I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.
We had a quiet time at home with just the four of us. By the way I know the Simnel cake has the wrong number of marzipan balls but to be honest I'm in a bit of a state at the moment and finding it hard to think straight. The reason for this I'll explain later.
Some of you may remember that we were very worried last autumn about extensive building plans submitted to the planning department for the semi-detached next door which links onto ours. As it happened all worked out ok then as the plans were refused for at least half a dozen reasons. We were relieved as the neighbours planned to move out for what we believe is at least a year as the house is not only going to be extended and altered internally at the rear (ground and first floor, but at the side, in the garage and above plus a loft room, new roof and twin gables (OTT!!) front and back of the house. In fact once finished they will have increased the original footprint of the house 3 fold!!!! The dust and noise would have been never ending.
Unfortunately the plans were re-submitted with just two small changes - they left off the "garden room" which already exists as it was built about 10 years ago and the conservatory which was the least of our worries. We really did think that as so many of the reasons for refusal remained they would not get planning permission again. Sadly, we heard last week that this time (we are still bemused as to why) the plans had been approved.
I wish I had known the decision 10 days ago as a rather super house had appeared on the market in a small hamlet near the village of Meriden and right next to a woodland nature reserve. Of course by the time I decided we needed to view the house had already been sold! Sorry long winded start to the post! On the day the decision came through I just had to get out of the house to stop me pacing up and down so I decided to have a look at the house exterior and wood anyway in case other houses become available there. It would have been perfect and I am somewhat kicking myself as we already guessed they would keep on submitting the plans until they were approved.
Anyway while in Meriden I decided to visit the churchyard of St Lawrence.
Mounting Block outside the churchyard.
The church of St Lawrence has a Norman chancel. I've never seen inside as it is kept locked although (in normal times) I think it is sometimes open on a Sunday afternoon.
Moat House - timber framed and dated 1609 although Pevsner thinks it looks older. D and I did a walk round here a few years back and thought the house looked spooky - it still does!
Grimmia Moss on the churchyard wall.
Back home in the garden I have seen several bumble bees, my first bee fly, two unidentified butterflies (too far away although possibly Peacock and Orange Tip). Blue tits are busy building a nest box in the box with a camera and we have a Blackbird's nest with eggs in a holly bush. A pair of Siskins appeared on the garden feeders briefly yesterday which was a great garden "tick" for the year.
Frogspawn has finally appeared although only a very small amount. Common/Smooth newts are also now appearing in the pond - are they eating all the frog tadpoles?
Wood anemones are now in flower as is Wood Sorrel and Green Alkanet.
I have no idea what we are going to do re: what is happening next door but one thing is certain we shall have to move. We have wanted to do so for some years but D and E still being at home with their jobs complicates matters. Warwickshire rural property is very expensive and I have seen very few affordable properties that I really like. We shall have a moan at the planning department but it will do no good as, although the applicant can appeal if permission refused, those who objected can't. We could write to MP or Councillors about the fact that so many issues which were refused the first time were allowed this time but will it get us anywhere? The only other possibility is to consult a planning solicitor to see if requesting a judicial review (at huge cost!) would be worthwhile. Anyway apologies for being in "rant mode"!!!! One thing is certain I will be taking round a letter refusing access to our garden for any reason and also to point out they are not to chop down/back any shrubs or trees in our garden past the boundary. OK rant definitely over now. Will try not go keep going on about it!
Edit - Sorry going to rant just a bit more!! even worse OH has researched and it appears if we refuse access to our land and house they can take us to court and we will have to agree. With the pandemic and worries also about security with scaffolding this has made the whole situation even worse. I shall do some extra reseach myself on this because my understanding was that you only have to give permission to access your land if it is to repair an existing building. You do not have this right of access if you are building a new extension and the planning department suggests that you have a back-up plan in case access is refused.
Rant finally over!!!
I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.