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Request for Further Information?

  • 02-07-2021 12:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Hi all,

    Apologies now if this is a silly question but I’m hoping people with experience will be able to comment.

    We had our architect design the house of our dreams, he thought it was 50/50 if we’d get it granted as it’s not the simplistic look they’re going for now at planning office but we said we’d try it anyway.

    We submitted it with the cork co co and last week received back a Further Information Request. They said the proposed design is not in accordance with the requirements by reason of scale, mass and suburban features. They asked us to submit revised plans and reduce the bulk and size of the house along with the suburban features. We realise that this in itself is not a bad thing but what we’re wondering is can we revise the plans down to make them more simplistic and still get the house of our dreams or do we need to submit a completely new house design?

    This might seem very fussy but we loved the house that was designed. We’re happy to lose certain aspects adm reducing bulk and mass will be easy but would still love to keep the general design. What does surban features mean exactly?

    We spoke to our architect but he wants to design a completely new simplistic house to be safe.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭ Dudda


    I'd advise a meeting with the planning officer where you and your architect go and discuss it with them. This may have to be via Zoom or similar due to Covid. It depends on the planning office. I've never worked with Cork.
    Honestly I'd have to see the elevation to know what they're referring to by suburban features. It could be dormer windows, bay windows or some other unusual bits you've added like 19th Century style exposed timber frame, etc which aren't appropriate.
    I'd have to see the current design before I'd suggest you follow your dream or the suggestion of the architect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Dudda wrote: »
    I'd advise a meeting with the planning officer where you and your architect go and discuss it with them. This may have to be via Zoom or similar due to Covid. It depends on the planning office. I've never worked with Cork.
    Honestly I'd have to see the elevation to know what they're referring to by suburban features. It could be dormer windows, bay windows or some other unusual bits you've added like 19th Century style exposed timber frame, etc which aren't appropriate.
    I'd have to see the current design before I'd suggest you follow your dream or the suggestion of the architect.

    Hi Dudda, thanks for the response. We have a 5 sqm open porch which we thought might be an issue. Although the planner didn’t mention this in particular and often names the particular part they have issue with from looking at other responses online. Also there is a large double story window to the side of the house, although it’s not overlooking any other property. There’s also a flat roof part which probably adds to the bulk effect.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,484 Mod ✭✭✭✭ looksee


    Does the open porch have Corinithian pillars? We really can't answer the questions without seeing it, and even then you would only be getting opinions.

    As suggested, ask for a meeting with your architect and the planning office - let the architect lead the discussion. I've done that for a long list of further info questions (quite a different situation to yours), some of which I simply could not understand what the planners were looking for. It worked out fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    looksee wrote: »
    Does the open porch have Corinithian pillars? We really can't answer the questions without seeing it, and even then you would only be getting opinions.

    As suggested, ask for a meeting with your architect and the planning office - let the architect lead the discussion. I've done that for a long list of further info questions (quite a different situation to yours), some of which I simply could not understand what the planners were looking for. It worked out fine.

    Thanks looksee. They were timber pillars...4 of them.

    We were also thinking about asking for this meeting, the only thing I’m afraid of is they’ll set it out that they want the simplistic house which we then have no room to move on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭ Dudda


    GaryB1 wrote: »
    We were also thinking about asking for this meeting, the only thing I’m afraid of is they’ll set it out that they want the simplistic house which we then have no room to move on.

    Ya but at least you'll know where you stand and won't be wasting time and money. I'd prefer to get planning for a house they agree with than not get any permission. You have to be careful. If a site get's refused planning permission it can become 'tainted' or ... can't think of the word but the site would have a negative quality or opinion to it that can be hard to shift in future planning applications.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Dudda wrote: »
    Ya but at least you'll know where you stand and won't be wasting time and money. I'd prefer to get planning for a house they agree with than not get any permission. You have to be careful. If a site get's refused planning permission it can become 'tainted' or ... can't think of the word but the site would have a negative quality or opinion to it that can be hard to shift in future planning applications.

    Oh I completely agree re getting refused. It’s a tight rope, we were hoping if we address the size and bulk, (which is very manageable) and lost the suburban features (which we’re assuming is the porch and double window then they might accept.

    The tricky part here is what are considered suburban features ?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    FI request allows you to chat to the planner. Ask them what their thoughts on the design strategy should follow. Ask them is there a particular house in the area that they feel yours should head towards and then tweak yours to suit.

    Most planners will allow you to soft submit the response directly to them for approval before submitting the official response.

    That’s my experience with the Dublin LA’s.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Hi again all,


    So our architect went to speak to planner and instead spoke to their boss. We had revised out everything that's listed as a suburban feature on the Cork CoCo guidleines and she said it's still the same house and it's still suburban.


    She asked that we base it on recent houses in the area, which we did.


    Our architect has now come back to us with a house he believes will get planning but it's nothing like the one we designed and it's very simplistic.


    I know it sounds ungrateful but we're the ones that have to pay for and live in it so we at least want it to be something we like.


