We Have Got It!
It took over six months to get our planning permission, but finally it is here in black and white. Actually, it took 189 days to be precise. Which is more than three times as long as it should have been.
Almost everything we had requested had been granted, and in particular there had been no restrictions placed on the total increase in space both downstairs and upstairs that we had applied for. There were a couple of windows which needed to be translucent rather than the clear we had planned on, and of course we wished they were not, but as explained by our architect the condition the council had placed was very normal and to be expected, given these windows were side facing.
Overall, we had been very fortunate with the extent of the permission granted compared to our application. We suspect that the incredible delay had at least in one way benefited us by causing the planning department to be more understanding towards our requests, given the time they had taken to respond. It would have been really upsetting if after making us wait months and months, they had raised objections which could have been raised months earlier and dealt with. So maybe it was worth the silence and the wait, after all!
Now we could relax. Not. Now, as friends kept reminding us, was when the real hard work starts!