SNIPPETT: Disposable nappies are not the only source of waste a new-born baby creates. Beware of the dues when the builders arrive to make your home bigger
The birth rate in Britain may be declining, but more than more than 8 million nappies are still thrown away every day in the UK.
This is why news of plans to build the UK’s largest nappy recycling centre has been welcomes by waste management company ProSkips.
The skip hire broker reports that nappies account for between 3% and 4% of all household waste produced in the UK.
If planners at Hillingdon Council give the £14m state-of-the-art Absorbent Hygiene Product recycling facility in West London the green light, it will process at least 36,000 tonnes of AHP waste each year when it gets up and running in early 2017.
But disposable nappies are not just the only source of waste – and cost – associated with a new-born child.
Move or Improve?
Estate agents in Hammersmith, an area of London popular with families because of its high number of schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, excellent transport links and wide range of local amenities, say that they receive many enquiries about two- or three-bedroom properties from young couples seeking to move from flats when a child is due.
However, with property prices in London and most of the rest of the UK rising, many homeowners with a new arrival on the way opt to extend their house to create the extra space they require.
With an average house in London now costing more than £0.5m, adding a loft extension to your current home would save the £17,500 stamp duty bill that buying a £550,000 property would incur.
But is it worth the inconvenience of living with a gang of builders for months on end?
Many homeowners think it is. Adding an extra bedroom can add about 10% to the value of a house, particularly if it’s a loft conversion, according to estate agents in Wimbledon.
Before you call in an architect, it is worth noting that changes to planning rules do not give home owners free reign to start building without consent from their local council.
The good news, however, is full planning permission is not needed for single-storey domestic extensions up to 8m in depth and loft conversions that increase the volume of a house by less than 50 cubic metres, do not face a road or increase the height of your roof.
Before you call the builders in…
If you are planning to extend your home in preparation for the arrival of a baby, the best advice is don’t delay the building project.
It can take local councils up to eight weeks to issue a permitted development certificate, but it could take longer if your neighbours object to your plans.
And be prepared for the builders to be on site for between six and eight weeks.
After that, the length of time to complete the fitting out of your new room depends on whether the project includes washing facilities, landscaping or any other additions that your budget will stretch to.
In the meantime, living with building materials arriving on a regular basis and skip hire firms taking away the debris created will give you the opportunity to develop good habits when it comes to recycling your domestic waste.