Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:59 pm

Hi

I have one hell of a question for you guys- I hope someone can at least offer some advice.

My Aunt has a large house in the Dundalk area. She is in the middle of major extensions and renovations.

Part of the property is agricultural land and between the agricultural land and the house there is an abandoned walled garden, big enough to fit a house into many times over. The garden has access from the lane, with no requirement for additional road access.

Myself and my wife want to lease the land from her and perhaps do some organic farming (think the good life), but we would also like to buy the walled garden area, and build within it.

I should say that the garden is about 150 years old and that it has an orchard currently on the land- but is mostly abandoned.

What we really need to know is how we can make this happen.

In theory what would be an acceptable proposition to put before the planners?

Should my Aunt apply for the permission to build before she sells to us?

Should we get rid of the orchard first?

Also, does the fact that I am a Northern Irish resident change anything - my wife is registered as living at the property- does that help, even though she is an American citizen?

We know that we will only get one shot at this, so should we get a planning consultant and what would they do, and what would it cost?

I really appreciate any and all answers!

Thank you
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby ac1976 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi Bubbleberry, your local authority are there to assist in this process and you can call in and discuss this with them. They will be able to advise you and take it from there.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:52 pm

Hi Ac1976

Thanks for the advice, but I was hoping to be clear of the situation before I call with them.

Really...

Should my Aunt apply for the permission to build before she sells to us?

Should we get rid of the orchard first?

Answers to these will help us prepare, I think, or perhaps I am just being silly?

Thanks
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby spoil_sport » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:36 pm

Broadly speaking:

probably not..

and

not necessarily..

I can't see any advantage in you aunt applying for planning for you.. other than perhaps trying to increasing the value of the land if she were to sell it outside the family.

(I'm assuming you mean the orchard is IN the "walled garden", and also assuming that you intention is not just to pull the wool over the planners eyes and make life easier for yourself by pretending the orchard never existed...) If the garden is, as you say, 150 years old, it may be of some heritage value, and may be protected, you can check this with your council, if so, removing it or altering it without permission would be highly illegal. Even if it is not protected it may still be of some value and worth restoring/ maintaining instead of just clearing it to make way for a new house. Despite what "Bungalow Bliss" tells you, a house does not need to be a box with a pitched roof, you do not need to clear a large rectangular footprint, it can be built around and subtly integrated with the orchard with minimal disruption (Although, perhaps, having not seen it, I am over romanticising this orchard...)

As for how to proceed, like ac1976 said, talk to your local planners and then I would get an good architect, familiar with the area, and then hire a planning consultant pending the architects advice. (On the RIAI website you can get a list of architects by location)
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:53 pm

Hi Spoil Sport.

I guess my plan was to pull the wool over the planner’s eyes, but not intentionally.

We will be having another good look at the space over the weekend, perhaps tomorrow, but from memory it has a number of apple trees, they are well spread out across the land, but take up quite a lot of space as they have not been trimmed for many years.I am not sure exactly how old the garden is but I will find out.

My thought process was that a garden is only a garden if it is being used as such, and apart from some old trees, the only outstanding feature is a few piles of rubbish. I suppose I thought that if there are trees there they may see it as an active garden, while without it is just waste ground surrounded by a big wall?

As for having my Aunt apply, the thought was that it may be seen as an extension to her own property, as appose to a piece of land owned by someone with no connection trying to get planning permission.

My aunt is in her 70’s and we are each other’s last remaining relatives, apart from my Grandfather, her Dad, who is 100 in two months and who lives in County Down. I guess there is a romantic vision of bringing the family together, before my wife and I have kids.

As for the type of house, well really what we had in mind was something pretty simple, perhaps even a wooden log house or a small cottage type property, so yes it will be placed in a corner that will allow the garden to be brought back to life – that’s why the property attracts us.

Thanks
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby spoil_sport » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:00 pm

I would expect that since it is your aunt's property that is connection enough, applying in her name seems unnecessary deceitful.

