This is really Boring!!!

In June 2012, we had a bore hole and two trial pits dug at the site to assess what sort of foundations we need.

No surprises – as we are located in the Surrey Weald – it was weald Clay all the way down to 20 metres.  They didn’t need to go any further.




Clearing years of growth

Feb 2012

Our first task, on acquiring the site, was to find out what we had!

Much of the land around the house was overgrown with Laurel bushes and Buddleia.

This is the yard between the Garden Cottage and Garages:-

This is the front path to Park Hatch

This is the main drive down to the Park

This is the yard entrance

It took a week of heavy machinery and chainsaws to clear all of this







We dig up the foundations of the old orangery and then reinstate

In the Outbuildings page, you will read about and see photographs of the old orangery.

We are now in the process of digging up the slabs and foundations, which lie over the arched cellar roofs below.

The plan is to waterproof and reinforce the roof, and relay the slabs to provide a fantastic easterly terrace leading to the 1950’s gazebo at the end.

The outline of the original building can be seen as well as the internal bed – the pile of soil on the left hand side.  The cellar roofs below this one section are lower to give more growing depth.

Some of the slabs we re lay are massive:-

Colin and Tom pointing the slabs:-



We demolish the Garden Cottage – June 2012

Colin Rapley, our neighbour from Hambledon, started work in June, demolishing the Garden Cottage.  Here he is seen explaining to me why I could not crash his digger through the walls in one huge demolition derby!

The internals and roof were burned in a corner of the building where once, ironically, the fireplace had been.

Four days later, the whole building was gone.

Compare the view now to when the house was standing!


Watch it happen on video – click on







Planning – how to be driven insane in just a few months!

Our local planning authority is Waverley

Our approach (Wrong!)

The current chalet bungalow has a footprint of 200sq metres and the first floor is the same, although it tapers in as the first floor is in the roof of the building – chalet style.

We believe the property has habitable living space of 400 sq ms.

Waverley policy RD2 allows buildings to be extended by 40% – i.e. 160 sq ms

Permitted development rights allow a further 80 sq ms to be built

Policy RD2A allows a house when demolished to be rebuilt at 110% of the size

So, 400 + 160 + 80 *110% gives 700+ sq ms.

We therefore applied for permission to build a 537 sq m house.  Simples!!!

1250-P1A Park Hatch Ground

1250-P4 Park Hatch- North – South Elevation

Waverley’s approach (Right!)

There are 3 tricks:-

  1. The habitable living space of the chalet has to exclude all areas on the first floor under 1.5m.  Children and dwarfs are excluded from their world.  Thus they say the existing house is only 326 sq ms.
  2. You cannot combine the above policies for 40% extension and 10% rebuild.  First we must build the extension – cost circa £50k to £100k – and then knock it down!!!!!!  (I promise I am not making this up) or you can build the new house and then knock down one wall and extend the property by 40%.
  3. Permission when granted will remove all permitted development rights from the property.  They are therefore depriving their ratepayers of rights given by the national government.

So we can only do 326 +130 = 456 then demolish and rebuild at 500 sq ms.

The house we designed is therefore too large.

Our local paper summed up the situation well…

Surrey Advertiser

Current position – July 2012

We are talking to Waverley about a scheme where we apply for a 35% extension, retaining our Permitted Development rights;  and then, before we build the extension, apply to demolish and build a 507 sq m house.  Watch this space for further updates!