The Engine House
Back Up For Sale
Offers Over: £100,000
CURRENTLY THE PLANNING PERMISSION CANNOT BE PURIFIED DUE TO A NEAR NEIGHBOUR DISPUTE. THE ESTATE AGENT DETAILS APPEAR TO BE INCORRECT. OUR ADVICE: CAVEAT EMPTOR = BUYER BEWARE.
The Engine House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station
In spite of best efforts by the adjacent landowner, Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., to help the Engine House owner, there has been a breakdown in the relationship to the point where Trading Standards have now been consulted and the solicitors representing Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., are being briefed to prepare the paperwork for submission of an ex parte action at Wick Sheriff Court.
Consequently, this website may require to remove or drastically curtail the background on this page so as to respect the rules governing sub judice.
Earlier Update: 21-4-21…
Brief Background On
The Engine House Problems
Here is a photograph taken from the top of the lighthouse tower optic room/balcony towards the Engine House. You can actually see how close the Engine House is to the cliff edge…
Detached Engine House
Photo From Atop The Lighthouse Tower.
The Engine House owner proposes hard core
boring into the cliff edge. This will NOT be permitted
Therefore the Planning Permission as proposed is currently unfit.
The cliff edge issue requires to be addressed by owner of the Engine House. Or if she prefers, a different estate agent to the current one needs to be instructed. In fact, it would be better all round if she had her lawyer get in touch with Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., as the estate owners need to locate someone to do with the Engine House who is aware of the law and can give some wise counsel to their client.
So far neither the Engine House owner nor her current estate agent have agreed to provide any letters of comfort, nor geological survey for fissure damage etc., nor insurance, nor indemnity bond etc., safeguarding the cliff edge structure and the buildings and lighthouse tower located at this site.
The Engine House owner’s proposal to drill a massive hole into that cliff edge with apparent impunity is not going to happen.
Sadly, this means the owners of the cliff edge and remainder of the lighthouse station are left with little option but to apply for the appropriate court order to prohibit any works at the Engine House ~ especially groundworks into the cliff edge structure until a remedy has been found.
This is in spite of much effort owners of Noss Head Lighthouse Station engaging constructively with the owner of the Engine House. The estate agent has written to the cliff-edge land owner and said that estate agent property misdescription legislation is “nothing to do with her”, to go away and do not contact her again. That is a disgraceful reply. It is discourteous and hardly conducive to the offers by the Noss Head Lighthouse Station to provide a SAFE remedy to the Engine House Owner’s problems. In fact the estate agent’s replies have lead directly to the door of Wick Sheriff Court.
Ignorance of The Law Is No Excuse
Ignorance of Geology Is No Excuse
By refusing to engage constructively, the Engine House owner and her current estate agent have left the owner of the remainder of Noss Head Lighthouse Station with little option but to commence legal action and obtain an enforceable court order preventing an Amadan from causing structural damage to their property and indeed the adjacent Caithness landmark…
Noss Head Lighthouse Tower
At Risk of A Watery Grave
It would be distressing to see this iconic, life-saving lighthouse tower, which is a much photographed and visited local landmark, end up with structural damage and having to be demolished because of catastrophic cliff edge fissure rupture, caused by the foolhardy actions of someone drilling into hard rock close by without having provided comforts of a full geological survey and the relevant insurance to cover damage to buildings nearby that she does not own.
If you think this cannot happen, just study this postcard. It shows the Foghorn Building in front of Noss Head Lighthouse Tower. That building required demolition after structural damage to the cliff edge…
Noss Head Lighthouse Foghorn. Attribution: J. Adams.
This Foghorn Building was demolished
by the Northern Lighthouse Board
due to structural issues at the cliff edge.
In this case the Noss Head Lighthouse Tower and other buildings which the current Engine House owner appears to have little interest in keeping safe from literal precipitous cliff edge fracturing actions.
She could have easily sought some advice and helpful local knowledge from her neighbours.
The owner of Noss Head Lighthouse Station grew up on the Island of Arran with geologists. Every summer, the majority of universities in the country would send their geology students to the Island of Arran as a pre-season two week vocational study visit. This is because Arran has a vast array of geological specimens and rock formations/fissures/structures.