    Not sure where to move here now. Architect said there's no chance for a face to face with the planner and that the council have been very clear with what they want. Which I don't believe, as the houses that have been built or granted planning in the last 2-3 years and within 500m of us are all similar to what we have designed.


    I feel like revising down a little more and then submitting with examples of the houses near us that have been recently built that we used as aguidline, but I think thewy'll see that as being cheeky



  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 43,370 Mod ✭✭✭✭ muffler


    If you feel that there are other houses of a similar design in the general area then you could argue that a precedent has been established. Perhaps you could photograph those houses and indicate / cross reference them on a map and soft submit to the planner and see how that goes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    I'd love to do that, but I think our architect is a bit frustrated with us now. He said there's no opportunity to softly submit again after he spoke with the head planner last week.


    We showed him a few of the houses in the locality we liked to begin with a gave him square footage and bedrooms etc and he came back with very traditional, 1900 style houses which we don't like. We eventually got the house we loved but he was 50/50 if it'd get approved.


    Planning came back and said bulk, size and suburban features were an issue and to revise the plans. At this point he wanted us to revert to the 1900s style house. We asked him to bring down the width and height of the house and we referenced the planning guidelines for this. The house is now under the recommended 9m in width. We brought down the square footage by 370. House is now 2800. We also lost all the suburban features that were on the house, porch, dormer etc but it's still deemed suburban.


    At this point he's saying they've been quite clear what they want and that they won't accept another meeting and that we should basically play it safe. 'd like to submit the plan and reference all the houses nearby that have been built or granted planning recently that are very similar...but I'm sure this would be seen as cheeky.


    It's very frustrating that not only will we have to settle for a house we don't like but will have to pay for and live in it for the next 40-50 years



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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Your architect has advised you.

    all you can do is accept their professional opinion.


    but you now make the choice on whether to go with their recommendation or take a chance on your idea.

    make it clear to the architect that I’d he goes with your idea then there’s no hard feelings as you know it’s a risk.



  • Subscribers Posts: 36,231 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Planners: "just because we made mistakes in the past does not mean we will make them again in the future"


    take the architects advise.

    its sounds like the original submitted house was gaudy 'mc mansion' type.. and what your trying to submit now is just a bastardised version of the same thing.

    A long term favourite saying of mine is "its not that people know what they like, its they like what they know"


    read this for what should be considered acceptable rural design

    http://corkcocoplans.ie/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/2016/07/Rural-Design-Guide-2nd-Edition-2010.pdf



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Completely accept that there are lots and lots of monstrosities dotted around the country because of poor planning.


    The house we designed isn't huge or like the houses built in the early 00's.


    In fairness, I think most will agree that the 'barn' type look that the councils are going for now are horrible.



    and then these type of beautiful homes are seen as too fussy despite being wildly accepted as incredible




  • Subscribers Posts: 36,231 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    isnt huge? yet you had to reduce it by 370 sq ft to 2800... so the original plan was 3170 sq ft..... in any reasonable persons view thats a huge house.

    coupled on top of this that you had a width of the house of over 9 meters, which tells me there was no attempt to reduce the mass, form and bulk in the design of the 3170 sq ft house.

    did you read that document i linked to? it show show good rural design constitutes breaking up a large mass into smaller distinct forms, in order to reduce the visual mass and bulk of a house. Its doesnt sound like, by theinfor given so far, that there wa smuch attempt to do this.

    as far as "barn" styles are horrible.. well no one is requiring you to living in a barn.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    It had been broken up, the width was 9.3m and we brought it down to 8m.


    We kept the front facade quite plain and the majority of the extra square footage was to the rear. We lost some of this.


    290 square meters would be quite typical of the houses built in our area, we have 3 kids with another on the way so 4 bedrooms was the minimum we could have. It's 260 now and the bedrooms are each 10,5 square meters which is by no means huge.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12 sineadoc88


    We are in the middle of our build at the moment and I agree with the above OP. CoCo here were so difficult to deal with. The planning offices attitude of 'you'll build what we tell you to build and you'll be grateful' was infuriating. We submitted a modest house plan and they kept coming back to us with the same issue you have.

    Our engineer sent us plans he believed would be acceptable and, granted they were fine, they weren't something we wanted to spend 400k of our money on

    I'm not sure if it's the dermot bannon influence but for some reason they have it in their head that these dull and simplistic houses are easier on the eye than the magnificent homes they have elsewhere

    Just because they got it so wrong previously by allowing huge eyesores to go up, doesn't mean they have it right now with these simplistic simple designs based on ugly traditional buildings





    If anyone thinks houses like the above (which are applauded in the design community) are nicer than houses seen in abroad, then they need their heads checked.


    Keep plugging away OP, we did and we eventually got the plans we wanted 👊



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 GaryB1


    Thanks Sinead, very much appreciated


    I completely understand the councils concerns and why they are managing this so tightly but they seem to have reverted too much to the traditional Irish buildings form, which for the most part aren't very appealing aesthetically anyway.


    The examples you showed above are very similar to what our architect wants us to revert to, I think (or hope haha) there's a middle ground between them and what we'd like to build.



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