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1. Got to start Somewhere

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

Once the decision was made to try create our little retreat. It was on to the legal and planning part. Measuring up and deciding where things would go.

We are by no means experts here but this is our experience and what we found.

It is always best to try layout everything on paper and make accurate measurement before you start. We had sketches coming out of our ears but it really helped.

Walk the site, spend time in it as often as you can. Suss out where the sun rises and sets, what's already there and use the natural lay of the land to benefit you.

We hired a flail mower and gave the hole site a cut in autumn to see what we were dealing with.

It is worth spending the extra time to see where is windy, sunny, shady etc etc. But also for getting access, drainage and of course getting services to the accommodation.

Once we had a plan, Everything was sent to the council.

These things take some time to be approved but there are things that can help let you know what to expect.

for example.

Our site itself had planning permission for a house previously so we had no reason to believe there would be any issues with the council.

You can also submit pre planning applications to the council and they will let you know what to expect or any recommendations to get sorted out before submitting your final plans. This is also free to do and can save time in the long run.

We took a huge risk in starting the ball rolling with purchasing the cabin before 100% sealing the planning permission.

Wouldn't recommend this to everyone but for us it was an evaluated risk. A few sleepless nights but we wanted to be open as soon as possible and like mentioned above the pre planning didnt flag up any issues.

After we had the initial layout, the hunt for quotes started. As the field hadn't been touched in well over a decade it was overgrown, crazy with weeds, really lumpy and basically it had to be taken back to bare soil, especially if it was to be easily managed in the future. Basically start from scratch.

It was too much for 2 people and a shovel to tackle, even with all the determination in the world, we needed help.

It dosen't look like much but the above picture was in winter when the weeds were dormant, you get the idea of how bumpy it was, it was covered with nettles and the ground bound with roots.

We could have simply placed the cabin on site, plumbed it up and off we go but that is not what we wanted.

We pictured a modern design balanced with a rustic look, meadow grasses with fresh cut paths and to achieve this its all in the preparation.

Sometimes the natural look takes more work and time, especially in the beginning.

Maybe we made a rod for our own back and doubted ourselves more than once but, it will be worth it.... was the final conclusion.

Anyway, before it really got messy. We had to physically start somewhere and the access road was the first breaking of ground. April 2021.

It began……

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