The Engine House Owner’s Estate Agent
Does not want to know about rock fissures.
Ignorance can be a bad thing.
Meanwhile, the owner of Noss Head Lighthouse Station consulted several of these highly qualified and experienced geology friends to render their professional and academic opinion on the cliff edge and inner compound subterranean structures.
Long story short, the entire compound is good for another Millenia. It is hard rock and amongst the most stable in the UK.
There was a caveat…
“Do not allow HGV lorries to drive on your private road in front of the lighthouse tower next to the cliff edge and do not drill into the cliff edge without obtaining a professional report from a reputable source. Ideally professor grade or above at the most prestigious university geology department in the country. Also ensure your insurance fully covers your building and if necessary your neighbours’ houses and the Grade A listed lighthouse tower.”
We asked why this advice caveat was necessary?
The answer is summed up here…
Hard Rock Cliff Edges
Are Generally Stable.
Hidden Fissures Can Cause Collapse.
Do Not Drill Near Cliff Edges If You Can Avoid So Doing.
Please Note How Close To The Cliff Edge
The Engine House Is?
The ground is hard rock and currently stable. The planning permission to convert the Engine House requires drilling a septic tank into the hard core rock close to the cliff edge. Little or inadequate thought has been given by the Engine House owner to enquiries, and subsequently protests from the adjacent landowner of the cliff edges encircling her property. That refusal to consult requires to be remedied.
The Engine House is landlocked. It is surrounded by land owned by Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd. This company have reasonably asked for some reassurance that the excavation works proposed by the owner of the Engine House will NOT damage the integrity of the cliff edge.
Is It Too Much To Ask?
That the Engine House owner consult
with her neighbours?
The Noss Head Lighthouse Station Owners have information that can be of help.
The cliff-edge land owning neighbour just wants reassurance that the Engine House heavy drilling into the cliff edge will be done safely, and not fracture that cliff edge.
Neither the owner of the Engine House nor their estate agent have addressed these concerns and now wonder why the new wayleave and easement permissions have been refused.
Because the current estate agent representing the owner of the Engine House says the near neighbour dispute says…
“Is nothing to do with her”.
Whereas the the law appears to conflict with this statement. It is sad and…
Regrettable that he current dispute will require professional legal interpretation by a duly qualified person including solicitors. If the current ignorant evidential stonewalling by the Engine House estate agent is anything to go by, then the duty judge at Wick Sheriff Court will need to be consulted to seek an enforceable order prohibiting a wide range of risky or damaging actions.
None of this needed to happen.
Some polite respect from the Engine House owner and/or their current estate agent would have gone a long way to ameliorating what are basic issues which require to be addressed and will be attended to whether through informal channels or via the offices of respective solicitors.
The owners of Noss Head Lighthouse Station still leave their door open to the Engine House owner. But NOT the current estate agent.
There are three very good estate agents in Wick and Thurso. The Noss Head Lighthouse Station owners would be more than happy to liaise with any one of the alternative estate agents, or even better, a solicitor representing the owner of the Engine House.
But the local estate agent representing the Engine House owner (as at 21-4-21) is no longer welcome at the door of Noss Head Lighthouse Station after the written content of their final missive had been received at Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd..
If the owner of the Engine House wishes to have her solicitor get in touch to resolve the problems, please: Click Here.
ONE LAST THING
FOR THIS SEGMENT
This subscribers and owners of this website would advise any and all would-be purchasers of the Old Engine House to PLEASE get their conveyancing solicitor to ask the seller’s current estate agent the following questions…
A]. Is there a “near neighbour” dispute between the owner of the Engine House and any near neighbour at Noss Head Lighthouse Station?
B]. Is the Engine House Land Registry Title boundary “landlocked” by the Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., property owner? Is there a current dispute regarding “wayleave and easement” rights to be granted by Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd? If “yes” then how do I remove any excess from my septic tank? If any of this is a fact, then how would the planning permission you advertise result in the Engine House becoming capable of legal habitation for my occupancy?
C]. If “yes” to “A” above, please disclose all relevant material appropriately redacted?
