“Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again,” my old philosophy tutor used to say. I was deeply disappointed. When I rang the Diocese development manager a few days later his manner was cooler than it had been (at least I imagined so). When I asked where we stood he confirmed the … More A small open window
Excited and nervous we sent the Heads of Terms to the Church and now had to hope and wait. We didn’t have to wait long but it wasn’t the news we were hoping for. An email came through from the Development Manager on 7th November:“At the very last minute, I have been contacted by the local … More Dead end?
We did however need a partner. I had recently become friends with a mother whose daughter was in my son’s class who was in a similar position to ourselves. I had bumped into her on several occasions outside the school gates and we had discussed our housing dilemmas. She longed for a home of their … More Partnering up
To know whether we could afford to make a deal on the land we had to work out our build costs. Peter had a rough estimation of build costs and a friend gave us an excel spreadsheet of his own project as a guide. The homebuilding website gives a good guide and you can get … More How much will it cost?
The Diocese determined to sell the vicarage plot (with access road) in November and the development manager invited us to make an offer. We still retained our ideas of community building and hoped that during the negotiation period we might persuade the church to hold on to their land and consider a wider community project with … More Negotiating a deal – working out the value of land
Could we possibly buy the land? We knew could not do it on our own. The rough auctioneers’ valuation was considerably beyond our means but the plot was big enough for two houses, so would we be able to get planning permission for two houses and find someone to partner with? And even if we could what … More A window of opportunity
But before we had much time to develop these ideas I heard from the vicar that the Diocese intended to proceed with the sale by November. We decided to call to say we were still interested. We had little idea how to negotiate, some ideas about persuading them not to sell the land but keep … More An Opportunity but a race against time
It was at this Right to Build Expo that I attended a breakout group session led by Tom Chance, Director of the National Community Land Trust Network. He helped to affirm some of our ideas and gave me reason to believe that looking at pursuing a community led development across the Council and Church plot … More Could we build a community?
It was at this time that I saw an advert for the first ever ‘Right to Build Expo: Unlocking the Potential of Custom & Self Build Housing’. I immediately purchased a ticket and rather amused myself by signing as ‘Director, Fennell and Sons’ – it would make for some interesting conversations when asked what the … More First Right to Build Expo – Concept of ‘Best Value’
Perhaps this was our opportunity? It was too small a site for the Council to be much bothered with. But for us it was worth our while trying to unlock it, both for the Church and for the council, and perhaps creating an opportunity to use part of the site for a house for ourselves. … More Could we unlock the ransom?