We’ve always made a virtue of doing projects slowly, which gives plenty of time to think through what we want. A dozen years is perhaps pushing it a bit – that’s the time between planning permission and commissioning builders for a garage, which was finished in the early summer.
Last year, we applied to the planners again to change the garage design and shrink it a bit, to make it more practical and less dominant in the garden. Another motive was to make it look more in harmony with the old barns scattered around the site of the former Rush Green Farm. We have added a storage room, 2 side doors and 2 windows plus loft space for more storage. Once again – three times lucky, in fact – we found an excellent firm of local Suffolk builders.
We’ve at last got round to building the garage – which reminds me about the great orchid crisis of 2008. What triggered the flashback was that we’ve just spent a week digging up all the turf on the site of the garage and ferrying it in wheelbarrows to the other side of the garden. The turf is packed with orchids.
It was this issue, looking after the orchids, that brought our original project to a halt for nearly half a year in 2008 because our planning permission required us to pay for a survey to check whether rare orchids were present on the site.
Other preoccupations, not least the virus, have distracted us from working on the building, though the list of jobs remains long.
In the meantime, we have moved forward on a plan suspended 10 years ago, the construction of a proper outbuilding. You can’t accuse us of rushing things and, as often happens, delay improves an idea.
We had planning permission for a garage and cart lodge, which is valid indefinitely rather than expiring after three years, because we started the work by building a concrete slab for a new entrance from the road plus hard standing with a turning area inside the garden.