D]. Is the Planning Permission for the Engine House conversion on the current estate agent’s “conditional”. I note that as of 21st April 2021 the current estate agent has omitted the word “conditional”.
E]. Are those “conditions” capable of being purified?
F]. Is it possible to obtain a “completion certificate” on a house with no functional septic tank and/or no other lawful way of disposing of sewage?
Please retain the reply. You may need it if you end up committing the cardinal sin that the television presenters war about on their “Homes Under The Hammer” program.
This is specifically for those folk who buy a property “blind” or without having seen it or read the legal pack.
If all you have done is read this page as part of your due diligence, then PLEASE ask the current estate agent the itemised questions above and retain their written answer as you may need it.
For the disputed advertisement as at 21/4/21: the word “conditional” has been omitted along with any reference to the near neighbour dispute that currently compromises the “planning” permission: Click Here.
Land Registry detail archived from the sale of 18th June 2019: Click Here.
19 April 21
The Noss Head Lighthouse Station estate landowner is quite separate to the owner of the Engine House.
The estate owner is making best efforts to prevent structural damage to the integrity of the cliff edges. They are solid and safe just now, but moving heavy goods vehicles in front of the lighthouse RISKS fracturing the cliff edge.
All of this hassle just to badly site a septic tank is verging upon reckless. Would you drive an HGV lorry of rock pile-driver/excavator here…
^^^ Narrow Cliff Edge Access To The Engine House ^^^
This land is owned by Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd.
As pursuer, Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., shall be seeking a legally enforceable order from Wick Sheriff Court to PROHIBIT HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicles) or indeed any vehicles large enough to damage the cliff edge structure crossing this narrow access driveway in front of the Noss Head Lighthouse Tower on the way to the Engine House.
Furthermore, included within the application to court will be a request for a legally enforceable order PROHIBITING ANY AND ALL GROUNDWORK EXCAVATION at, near or within 56 metre proximity of the Engine House by the current owner of the Engine House and/or to whomsoever the current owner seeks to sell the Engine House.
All of this is highly regrettable.
All of this should not have ended up in the public domain.
Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., have been repeatedly ignored. Yet have offered help and at least two alternate solutions to the problems that have been brought about by the Engine House matter.
The owner of the Engine House might care to ask her current estate agent for sight of the correspondence being authored on her behalf? This should explain why the Noss Head Lighthouse Station owners are now only progress matters with a solicitor now involved.
17 April 21
As at November 2020, there is a slight hiccup with the sewage disposal at this site and concerns over the proposal by the owner of the Engine House to bore into the hard rock structure close to the cliff edge at Noss Head Lighthouse station.
It is relatively easy to remedy this matter…
ENGINE HOUSE OWNER: PLEASE CAN YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE NOSS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE STATION OWNER? THANK YOU.
Crucially it is very important to keep a line of communication open. As in this case, the owners of the neighbouring land now insist upon a cease and desist action prior to any further works.
Or risk this lighthouse tower’s foundations being damaged and the tower going the same way as the old Foghorn Building that USED to be in front of it!.
The Engine House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station
This photograph was paid for by this website.
Use by infracting estate agents is refused.
14th April 2021
On 20/5/2020 Full Planning Permission was APPROVED to convert the Engine Room into a 2 bedroom home. CONDITIONALLY.
However, as at November 2020, there is a slight hiccup with the sewage disposal at this site. It is relatively easy to remedy. But the hazards of assuming rights to transfer your waste soil-water, one way or another, across your neighbour’s land without a courtesy request first and crucially getting your updated/amended legal title wayleaves and easements sorted out can cause some mild upset! Fortunately, the neighbouring landowner is relatively thick-skinned and happy to assist in helping the owner of the Engine House remedy innocent but problematic errors/problems that may have serious consequences.
Crucially it is very important to keep a line of communication open. As in this case, the owners of the neighbouring land now insist upon a cease and desist action prior to any further works. The neighbours land entirely encircles the Engine House site. The Planning Permission REQUIRES an outfall pipe across the neighbours land in one form or another.