I understand your position on the trees, but again if it were me I would prefer to do things right rather than trying to play the planners a bit (I'm not saying that everything is black and white, of course there is room in life to take a few liberties, but within reason) Again, I am not familiar with the property but my first reaction would be to see the trees as a positive feature that will enhance the overall quality of the finished house rather than an obstacle. But a good architect will advise you on the best course here.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:25 pm

maybe i'm wrong on this but apple trees when theyre not cared for tend to be prone to rot etc and essentially worthless, and inside a walled enclosure it's not as if they add anything to the wider landscape.

I'd be inclined to remove them before application
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:06 am

We are going down again today, so will have the full info on the trees etc.I may even post a few photos.

One point that does worry me, the "locals only" laws, does anyone know anything about that, and how it applies?

Thanks
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:04 pm

So we wnet down yesterday, and the plot is truly huge.

Hidden in a far corner, surrounded by bushes and trees is a small derilict cottage, so I think we should be able to get a replacement dwelling on that?

Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

As for the plants etc, there are many apple trees, which all seem to be covered in ivy, and a couple of huge trees, as well as lots and lots of bushes.

I am not certain that at least some of the apple trees will have to be removed, they have just been planted randomly around the place, with no reall room for anything else. How do planners view removal of trees like these?

The large wall that rund around the garden also looks like the ivy has caused damage, so that will have to be removed and accessed.

Obvoously we need to talk to the planners first, then I think we will look at the wall, followed by removing the ivy from the apple trees etc and clearing the plot of all the over growth/rubbish etc.

Then I think when it is cleared up we can think about laying it out in sections for rebuilding/repair. I have a feeling this is going to take many years to complete, many happy years hopefully
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby saintleger » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:33 pm

Hi Bubbleberry, the first thing you should do, if you haven't already, is consult the relevant Development Plan - Louth County Development Plan, or the Dundalk and Environs Development Plan, depending on where the site is - as this will answer some of your questions. Both are available on louth county council website. Each local authority has their own policies on replacement dwellings, removal of trees, rural development, housing strategy in rural areas, architectural heritage, etc, and it's all set out in the Development Plan. Also, you can do a search on Louth county council website for previous planning applications - the planners' reports may be useful, to see how they apply their policies. If any of these were appealed to An Bord Pleanala, you can find the Inspector's report on http://www.pleanala.ie, which can also be useful. Hope this helps.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby tommyt » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:50 pm

bubbleberry wrote:So we wnet down yesterday, and the plot is truly huge.

Hidden in a far corner, surrounded by bushes and trees is a small derilict cottage, so I think we should be able to get a replacement dwelling on that?

Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

As for the plants etc, there are many apple trees, which all seem to be covered in ivy, and a couple of huge trees, as well as lots and lots of bushes.

I am not certain that at least some of the apple trees will have to be removed, they have just been planted randomly around the place, with no reall room for anything else. How do planners view removal of trees like these?

The large wall that rund around the garden also looks like the ivy has caused damage, so that will have to be removed and accessed.

Obvoously we need to talk to the planners first, then I think we will look at the wall, followed by removing the ivy from the apple trees etc and clearing the plot of all the over growth/rubbish etc.

Then I think when it is cleared up we can think about laying it out in sections for rebuilding/repair. I have a feeling this is going to take many years to complete, many happy years hopefully


Couple of quick points for consideration-
The Louth county and dundalk plans were adopted last mont h so have clear up to date info.

I don't think an Aunt qualifies as a close enough relative for a 'stone wall' permission for a new dwelling.

Point out your 'good life' hopes for living a rural lifestyle in any application to support your argument. if you are employed in a nearby urban centre this may be to your detriment so thread carefully.

I would point out the social benefits of you helping your (presumably elderly) aunt maintain an independent lifestyle if you move onto her property in any planning application.

