. Most traffic is local and agricultural and there's not very much of it either. People don't tend to drive faster than about 25mph.

We're also going to say the property already has planning permission, which it has, so in essence we can build anyway if we want a brick and uPVC bungalow. Highways never opposed that application and it still has a year left to run.

I must get some letters off to them now otherwise we'll exceed our time limit for responses.

Excellent comments Richard. Thanks.
RichardW

Your welcome
vegplot

Not to be outdone by Tahir Wink below is a copy of the floor plans of our build. The design has been kept simple as we plan to build this almost entirely ourselves.


earthyvirgo

vegplot wrote:
Not to be outdone by Tahir Wink below is a copy of the floor plans of our build. The design has been kept simple as we plan to build this almost entirely ourselves.





... and he calls it hickey!

EV
tahir

Nothing hickey about that. Have you got consent yet? And I really wish I could have had the time top be more intimately involved in the construction of ours, but it ain't gonna happen.
sean

Bit worried about the bit of the plan that says 'void'. Can strawbale contain a hard vacuum?
vegplot

tahir wrote:
Nothing hickey about that. Have you got consent yet? And I really wish I could have had the time top be more intimately involved in the construction of ours, but it ain't gonna happen.


Not yet. They're fussing over the soak away at the moment. A decision was meant to be due day after tomorrow but they've only just realised we're not plumbing into mains drainage. Have to dig a hole tomorrow and determine how quickly water drains away.
vegplot

sean wrote:
Bit worried about the bit of the plan that says 'void'. Can strawbale contain a hard vacuum?


Damn, why didn't I see that!
RichardW

No news on the entrance problem yet then?

Richard
vegplot

RichardW wrote:
No news on the entrance problem yet then?

Richard


They won't say. They're going through their check list, one at a time. After getting us to answer 13 points (and jumping through hoops to get to that stage) they'll probably refuse on point 1.

I did say we've already got planning so the entrance was a bit of a mute point.
cassy

Looks smashing! I particularly like the north side buffer zone of lots of lovely storage! Best of luck for the decision.
vegplot

cassy wrote:
Looks smashing! I particularly like the north side buffer zone of lots of lovely storage! Best of luck for the decision.


The curves look good. We originally wanted curves in the walls but it would have added 30% to the build cost. This is much cheaper and just as effective.
earthyvirgo

cassy wrote:
Looks smashing! I particularly like the north side buffer zone of lots of lovely storage! Best of luck for the decision.


His and hers storage, what could be better?
Woe betide any VP clutter that appears in MY side.

...come to think of it, I bet I end up with the storage that is going to contain the cold food/larder area ...a sort of utilility. Oh never mind, at least it's storage which we currently have so little of.

Mmm, storage, the thing fantasies are made of - the other kind of fantasies, tidy house fantasies Smile

EV
Chez

Can we come and help you put it up? One of the things that has been keeping Arvo going during the last few months is the thought that in a few years we can do something similar ourselves.
earthyvirgo

Chez wrote:
Can we come and help you put it up?.


Yes, yes, we will be looking for hale and hearty volunteers during the build - we'll feed and water you in return at the very least.

We may (not sure yet) get Amazonails to run one or two of their courses on site on a more formal footing too, if they're willing. One strawbale build, and one lime rendering.

EV
vegplot

Chez wrote:
Can we come and help you put it up? One of the things that has been keeping Arvo going during the last few months is the thought that in a few years we can do something similar ourselves.


Very much so. When we get started we'll be putting out a call for volunteers:

Working with straw bales
Lime and clay rendering
Stone work
Timber framing
Limecrete
Roofing
Lime wash

and loads more I can't think of right now.

We're holding fast right now waiting for a decision to go ahead.
Chez

Cool! We paid up to go on one of those whilst I was pg with Leo and it all fell through due to the horrendous time I was having. It turns out that Arvo knows one of them from a previous theatre-incarnation.
sean

Chez wrote:
It turns out that Arvo knows one of them from a previous theatre-incarnation.


