I made a few attempts to find an Arborist to consult on what the local Council had requested as per my previous post, but they were either not available until October or never returned my calls. So I called the Planning Officer, I wouldn’t say I pleaded but there was certainly frustration in my voice. It seems it wasn’t her fault, she had flagged the application as approved, her colleague the Tree Officer had put the charge against us. It was also nothing to do with building in my own garden but the vehicle access down the lane at the back and the damage this may cause. I explained that vehicles had been using the lane for over 70 years probably and the lane is quite wide, it had been access to my garage after all which I had actually parked my car in daily. She was very helpful, almost apologetic, and explained that I had to talk to the Tree Officer, she needed to give the approval. When I asked how long this ‘approval process’ could take and she replied 8 weeks, I really had to bite my tongue!
So onto the Tree Officer who was not as helpful, she let slip that Arborists ‘needed the work’ so was surprised I couldn’t engage one. I used all my patience trying to explain the situation and ensuring that ‘no trees would be harmed in the making of this studio building’. In the end she agreed that if we wrote the ‘Method Statement’ indicating clearly the vehicle access in the lane and protection measures we would take, she could approve when next in the office in 7 days. Guess she thought we were going to use an HGV vehicle with a huge crane or something, she could have just asked but then I guess an Arborist wouldn’t get the work and the Council their extra £30 fee for releasing the charge they put on!
Homestead dealt with the Method Statement and the Planning Officer made a point to follow up on the morning the Tree Officer was back in, we had our approval in record time! On Saturday 2 guys and a small van with a trailer arrived to dismantle the garage clearing the concrete base ready for the builders to arrive this morning. They are extending the concrete base a bit and prepping the surface for the building work to start later this week, can’t wait.