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Planning permission for observatory?

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:45 pm
by dazcaz
I will soon be moving into my mother in law's old house.
At the end of the garden is a large metal garage with a tall roof. The roof's apex is about 18 feet high.
I have had my eye on this garage for the 30+ years that I have known my wife.

I have hatched a mad idea.
Demolish this garage and build a 2 storey building.
The lower being a garage/workshop to restore a 1964 Morris 1100 and build a 4" scale traction engine in.
The upper floor would make a nice observatory.
This building would be the same height or lower than the existing garage.

Now I must make clear that this is just a pipe dream, but the more I think about it, the more it sounds like a great idea.

Obviously, I would need planning permission for such a building, but would the observatory cause me problems?

I would have walls built so as any telescope could not look into neighbouring windows, or indeed the school behind the house.

Has anyone tried such a project?
Has anyone gained planning permission for an observatory?

I would love to hear your views on such a project. As I said, it started as a bit of a joke, but the more I think about it, the more like a great idea it is becoming.

Am I being stupid, or could it work?

The only down side to the observatory is that my ham radio antenna mast will get in the way. This mast will be bolted to the side of the building... I will have to get planning permission for this too :)
The mast is more important to me than the observatory.

Views/thoughts or general opinions would be gratefully received.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:09 pm
by David Frydman
There are several points here.
Think carefully before demolishing the existing building.
It may be the existing building can stay because it has existed so long, but you would not get planning permission for a replacement.

So could you adapt and renovate the existing building or its shell?

Secondly, the planning regulations in England and Wales are different as are a whole raft of local and national rules, so you need a qualified surveyor to advise you, preferably an ex. local planning authority surveyor.
It would also not surprise me if Brussels was also involved with their mad european dictats.

Also Elf and Safety.

And don't play conkers otherwise they will make you uproot your trees as well.

So think carefully before you act and there is no reason you cannot realise your dreams.

Regards, David

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:51 pm
by MikeMS
I have to say one of the issues you will come up with is having to have a column of some sort through the ground floor to the first floor. People have done it, but the longer the pole the more the flex for the telescope on top of it.

And I suppose the existing building would not lend itself to modification as it has lots of small metal panels bolted on.

Good luck with what ever you try to do.



Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:16 pm
by dazcaz
If this project ever does happen I will be sure to get the permission before the old garage is pulled down. A friend of mine is an artichoke so he wil help me along the way and get the drawings done.

As for mounting the 'scope, my plan, or as close to a plan as I have, was to have a solid concrete floor/ceiling and mount whatever pedestal to that.

I don't want to drop a mount down to the ground floor as the garage will need to be a fairly open space to get a car, trailer and eventually a kit built 1/3 size traction engine in it.

If this does go ahead it will be at least next year, but I would like to have all the major problems ironed out before I begin. If it's going to be a non starter I want to know before I decide to go ahead with it.

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:30 pm
by MikeMS
If you google you will find people have been putting telescopes into lofts here and there, even though mounts are bolted to solid beams they seem to complain about vibration when imaging.

If you are just going to use a telescope for visual use, then what you are going will be fine. If you are going to go fir high resolution imaging, you may fine there is a reason people go to great lenghts to sink stuff into the ground to support telescopes.

As you say, you will have to look into this, maybe a cheaper option would be to have the garage at the front half and the observatory at the back half.

Kind regards,