The Two Towers
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Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:05:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I want to know given our very strict planning laws and protections that are in place to preserve listed buildings here in the UK how they expect they would alter the house and grounds. I feel these tidbits have been mentioned to grab Tolkien fans attention rather than being a serious consideration.

I know you mention this also but it just seems such a glaring problem that I'm finding it hard to believe this group are serious.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:09:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

I want to know given our very strict planning laws and protections that are in place to preserve listed buildings here in the UK how they expect they would alter the house and grounds. I feel these tidbits have been mentioned to grab Tolkien fans attention rather than being a serious consideration.

The language used on the website is very carefully worded (using screen captures to capture the site as it is worded today) (note they "could" do these things)

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 5.06.37 PM.png

The interior renovations described I don't think would affect any planning laws, as they sound cosmetic (paint, furniture, plants in the garden).

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 5.08.32 PM.png
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:18:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Adding this note separately as I have more thoughts (this text captured December 4th, as I don't know if the linked document can be updated in the future)

MEMORANDUM AND ARTICLES INCORPORATED 06 NOV 2020

Charitable objects
THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH PROJECT NORTHMOOR LIMITED IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT ARE: 1. TO PRESERVE 20 NORTHMOOR ROAD, OXFORD AS THE FORMER HOME OF JRR TOLKIEN AND WHERE THE HOBBIT AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS WERE WRITTEN; 2. TO ADVANCE THE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATION OF THE LIFE, FAITH AND WORKS OF JRR TOLKIEN AND THE INKLINGS; 3. TO ADVANCE EDUCATION IN THE ARTS AND CRAFTS INCLUDING THE ARTS OF LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE.

Re #1. 20 Northmoor Road, Oxford is already the former home of JRR Tolkien. This fact is preserved whether or not they purchase it.

Re #2. These advancements in no way require the house. No mention is made of the charity intent or requirement to use the house to make these advancements.

Re #3. These have nothing to do with Tolkien. Also, see #2.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:19:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Another area I am finding difficult to understand involves change of use and if they have considered it. The house would require a change of use application when use changes from a residential dwelling into a business. This includes charities.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:30:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

Another area I am finding difficult to understand involves change of use and if they have considered it. The house would require a change of use application when use changes from a residential dwelling into a business. This includes charities.

Definitely. I have no idea if in the UK you would file such applications before purchasing the property (ie making the purchase contingent on the application being approved), or afterward. In my understanding here in the USA, you purchase the property first. Then, if the application fails, you figure out something else to do with the property or sell it again.
Dec 5, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/5 1:35:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

Another area I am finding difficult to understand involves change of use and if they have considered it. The house would require a change of use application when use changes from a residential dwelling into a business. This includes charities.

Definitely. I have no idea if in the UK you would file such applications before purchasing the property (ie making the purchase contingent on the application being approved), or afterward. In my understanding here in the USA, you purchase the property first. Then, if the application fails, you figure out something else to do with the property or sell it again.

I think you would do the latter in the UK. And then you would have £4M handed over by the gullible public to spend on basically anything you fancied once sold. Or it could be kept for real-estate speculation. Whatever happens, there has been a transfer of wealth based on the fundamentally questionable suggestion that the house needs saving from some imaginary threat.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:42:08 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
In the application, I would think they could point to The Kilns (same jurisdiction) as a similar use of a famous property.

I sadly feel like this is going to end up a themed AirBnB funded out of fan pockets.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 1:48:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

Another area I am finding difficult to understand involves change of use and if they have considered it. The house would require a change of use application when use changes from a residential dwelling into a business. This includes charities.

Definitely. I have no idea if in the UK you would file such applications before purchasing the property (ie making the purchase contingent on the application being approved), or afterward. In my understanding here in the USA, you purchase the property first. Then, if the application fails, you figure out something else to do with the property or sell it again.

A charity that is asking for donations to buy a house here in the UK really should have some idea if said house could be approved for a change of use before asking for the donations.

Of course a private individual using private funds can buy a property then attempt to secure the changes required but a charity should not be treating donors money in such a relaxed manner.
Dec 5, 2020
2020/12/5 2:02:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That’s my point - the governing documents make no mention of using the house for any purpose. That’s not in their charter.
Dec 5, 2020 (edited)
2020/12/5 3:51:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
UPDATE on the numbers:

What irks me most is that all the numbers don't really work.

I mean, you would need a janitor/gardener at £20k/yr and an event manager for all bookings + all of the programme which should be about £50k/yr. Household costs would amount to about £7k/yr. All those figures are, of course, up to scrutiny; I simply asked for the "average pay" on a couple of websites in the UK and did ... the average.

That does not include the costs for running the b&b program, event catering, materials, cleaning services etc.

So if you put it all together we are looking at a minimum of £125K/yr to actually run the thing. And no, you can't scrimp on the employees - or we are looking at an external, AirBnB solution which is a horrifying thought.

Hwever, as Urulókë said - right now the themed AirBnB seems the most realist outcome.
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