Welcome to RockBlog May release (vent!)…

No posts for a while, have been a busy bee trying to get things sorted and moving.  If this is the first one you have read, I am in the process of setting up a new bouldering centre in my local town.  RockBlog is documenting the process when I have time to commit thoughts and feelings, and useful information to paper (or screen)…

A quick update on what has happened to date:

  1. Planning permission has been granted without condition (milestone goal)
  2. Lease signing has NOT happened (more indepth thoughts in a moment)
  3. Build has NOT started
  4. Insurance cover begins tomorrow – money starting to go!
  5. Opening is set, hopefully, still for June 2017

So, Solicitors and lease.  What an experience, especially when you know that every hour of work that the solicitor contributes is costing you £200 + VAT, a scary prospect.  I was informed that everything was ready to go.  We arrived at the date when things should have been signed and 3 or 4 discrepancies within the lease document popped up.  It transpires that my solicitor only went through the lease in fine detail once signing date was approaching.  Given the cost I would have thought that such things would have picked up at an earlier stage, therefore allowing the signing to happen in the given timeframe.  This becomes amplified when you are leasing from a management committee; from my query to my solicitor, to theirs, whom then passes query to committee, whom discuss it and hopefully make a timely decision. Passed back through the chain…seems a very slow and archaic process, given the technological developments within the last 10 years.  I did wonder if it is kept this way to keep that hourly rate ticking over, or whether there is a legal need for the process to be as it is…food for thought!

Do you actually need a solicitor? I have asked myself this many times during this process?  Simple answer, Strongly advisable! Mine has picked up a number of irregularities within the lease proposal for my business which could potentially have crippled the business and made the lease VERY biased toward the landlord.  This money is well spent and necessary given the complexities of leases.

The planning process has been another massive learning curve.  Once planning was finally granted, despite 13 objections and only 1 supportive comment (had a few sleepless nights before the decision!) I naively thought that was that.  NO, not quite.  You then have to pay another chunk of money to have a meeting and discussion with Building Regulation.  Another unforseen step in the process but I can understand the need, given the age of the building and ‘change of use’.  Also, due to the listed’ status of the building and listed building consent applied for, we have to submit a method statement on how we are going to install the structure, etc, to ensure that we are not going to destroy or damage a listed aspect of the building.  Before entering this stage, I found it difficult to find information regarding the process of what will happen, timeframes, and steps involved throughout.  Once we are built and I have a spare hour, I am going to document the experience that I have had, including costs and useful information that I have found out, for the benefit of anyone else going into this process.

Thanks for reading, more to follow in due course…