July 2011

Returning from UK on 11 Jul, we both remark how lovely it is to be back in the warmth. The temperature had risen to the mid 20s at times in UK, which is of course warm for there, but barely tepid for us! We start swimming in the sea; a gentle 10 minute walk to the nearest bit of beach, 20 minutes or so in the water – great exercise – and a less gentle (uphill) walk home. There are definitely fewer tourists this year – not just in Goran’s apartments, but generally. The traffic is almost bearable in Kotor, instead of constant queues, and the general comment is that this is the worst tourist year for a long time. Not a good sign for the local economy which depends on these two months (July and August) to live off during the rest of the year.
We start to explore a different approach to the problem of getting planning permission. During a discussion with Dušan, he mentions the possibility of ‘reconstruction and enlargement’ as a way many people develop their plots. The discrepancy between the Cadastre, which clearly mentions the 51m2 object on our land, and the Urban Plan which does not, makes us ask the question as to which has the greater legal significance. No clear answer yet, but another point to make to the Minister if and when we find that an approach to the top of the bureaucracy is the only way forward.
We also take a major policy decision to limit the size of the building to only two main floors, and scrap the one devoted to a display area/ conference facility. This is mainly on cost grounds, as we don’t have to finish and heat/ cool the extra 70m2 or so. We will still need a place for the technical equipment (mainly the ventilation system), but this does not have to be part of any living area. Elisabeth obligingly produces a draft for the modified concept just before she goes on holiday at the end of the month.
As for the Green Building Council seminar, James’ thoughts about lack of action were fully accurate – nothing had been done during our absence. With the holiday season in full swing, nothing will be possible now until towards the end of August. We do at least set a date and decide on an outline programme. The World GBC meanwhile seems happy with our EoI which will be considered by its Board at the end of the month.