So they don't actually build anything, it's just all bits of painted canvas and hardboard and some cunning lighting. My illusions are shattered. Sad
Chez

Lots of Arrases, though. Perfect for insulation.
vegplot

Planning wished us a Happy Christamas and New Year. Surprised

No decision yet.
Bulgarianlily

Good grief just read through all this. Good luck with everything.
August 2007 we bought land, and I drew a 'back of an envelope' sketch for a structural engineer to make some plans from. One elevation, one floor plan and one roof plan plus all the calculations for snow load etc. We took them to the town hall's architect the following week and she approved them after 10 minutes of chatting. We are now living in our strawbale build. True it was done under a law that makes building small houses of 35 sq meters very easy, and it is on the other side of Europe from you. It will take longer when we come to build a larger house I guess, but reading all this makes me realise why we left!
Our biggest problem was the plastering, we used three coats of different earth mixes with a lime finish inside, and two earth and one lime mix on the outside, and as we were not very skilled it took us months. I am seriously looking at plaster pumps now. We mixed all our plaster in a cement mixer. It is heavy stuff! The best advice we had, which of course we didn't take, was to get fit before you start building. The end result is worth all the effort and then some. But I am now planning on using light clay woodchip for future builds. Smoothing off strawbale just took so much time!
vegplot

The render stages are the most time consuming and what turns strawbale from being cheap to expensive if you factored in paid labour.

We intend on asking for volunteers for all stages of the build which aside from people management issues allows us to progress the build quickly and provides on opportunity for people to learn through experience.

Plenty of tea and cake for all involved.
resistance is fertile

Just a thought, have you thought about spray plastering. It works really well with the silicate breathable renders and is so quick its unbelievable.

The other thing about spraying is that you get really good adhesion which, on a straw bale background, is the key to a long lasting render coat that wont blow.
tahir

I've got a friend who does dry lining, he says spray plastering is brilliant.

Talking plaster we'd like our wall finshes to be the actual plaster, we saw (somewhere) a lime/hemp plaster that had a very pleasing effect very subtle variations of colour, what else could we use? We've seen clay plasters at aplace round here and we didn't really like them, fragile, and the surface dusts.
resistance is fertile

we use many of the products here

We're giving the link fairy a shotgun and people's home addresses soon
Sorry about the convuluted link, I just grabbed it out my favourites! BaumitBayosan is the firm. Various firms can supply the gear and its all good stuff!
tahir

They mostly seem to be plain plasters don't they? This is an English version of their catalogue:

http://www.baumit.com/en/misc/doc/BEN_Katalog.pdf

The MosaikPutzFein is probably along the lines of what we're after, hard to tell from there though, any idea on UK sources? (Thanks very much)
vegplot

resistance is fertile wrote:
Just a thought, have you thought about spray plastering. It works really well with the silicate breathable renders and is so quick its unbelievable.

The other thing about spraying is that you get really good adhesion which, on a straw bale background, is the key to a long lasting render coat that wont blow.


Yes, I've looked into it. It would appear the cost of renting the equipment soon pays for itself and it appears to be a viable method. If strawbale is to come into the mainstream the labour costs of rendering need to be reduced.
vegplot

tahir wrote:
I've got a friend who does dry lining, he says spray plastering is brilliant.

Talking plaster we'd like our wall finshes to be the actual plaster, we saw (somewhere) a lime/hemp plaster that had a very pleasing effect very subtle variations of colour, what else could we use? We've seen clay plasters at aplace round here and we didn't really like them, fragile, and the surface dusts.


Clay render requite quite a lot of working in as do lime renders. It shouldn't be dusty but a coat of limewash or suitable breathable paint should seal the surface. Clay finishes can be made quite smooth if required.
tahir

vegplot wrote:
Clay render requite quite a lot of working in as do lime renders. It shouldn't be dusty but a coat of limewash or suitable breathable paint should seal the surface. Clay finishes can be made quite smooth if required.


Maybe it was a bad application but the place we looked at was 4 months old and there was surface dusting, cracking, and corners had been damaged in places, the surface finish was nowhere near as smooth as a typical gypsum plastered wall (don't know if that's achievable).
resistance is fertile

There are english catalogues, I can send you one or you can probably get info from the everpresent NBT who, no doubt, are main agents.

You can achieve almost any finish with the finish coat dependent on the tools you use from the slightly rough cast finish from the spray gun or this can be floated smooth with a wooden or a metal float depending on your preference.

The self coloured renders/plasters are availiable in every colour and shade imaginable (we have even mixed our own) and this avoids painting. They are also incredibly flexible hence the suitiability for use on straw or woodfibre backgrounds. Weve never seen a crack ever.
vegplot

resistance is fertile wrote:
There are english catalogues, I can send you one


Would you mind? That would be great.
resistance is fertile

I thought as much, here is technical info from NBT

http://www.natural-building.co.uk/lime_plaster_render_baumit_bayousan.htm

tell the link fairy Im armed and ready!
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