loule hills

Planning application for our redevelopment has finally been submitted

Planning application for our redevelopment has finally been submitted!

Time to crack open the Champagne! Last week it was our 31st wedding anniversary, and on the same day we received the news that our plan had finally been submitted. The planning process is expected to take up to a year, although I’ve heard through others this could take a lot longer. I understand why many choose not to take on a new build project when the planning application can hold up the process excessively. Interestingly, Faro planning department has a quick turnaround time, I know of a project that was submitted and approved within 2 months.

In the UK the process can be very longwinded too. I have a friend who is building a large house in Exmouth, and with difficult planning officers on the council board, has been waiting over three years to demolish an old property. So I am prepared for a long wait!

Process so far

Just to give you some idea of the length of the process, I’ve listed below the month for each step.

  • May 2017 – Viewing of land & decision to buy (same day)
  • August 2017 – Purchase complete, start design phase
  • December 2017 – First draft of plans received and approved
  • Unexpected delay, no progress for 3 months
  • April 2018 – Redesign agreed and completed
  • May 2018 –  Plans ready for submission
  • June 2018 – Planning approval application submitted


The design

If you’ve ever wondered how to start designing your new home with a blank canvas….

How Pinterest helped with design and planning

Designing the property with the architect was a relatively easy process. Pinterest was a good place to start, then sharing ideas and discussing fantasy homes was really enjoyable as we share similar tastes in design and achitecture. If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s a website where you can store images of anything you like such as chairs, gardens, hairstyles etc by using the url (specific web location) for the image. The image is displayed on your virtual pin board, if you click on the image it will take you to the website where you found the image or information originally- simple! You can set up boards for anything you like, Pinterest will show you similar ideas to yours and then you can add any you like to your board. A word of warning though, it can become addictive. You can see one of my Pinterest boards by clicking here


The style

Originally I wanted a two bedroom home, but the site allowed a 300m² project incorporating the existing ruin, which in our case is very small. The plot is in excess of 7300², set on a hillside with a view down a green valley and out to the ocean. I like Japanese minimalist architecture and Scandinavian interiors, and so did my architect. We spent time discussing what I didn’t like to avoid any nasty surprises when the plans were revealed. I don’t like certain angles, anything fussy, clutter or lots of furniture. I do like, minimalist living, open space, clear work areas, open views, a useable roof, symmetrical swimming pool, lots of glass and polished concrete flooring. I was completely overjoyed when I saw the initial plan, as it was exactly what I had envisioned sitting neatly on the hillside overlooking the valley and ocean in the distance.


There were a few tweaks to the plan such as; removing the units and south facing wall of the kitchen so that this could be all glass to take in the view, moving the laundry facilities out of the kitchen into laundry area near the bedrooms, an additional room on the east side of the lounge, increasing the size of the lounge and swimming pool but overall the plans have remained the same.

The final design

So here is the basic design submitted to planning that I am very happy to share with you. I will do a separate post for the full design where I will share the plan from each aspect, so check back soon.

design, planning

Note: The ruin is the small area on the east side of the plan, which is a slightly odd shape, but we have to incorporate it.

Sharing our story.

One thing I could not find (and I spent HOURS looking!) when starting on my new build adventure, were examples of other projects already underway or completed. This is the reason I  decided to build this website and start my blog. If you are happy to share your plans and/or story I would really love to hear from you. It would be fantastic to make new contacts and share information. You can find my Facebook group here called ‘Ruin development and restoration in Loulé’  just ask to join and I will add you to the group!

Process updates

I will provide updates to the process along the way.


If you would like to contact me or you would like to share your story and plans you can just click here to drop me a line or call the number at the bottom of the page.

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