The planning process is a total mystery to me. In October, when we submitted the initial plans I had visions of the house starting to take shape this spring and a house warming seemed almost imminent. I started to stockpile furniture, including a beautiful acacia sleigh bed I saw in a charity shop for £130. Of course my estimates of timescale have turned out to be hopelessly optimistic and naive, and the bed, and various other bits and pieces, are simply clogging up our house and causing the occasional lapse of domestic bliss.
However Spring is now in the air and hope is, again, raising its head above the parapet.
Following a meeting with the planner at the offices in Fort William, which took place on a very snowy day in January, we submitted revised drawings, now up on the Highland Council Planning website. The house has a main section, harled, with the gable south-facing for solar gain, and a wooden-clad gable facing to the west. I really love the design because, not only does it incorporate the energy-saving features and solar gain we were hoping for, it also has potential for heating by a masonry stove in a central position.
Matt the architect has also managed to incorporate my requests for a drying room and a shower right by the front door so that muddy, wet and bedraggled people can decant straight to the shower, and shove all their dripping kit out of the way.
The next stage is more waiting – I am considering this good discipline which will make me a better person. I am advised to get the practice in now, as the building control process can be equally drawn-out.
There’s always something new to look forward to!