The derelict cottage could possibly be rehabilitated and extended without the need for permission depending upon its period of abandonment and state of distress.

Finally, hire a planning consultant who works in the area, not just an architect who may claim they can look after the application procedure, your position seems a bit more complex than a 'design and build' project from the info posted.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:51 pm

I love walled gardens and would hate to see one cluttered or even destroyed by an inappropriate house stuck in it. Glenveigh and Kylemore Abbey have lovely examples. I wonder if yours is listed?

The ruined cottage could possibly be the gardener's house, a work building e.g. potting shed& store or even a boiler room at the end of a greenhouse range. One of my first houses had a small walled enclosure and I spent about 5 years digging out glass shards, the remains of a collapsed lean-to range of glasshouses.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby reddy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:33 pm

A new house doesn't have to ruin it though.

I personally love this one...

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10919
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby publicrealm » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:13 pm

bubbleberry wrote:So we wnet down yesterday, and the plot is truly huge.

Hidden in a far corner, surrounded by bushes and trees is a small derilict cottage, so I think we should be able to get a replacement dwelling on that?

Does anyone have any thoughts on that?


Bubbleberry,

Some free advice:
  1. Do not consult the local authority planners until you have first consulted a private planner - see the IPI website for a list.
  2. Your initial thoughts are well founded your aunt may be the person to apply (or not - see 1 above)
  3. Festina lente


Best of luck!:)
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:55 pm

reddy wrote:A new house doesn't have to ruin it though.

I personally love this one...

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10919


I posted because the OP had suggested the possibility of a log cabin...........
bubbleberry wrote:As for the type of house, well really what we had in mind was something pretty simple, perhaps even a wooden log house or a small cottage type property,


Duncan House - Minimalism is hard to do properly and while the timber panels are softening, IMO they break the crispness that effect requires. Nor am I sure that the curves in the kitchen area work very well with the flat planes and right angles. Hard to say from that photo montage.
KB
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:57 pm

Thanks everyone for all of the advice.

I am meeting a planning consultant at the property in a few days and will keep you posted.

One of the things I forgot to mention is that the house is an unusual design.

It seems to have 4 rooms, with two entrances.

Unusually the house seems to have been built into the ground, so you step down about 4 steps to enter, with the window openings being just about a foot above the outside ground.

One side of the building has a slate roof, held up by what seems to be pretty old wooden posts.That side has two rooms.

The other side has a further two rooms, but no roof, although there appears to be more modern window lentils/sills.

We have seen the old ordanace maps and it clearly looks to have been marked out with trees, the more recent maps that are photos, from around 1995 have what appears to be the house although the detail is bad, the position is spot on.

With regards to what we would hope to build, well that really depends on the planners, but the idea would be to strip away some of the trees and have some really pretty plants, with at least some space given over to grass.

The house would probably be very similar to an old cottage,in fact to start with we may fix up what is there.

But if we were allowed, something like this may be nice....(the bude)

http://www.cloudnine-living.com/products/homes
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby Mal_1 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:28 am

Following the thread with interest, and when you posted the type of house you are for (the bude ) it reminds me of a project or house by Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre which I ripped off in college for a second project.
It was a house in the centre of a one acre walled garden somewhere in England. Can't find it on the web but have some info on it on a folder. Will try to retrieve it for some ideas.
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby bubbleberry » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:32 pm

Hi Guys

Thanks again for your continued input and support.

At the moment we are weighing up various ideas - there are a number of options but until we decide what path to follow things will be on hold.

Mal if you had any of the projects you mentioned it would be great to get a look at them.

again many thanks
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Re: Lots of Acres - Walled Garden - Change of Use - Oh Dear...

Postby cajual » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:50 am

just a couple of points
- do not buy the property until you have planning permission for the site. If it is refused, you are left with a piece of land with little value
- you can apply for PP without owning the site, you will just need a letter of acknowledgement from your aunt.
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