Septic Tank & Rock Substructure
Rock Boring Machine: Click Here
The owners of the main site are profoundly concerned about damage to the cliff edge caused if some random, inexperienced jack-hammer operator trundling up their driveway and causing major structural damage to the cliff edge integrity that may impact on all eight buildings, only one of which is owned by the proprietor of the Engine House.
Beachy Head Soft Rock Crumbles.
But even very hard granite can sheer if insufficient
geological survey of schisms is not undertaken
This additional/new consent would normally be GRANTED happily and/or with the appropriate codicil/amendments made to the Title Deed. However, the proprietors of this website, as the land-owning neighbour are seriously concerned about using a large, industrial JCB jack-hammering machine to dig a LARGE septic tank hole near to the cliff-edge where SEVERAL THOUSAND TONS of iconic lighthouse tower and related Victorian listed buildings sit. Failure to thoroughly consider cliff-edge geological integrity before drilling into or close to bedrock is a BAD IDEA. By way of light relief in a fraught situation, would you consider this a good idea…
^^^ The Analogy of Tree & Cliff-Edge Is Reasonable ^^^
When drilling into cliff rock next to a cliff edge, it is wise to proceed with caution.
Better still, have a chat with the major land-owner next door as they may be able to help you.
All of This Side of The Boundary Wall Belongs To
Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd.
Permission To Damage or Compromise This Cliff Edge Is Refused
The neighbouring land-owner of the cliff side of the boundary wall to the Engine House has indicated they REQUIRE a written assurance and specific engineering works detail from the current owner of the Engine House prior to and ground works and/or digging within a 60 foot proximity to the cliff edge is supported.
Famously in 1999, the 850 ton Belle Tout Lighthouse required to be moved by civil engineers 56 feet away from the Beachy Head cliff edge…
Belle Tout Lighthouse Was Moved 56 Feet Away From The Cliff Edge
Source: Click Here
The lighthouse at Beachy Head was built on relatively “soft” chalk cliff edge…
This led to an horrendous and very costly experience of having to move the entire building away from that chalk cliff edge….
Belle Tout Lighthouse Being Moved Away From The Cliff Edge
Belle Tout Lighthouse Being Moved Away From The Cliff Edge
It is very fortunate that the cliffs of Noss Head are of very hard stone and unlilely to crumble, other than submit to thousands of years of natural erosion.
However, if a company without the correct accreditation and bona fides brings heavy plant onto the lighthouse station owner’s land, they will be barred from proceeding to the cliff edge, if necessary by ex parte action.
It is far better to resolve these things in a gentler manner, but without a line of communication then the concerns of the major landowner will be raised.
An assurance is sought by Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., (the Company) that NO construction work will be commenced that may compromise the integrity of the rock and cliff-edge upon which these buildings are located.
A comfort is required by the Company as Head Title owner (click here), that the rock face and substructure on the entire boundary that is owned by the Company, specifically in this case within 29 metres radius of the Engine House will NOT be damaged by some random JCB and jack-hammering in close proximity to a cliff-edge that has remained stable for Millenia.
There has been virtually no coastal erosion at this site for centuries. It is very solid rock. But as any first-year university geology student will advise it is not a good idea to risk fracturing stable cliff-edge granite and similar hard rock without first having obtained expert advise from suitably qualified geologists and geomatics (here) first.
Prior Consultation With The Adjacent Property Owner
May Have Proven Helpful.
It should not need to be said, but a cliff edge that has remained stable and secure for hundreds of years may not take kindly to a JCB or system of industrial HGV mounted pneumatic jack-hammers being unleashed upon it to dig a hole for a new septic tank. This may risk causing some form of fracture and catastrophic separation of the ground upon which these buildings are constructed.
Fortunately, remedial solutions are available. For example…
Proposed Safe Location For New Septic Tank
For The Benefit of The Engine House Owner.
This new septic tank location would be sufficiently far removed from the lighthouse buildings so as to comply with Building Regulations relating to septic tank installation. The relatively light, hand-dug soil-pipe trench would leave little to no impact upon the subsoil-to-hard-rock structure along the line marked in orange in the plan illustrated above this paragraph. Though ideally, the owner’s of Stevenson Cottage would grant a wayleave in favour of the Engine House title documentation for such a trench to be dug by hand on the inside of the boundary wall at a significant distance away from the cliff edge and the aforesaid boundary wall.
