I just wanted to give you all an update on the state of the workshop. The architect was fantastic and understood exactly what we wanted. The plans are finished and we're just in the process of wrangling with the planner... but you'd think we live in a conservation area!
The thing is, we want the new workshop to be sympathetic to the existing house, and so does he. So where's the problem?
The planner apparently LIKES the asbestos filled, concrete death traps we call garages that are currently on the site, and would prefer we kept those! We wanted the new workshop to be sympathetic to the house but can't afford the matched brick the planner wants (it would have to match perfectly, or it would drive us mad and that pushes the price up prohibitively) so we opted for render which we would cover with climbers to soften it. The roof, windows, doors etc. will all match existing (no nasty UPVC for us!) but that's not enough for the planner. Eventually he came to a compromise... would we consider part timber, part render? Can someone tell me how that would be in keeping with our house? Bah! We said no, so the poor architect, Paul, is having to act as go-between and try to get round the planner.
I'll keep you posted as things progress!