Updated: Nov 12
If you're in a hurry to build, resuming land from common grazing definitely isn't a path you should go down! A bucket load of time and patience is required!! Ignorance is bliss in our case and we were lucky to move between various holiday houses and with a holiday let business on neighbouring Islay we were able to blindly navigate a system built to test our determination to stay on Jura! Tenacity paid off and we now have this incredible opportunity to live and build a business on Jura!
From our initial enquiry in November 2017 to exchanging in December 2019, it took 25 months to buy this wee cottage and surrounding land! Literally able to 'build the dream' and that is an incredible, exciting (and also completely scary and overwhelming) feeling and well worth the years of planning, phone calls, chasing, solicitors, coffee, lost documents, stiff gins and more!!!
The cottage came with just 1m of land around it (enough to put a ladder up is the rule of thumb). The complication of the sale was due to the fact that we wanted land with the cottage to build a retreat style business. The cottage sale didn't include even the wee walled garden, the outdoor toilet or the porch area as these all sat outwith the 1m. Everything that surrounded Mrs Leonard's cottage was common grazing, owned by the Estate but with grazing rights for all the cows and sheep belonging to the Crofters of Knockrome.
The common grazing land needed to be 'resumed' from the crofters and animals and a resumption order granted, with money given back to the Crofters to recompense them for the loss of the grazing land. It is this process that took time, especially as once in land court we were told we needed planning permission for all that we wanted to do before the land could be resumed. We duly applied for and got planning permission for the renovation of the cottage, a 4 bedroom house, 3 accommodation huts and a shed for retreat style courses and activities.
The resumption process is understandably vigourous because the land court is trying to preserve the crofting communities from selling cheap agricultural land and people cashing in on it and building lots of houses.
November - cottage enquiry to Tarbert Estate
December - Crofter representative visit from Knockrome Crofting Community
March - pre planning visit from Argyll & Bute Planning Dept
June - survey from Tarbert Estate
October - submission to land court with signed minute of consent from crofters (crofters signatures = 18 weeks in total)
February - topographical, cottage, waste treatment and drainaige surveys
March - initial response from land court; must apply for planning permission first
April - submitted planning application
August - planning permission granted with conditions (planning = 16 weeks)
September - hydrological survey and archaeolgical walkover survey
November - resumption order granted (resumption order = 13 weeks in total)
December - exchanged
March - planning conditions discharged, applied for building warrant
April - access road and groundworks commence
June - building warrant granted (building warrant = 15 weeks in total)