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A Shed By Any Other Name...
April 24, 2008 5:55 PM   Subscribe

"As a great architect once said, 'Buildings should look like what they are'." John Jessop became so frustrated with the red tape required for his company to get permission to build a farm shed, he submitted a sarcastic application . Read his full "Planning Application for Erection of Agricultural Implement Shed" here [pdf, 3 pages]. No word yet on whether the shed was approved. Via.
posted by amyms (27 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm fairly sure that wasn't what the great architect said.
posted by empath at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2008


It's quoted in the application, empath, but unfortunately the source of the quote wasn't cited for posterity, so you might be right.
posted by amyms at 6:29 PM on April 24, 2008


The PDF of the application actually says "Buildings" not "Bulldogs"....
posted by wildcrdj at 6:34 PM on April 24, 2008


Wow, the bulldogs bit is actually the best part of this. I think the problem here is that its meant to be this great ranting takedown of red tape and Kafka-esque bureaucracy. The link goes to great pains to compare this guy to Basil Fawlty, which I really don't see.

And then there just doesn't seem to be a lot of Kafka-esuqe bureaucratic madness on display. Just a guy being crotchety in a page and a half note asking him what he wants to build and what it would look like. Perhaps there's a lengthy history of forms and impact statements and construction methods analyses and other crap that we're being thoughtfully protected from.

But as presented it kind of reminds me of being in middle school and writing your address on something and going on past your street, town state and country and adding "Earth, the Solar System, the Universe." But I was like 11 when I though that was going to show somebody... something.
posted by Naberius at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The PDF of the application actually says "Buildings" not "Bulldogs"....

OMG, you're right, wildcrdj! LOL! I thought it was hilarious that it said "bulldogs" and that's why I quoted the quote. Oh wow, I need reading glasses. Sorry everyone!
posted by amyms at 6:54 PM on April 24, 2008


John Jessup's courageous act of defiance reminds me of the great arborealist who once said, "Why don't you make like a tree and get the hell out of here!".
posted by stavrogin at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2008


I just sent a contact form asking the admins to correct the quote, although I think it actually works better with "bulldogs" lol.
posted by amyms at 7:05 PM on April 24, 2008


I fixed the quote.
posted by mathowie at 7:09 PM on April 24, 2008


Pervious occupants...
posted by Tube at 7:32 PM on April 24, 2008


I thought this post was about bulldogs. I feel deceived.
posted by homunculus at 8:07 PM on April 24, 2008


Sorry homunculus, will this help?
posted by amyms at 8:45 PM on April 24, 2008


Oh, thanks, but I got over it. Your post is even better than bulldogs! Thanks for the link!
posted by homunculus at 8:54 PM on April 24, 2008


John Jessop, of Somerset-based Carlisle Jessop, became so frustrated by the planning process needed to build a farmyard shed, that he blew a gasket and submitted a sarcastic design-access statement to Mendip County Council

Perhaps he, like Mr. Fawlty, would have been better off hiring an expert who understands the planning process to help him instead of trying to do everything on the cheap.

There are often very good and sound reasons for land-use and building regulations. The trick is the know the rules and simply follow them.
posted by three blind mice at 1:36 AM on April 25, 2008


Oh and one more thing in keeping with the John Cleese theme.....

Carlisle Jessop

No. It's Carlisle "No Sheds" Jessop.
posted by three blind mice at 1:39 AM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not impressed with the supposed onerousness of this process. Requiring less than two pages of free-form justification is not really burdensome.
posted by grouse at 2:31 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


agree with grouse. - as amusing as it is. this guys is complaining he has to write two pages to justify bulding a rather large building on his land??? come on.

I had to fill in more forms and details at work just to convince the IT Department I needed a blackberry!
posted by mary8nne at 3:25 AM on April 25, 2008


Pervious occupants...

Yeah, I noticed that, too. I always knew those farmer types were deviants.
posted by Jakey at 3:34 AM on April 25, 2008


Perhaps he, like Mr. Fawlty, would have been better off hiring an expert who understands the planning process to help him instead of trying to do everything on the cheap.

I think the problem is rather that he does understand the planning process. The process specifically requires him to explain several things that are quite inappropriate to building a farm shed, in a farmyard.

* disabled access?

* access by road and public transport?

* the economic context

* compatibility with existing developments

Now these things may be very worthwhile when considering the development of say, an office block in a downtown core, but really it's not reasonable to ask developers to consider what bus routes are available to get people to a barn full of tractor parts.
posted by standbythree at 3:56 AM on April 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yes, planning and zoning commissions sure can be frustrating.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:59 AM on April 25, 2008


(Let me add that in British culture, whenever someone wants to give an example of a small-minded and needlessly beurocratic group of people, they will invariably invoke the planning department of their local council. The kind of humour that is playing out in this application is a great example of how British folks deal with the libertarian/authoritarian conflict.)
posted by standbythree at 3:59 AM on April 25, 2008


To be honest, I think the economic context and compatibility with existing developments are both relevant. The fact that they are both obvious for such a shed means that you can be quite brief about it, as he was.

As for disabled access, I think it's better that that is asked about universally in the planning process. If you want to say that it's not relevant in this case, then you can just do so.

The alternative would be having a special planning process with special forms, etc. just for farm sheds. I think that would be more ridiculous.
posted by grouse at 4:08 AM on April 25, 2008


He should have skipped the planning permission, built the shed and then put a massive shark in the roof.

Problem solved.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 6:18 AM on April 25, 2008


Let me add that in British culture, whenever someone wants to give an example of a small-minded and needlessly beurocratic group of people, they will invariably invoke the planning department of their local council.

Speaking of British planning departments:
"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display ..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a torch."

"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
posted by I Said, I've Got A Big Stick at 6:49 AM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


"There is an airport at Bristol which can be accessed by driving your tractor along the road. This gives direct access to warm sunny places all over the world."
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2008


empath - I am not sure of the exact quote, haven't heard that before, but it does describe Functionalism, a principle of architecture all too often lost in todays butt ugly glass towers.
posted by caddis at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2008


I liked how "the design includes space for some brushes to sweep away the muck."
posted by salvia at 12:58 PM on April 25, 2008


This is really quite wonderful. Only in a couple of places does his anger peak through a bit. Were I on that review board, I'd say he met the application requirements.
My sister-in-law has a little organic farm. Her exasperation with P and Z is real. Anyone who is an actual steward of the land would really prefer to just get things done. The battle against entropy is a bitch. A guy sitting in an office talking about rules (quite literally) doesn't carry any water.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 1:37 PM on April 25, 2008


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