We find a site but it’s only 8 ft wide

May 21, 2006

We found a site in May 2005 in a quiet street in West London but there was a hitch: it was 8 ft wide and sandwiched between two adjoining buildings.
One house had sold off its side alley and part of the back garden and in the 1950’s an enterprising designer built an odd stucco fronted ‘cottage’ between two imposing neighbours.
Somewhat surprisingly we managed to find the house through a local Estate Agent, Winkworths, rather than at auction. We’d been looking for while for a ‘fixer upper’ but no one other than an architect or cavalier developer would consider this. It was in such bad condition that there was no real option other than to knock it down and start again. This decision was made easier by the insane perversity of the tax system which would have added 17.5% VAT to the cost if we had retained any part of the existing building. Knocking it to the ground and building anew is zero rated for VAT and so cheaper.

Front elevation pic

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