A Home in the Making: Chapter 2
The Hardest Part…
In home renovation, you would think coordinating with a seemingly endless line-up of contractors, plumbers, chimney experts, flooring specialists and more would make for a full plate, but that, I’m afraid, is the easy part. In fact, working with the London Projects team has thus far been, dare I say, breezy. My job as the designer is the easy part; the rock hard part is the politics.
Just a few weeks ago our project came to a grinding halt when we were served a Section 60, aka a “stop and search” by the Westminster Property Association, the most dreaded of all the infractions in the building world. We were asked to come to a full halt. The builders were asked to hang up their hats and go home. This after spending countless hours, days, weeks following all the rules and regulations like a good school girl, going by the book, crossing my t’s and dotting the i’s down to the last CTMP (traffic control). Suddenly the proverbial goal posts had moved a few feet forward according to the council’s whim. Suddenly our site was in breach of brand new timing and access rules.
Down I went to a community meeting to plead my case to my fellow residents, local retailers, the Belgravia Society and the Westminster Property Association only to find that mine was not the only project on hold, but one of four. There were those who suggested the building sites should pool funds together as financial compensation for our patient neighbours’ mental health. I was crestfallen and saddened to hear this. Our neighbours have been amazing and I would hate to cause them any trouble.
So I stood up and made my case. How had it come to be that 4 sites were going at the same time? Isn’t this an error on the estate’s part, to allow four projects to move forward simultaneously? Surely it’s not on us, who pay dearly for our permissions and go out of the way to follow the rules?
After a long talk and some reasoning by the London Projects team, my message was heard and the Section 60 lifted. Onwards and upwards, and a big thank you to our wonderful neighbours for letting us move forward. We will not disappoint.
Photo: Vasselletti Italy