Furthermore, the outflow from a new septic installed on the seaward side of the the lower ground located towards the eastern side of the estate and close to the water overflow channel from the fresh/brine water loch to the sea would help the bio-system at the septic tank location. The owner of this land, Noss Head Lighthouse Station Ltd., would be more than happy to progress the solution to help the current owner of the Engine House.
The primary concern is to avoid digging large holes next to the headland cliff edge.
Instead, hand-dug light soil-pipe trenches are a far better solution….
This Is The Trench Dug Nearby Specifically To Have
Minimal Impact on The Cliff Edge Sub Structure.
As owner of the majority of the lighthouse station land (they are also the proprietors of this website) are even amenable to selling an ample amount of cliff-edge land to the current owner of the Engine House to resolve this concern. But the new Title Deed would require a clear and legal Title Burden on it. This would require that any proposed major earthworks and rock structure works to obtain the suitable geological site safety survey from recognised expert geologists in their profession in order to avoid “accidental” compromise of the current solid cliff-edge integrity and prior to said works proceeding.
The New Title For The Engine House
MAY Include The Adjacent Land & Cliff Edges
We now return to the archived details from 2018/2019…
The Old Engine House
Noss Head Lighthouse Station
Offers Over £80,000.
This Former Engine House Would Make A Spectacular Home.
Or Holiday Letting Cottage.
Conditional planning permission has been granted for conversion of the Engine House into a 2-bed residential dwelling. One of the main issues requiring purification is to resolve the SEPA and Building Regulation/Planning Permission codicils surrounding disposal of sewage from the conversion of this industrial building into a residential dwelling across the neighbours property. The neighbour is this website.
Please Note: The Lighthouse Tower is NOT Included in this sale.
The Old Engine House At Noss Head Lighthouse Station.
The engines and electricity generators have been removed.
The lighthouse tower is still in operational use via remote control from the Northern Lighthouse Board HQ in Edinburgh.
^ Draft Title Plan – Outlined In Red Ink ^
The light brown shaded area shown on the provisional plan drawing above is included in the Engine House title ownership but has right of access over this part granted to the owners of the adjacent Stevenson Cottage.
View of The Engine House Looking North Across Sinclair Bay To Orkney
If you are looking for a change of life and more enjoyable pace in a spectacular location where the long summer days and cosy winter nights with the Aurora Borealis abound this may be just the thing for you.
Noss Head Lighthouse Compound – Aurora Borealis
Photo Courtesy of Maciej Winiarczyk
The Engine House at Noss Head Lighthouse Station can be seen to the lower right in the Aurora Borealis photograph.
A Genuine Escape To The Country
Would You Like To Live Here?
Photo Courtesy of Maciej Winiarczyk
This Is Your Near Neighbour.
^^^ The Engine House Is The Detached Building ^^^
To The Left of The Noss Head Lighthouse Tower
We have a well know television series that have asked their researchers be kept in the loop in case you fancy appearing on the television. The tv company would like to film your new adventure. Or if you prefer privacy, then that is of course the preserve of the new owner.
The Old Engine House Has Amazing Views From 3 Sides
^ View To The North East ^
^ View To The North West ^
^ General View To The South West ^
Sinclair Girnigoe Castle In The Distance
We are NOT instructed by the current owner, but merely include these archived details as a record for this particular building.
This website is the majority land owner at Noss Head Lighthouse Station + Keeper’s Cabin + Private Road + Loch + Walled Garden Building + Walled garden + Several Acres of Land etc. Our HQ office was intended to be at Noss Head Lighthouse Station, but an unfortunate accident to one of our company directors rendered that option pretty much impossible. Hence our new HQ building in Arbroath, Angus. We will still provide the services of this website for free…
“Lighthouses For Sale or Rent”
These include lighthouses all over the UK and soon all across the world.
For folk who have the skillset to convert this building there is considerable scope to add your own equity value (sweat-equity) by completing a great deal of the conversion/renovation work yourself.
