Thank you everyone... it was a great lesson in determination. I get the feeling that the problem lies closer to home - that I should have been directing my words more at the people here who will have to make such a project happen than to those who have no stake in the matter.
It seems that the property in question has ten different things wrong with it, depending who you ask - everything from being in a forest fire zone (though never having been touched by a forest fire before) to having no mobile phone reception (irregardless of the fact I thought that was a plus...). That and the fact that others are bidding on the property seems to have sapped what determination was to be had. So, I am told, it won't happen. And so it goes.