After the months of waiting, we can finally announce that our planning application to develop Thorney How has been accepted.
We’re thrilled that we can now make a start on making the improvements that this wonderful Grade 2 listed property deserves.
This is an overview of what we’d like to achieve over the next few years. But we won’t be rushing to do everything at once and we will be remaining open for business.
Of course what everyone wants to hear is that there will be more showers!
We will update you here with more details of the plans, photo’s of progress and all the news as the redevelopment takes shape. Of course we’d also love to hear your comments too.
Keep an eye out for the hashtag #projectthorney
We moved as a family to Thorney How, Grasmere from Old Forge Cottage, Kentmere exactly one year ago today, so we’re feeling in a celebratory mood.
There’s so much that has happened in a year. Both of us have been made redundant from our former roles and thankfully Thorney How has had a successful first 12 months.
Taking on an old building and all the cast off hostel fittings from the YHA has been no easy journey. Opening for business after just 8 weeks was also a major undertaking, but this enabled us to complete a first season, listen to our customers and get to know the building thoroughly.
Three staff joined us during the year. Al and Julia have both moved on to other things, our Chef Robin remains with us and we have now begun recruiting for the 2012 season.
#ProjectThorney continues with many areas now redecorated and two key areas the Dining Room and our outside drainage works almost complete. As a nice bonus the family will also have its own shower room completed imminently.
Planning has proven to be our Achilles heel this year, taking a lot longer to submit than anticipated and we are now ‘in dialogue’ with the planning board over our proposals. Which means that the plans have not been rejected outright, but that there are areas of concern that we need to now reach a compromise over. However this now means more time and energy being spent on this rather than other things. But we’re confident that it will be worth it in the end.
Thorney How blog will be moving soon to join an upgraded version of our existing website at www.thorneyhow.co.uk allowing us to integrate our news and progress updates with our main general information content, offers, diary of events and booking system.
Well we’re certainly in the thick of it now. There are so many Project Thorney things going on at once it’s sometimes hard to think about them all.
We’ve had our site survey, arboricultural report and initial landscape designs done.
We have some new sign designs prepared and our new website is nearly ready.
Our architect is busily measuring up spaces to transfer data into a 3D model.
Our new credit card system is about to arrive. Yay.
The fire alarm and security lighting has all been tested.
The builder will be back to look at our drain system and a new carpet will arrive later this week.
Plus we passed our Cumbria Quality inspection….!
Meanwhile we’ve hoovered, cleaned, cooked breakfasts, changed beds, mowed the lawns and answered phone calls and e-mails.
Thank you to everyone who has been here so far and made it all worthwhile.
We had a mad rush last thing today to get our business cards ordered to be printed in time for Saturday’s Outdoor Leisure Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
We were mainly waiting for confirmation of our new business phone line – 015394 35597 – but also for these great photo’s that Phil from WeMakeMedia took during his visit yesterday!
I can’t believe that we’ve been here 5 days already. There’s been so much to do and so many people passing through the house from removal men to friends and family along with visitors from Kentmere.
I think today that we can say that we have now moved and it’s all beginning to feel like our house and not somewhere that we’ve borrowed for the weekend.
We also started planning phase one of our website with Jo and Phil from http://www.wemakemedia.co.uk – coming soon! Phil has sent through some great photographs – we’ll let you take a peek at these very soon.
We also now need to get some information out there about booking accommodation. Full business information will be available shortly.
Our house in Kentmere is already full of packed boxes yet we’ve still got so much to do.
The removal firm is now booked and we are hoping to get access to Thorney How a couple of days before hand to sort through stuff at that end and create some space for our own belongings before they arrive.
Meanwhile we have some business planning to do to ensure that we have everything in order. Carolyn and I will be entering into a business partnership and we will have to register the new business as Thorney How.
We’ve also been talking to many people in readiness for action as soon as we arrive such as setting up a new website, repairing the flat roof, doing a full site survey, preparing planning applications etc. etc.
One of the quirks of our bank finance was that we needed to demonstrate that Thorney How had Existing Use Registration allowing us to continue as a hostel and for us to live there. The Lake District National Park basically said that this was a no brainer as the YHA had operated there as a hostel since 1935 and had used the accommodation for their managers. The YHA have provided a statement to verify this and essentially the legal use cannot be challenged. The bank seems to be happy again now.
Next weekend we will be taking a short break away in Derbyshire, then we will be hopefully making final readiness for the move.
One of the fun things about moving house and setting up a new business is all the extra things you need to learn about.
We’re big fans of lifelong learning and look forwards to the challenge. Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet up with some local landscape architects and in that discussion encountered a new phrase that relates to a piece of essential documentation that will help any intended planning application along; an Arboricultural Report.
Essentially this is a detailed tree survey showing existing tree species, age and any associated environmental factors. I’m guessing there a between one and two hundred trees scattered throughout the grounds. Some of these will be interesting – see photo below, others will be random self seeded varieties that will require thinning out.
I may need to upgrade my chainsaw skills and knowledge, but no doubt there will be some expert help along the way. Sadly I won’t be able to take my newly built wood store with me.