This seventh entry was published originally on the 12th July 2013 and received 1,198 views on the old forum
Wonder of wonders, the DNO turned up mob-handed yesterday and moved the cables and made all the new connections, leaving us with a site with no obstructive power cables. Only taken 2 1/2 months – maybe they are reading this blog?
Today was a BIG DAY, but not, I have to say (with some regrets) a very green day. To cut a long story short, having settled on using gabions and timber crib for the big retaining wall we ran into a small problem with our neighbour. The said neighbour has been fantastically helpful, but was clearly unhappy about his garden being retained by gabions and timber crib (and the end of his garden is around 2.5m above our plot). He also wanted the boundary fence replaced as a stone wall, which makes a lot of sense given the big drop the other side, and it would have been hard to sort out foundations for this on top of the gabions and crib.
After much deliberation we opted to go back to a reinforced concrete block wall, which does have the advantage of giving us a bit more garden space, but more importantly allows the boundary wall to be built directly on top. The downside is the slightly higher cost (maybe £5k more than the gabions/timber crib) and the use of more than 100 tonnes of concrete in the reinforced concrete foundations alone.
This brings me to the reason today was a BIG DAY. Somehow, pouring the first load of concrete marked a turning point from just clearing the site and removing stuff, to actually starting to build something. Yet again I’m as chuffed as ninepence with the ground works guys. The temperature on site this afternoon was up in the mid-thirties (it faces more or less south, and is in the bottom of a deep valley), yet the guys worked their socks off as lorryload after lorryload of concrete turned up. The fact that the concrete supplier was two hours late, then sent lorries in very quick succession, added to the pressure.
Here are the latest crop of photos:
First, the plot minus the overhead cables:
It looks better already, just need to get BT to move their single cable and then get the DNO back to take down the redundant pole. They won’t let me keep it, unfortunately – pity as I had an idea to use it as a raised bed surround.
Much excitement (for me at least) when the first load of concrete turned up. Better late than never……….
Finally, the momentous moment when the first bit of real construction starts.