Former Use: Office + Workshop + Lighthouse Canteen + Storage Room
Office 1 and the Kitchen/Dining Area were completely refurbished with professionally installed Kingspan insulation and new interior walls for the Northern Lighthouse Board some time ago. This makes these rooms very easy and economical to heat and keep warm.
PLEASE NOTE, THE NEW CONDITIONAL PLANNING PERMISSION COMPLETELY RECONFIGURES THIS LAYOUT TO ACCOMMODATE A THOUGHTFUL 2 BEDROOM HOME WITH LOUNGE, KITCHEN AREA, SHOWER ROOM AND UTILITY ROOM. CONSEQUENTLY THE RENOVATION WORKS ADDED TO THIENGINE HOUSE TO ASSIST THE NORTHERN LIGHTHOUSE BOARD HAVE NOW BEEN RIPPED OUT BY THE CURRENT OWNER.
YOU WILL BE BUYING A SHELL. THIS SHOULD BE HELPFUL IN RECONFIGURING THE NEW LAYOUT AND CHANGE OF USE PERMISSION. PROVIDING THE DISPOSAL OF SEWAGE CAN BE REMEDIED.
The following plans are the CURRENT layout for reference…
Measurements are given in good faith, but prospective buyers should satisfy themselves as to precision and accuracy.
Workshop: 2.97m x 3.05m.
Office 1+2 & Kitchen (overall): 2.92m x 3.00m.
Engine Room: 6.74m x 4.14m.
Toilet: 1.40m x1.40m
Ample room to convert into a residential house.
(now ripped out).
Main Storage Area.
Main Storage Area.
Main Storage Area.
All of the stored material will be removed prior to completion of the sale. So you will be receiving a blank canvas of a building to make your own.
Detached Building By Noss Head Lighthouse Tower
Main Double Doors Open Up To View The Main Lighthouse Tower
Noss Head Lighthouse: Engine House To The Right
Copyright (c) 2017: Argyll Group & Oracle Drone Services
This photograph was taken prior to the major renovation and refurbishment works on the actual Noss Head Lighthouse Tower and Stevenson Cottage which is located behind the tower.
The other 2 residential buildings at the lighthouse site have also been completely renovated.
Meanwhile, local town centre, superstore, recreation, leisure, primary/secondary school, doctor surgery and a general hospital with A&E are 10 minutes drive from Noss Head Lighthouse Station…
Noss Head Lighthouse Station feels wonderfully remote, yet is only a 10 minute drive to the local town centre with a full spectrum of amenities such as shops, leisure facilities, superstores and a general hospital.
Wick Airport: Click Here
Crucially there is a regional airport with two scheduled flights inbound and two outbound six days per week. The airport is a ten minute drive by taxi or car from The Old Engine House. Flights connect via Edinburgh and Aberdeen Airport to London, Manchester, Paris, Berlin and all major worldwide airports.
Alternatively, the drive on the A9 can be spectacular….
A9 Arterial Road To The Highlands
The Old Engine House is a relatively recent building set within the lighthouse compound with unobstructed views across Sinclair Bay and beyond towards the Orcadian Archipelago.
The Engine House View North.
This photograph was taken at 11pm in the evening. At midsummer it stays light almost 22 hours a day.
Nearby buildings include the recently renovated Stevenson Cottage where the former lighthouse keepers used to live. The landmark building is, of course, Noss Head Lighthouse Tower. During 2018 the tower was completely refurbished and the lighthouse station is looking in particularly good condition.
The Old Engine House was intended to be used as the headquarters for the Unique Property Bulletin website (here and here). But a change of plans means the office facility has been relocated to the Isle of Arran. Therefore, the Old Engine House is now surplus to requirements and has been made available for sale.
The Engine House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station, Wick, Caithness, KW1 4QT.
Fully for sale from November 2020.
As at November 2020, there is a slight hiccup with the sewage disposal. It is easily remedied, but the hazards of “assuming” rights to transfer excrement across your neighbour’s land without so much as a by-your-leave courtesy request can put the neighbours nose out of joint.
Title: Feuhold (Freehold equivalent. The best quality title available)
Detached Engine House Building & 2 Car Parking Spaces + Garden Area
For further information please…