Planning Application Submitted to Shropshire County Council for a New Barn Conversion in Ellesmere.
Following an initial consultation with the client En-Plan: Planing & Architecture have submitted a full planning application to Shropshire County Council Planning Department to gain approval for alterations the conversion of the barn and the erection of a new detached garage and workshop to accommodate the applicants collection of classic motorbikes. The application woukld also look to extend gthe area fo gardhe land assockiated with the property.
Background to the Application
The building is located adjacent to the passing highway. The building sits on its own but has its own gated access from the road and a small yard area to the side. To the north and to the east there are open fields. To the west there is a detached dwelling not belonging to the applicant which is also surrounded by agricultural land.
The building that is subject to this prior notification is currently used for the housing of cattle. The building itself is a steel portal frame with the walls infilled with concrete block work below eaves height and corrugated steel or timber boarding above. The roof is constructed of asbestos cement corrugated sheets. The building sits on a concrete floor.
The applicant submitted a prior approval application which followed two a previous refusals (application
numbers 17/01481/PMBPA and 18/01420/PMBPA) was refused for the following reasons respectively:
“It is considered that the proposal falls outside of the scope of 'permitted development' as set out in Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q. Q.1(i) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 and therefore planning permission is required”.
“It is considered that because of the need to create an independent self-supporting structure within the existing building this demonstrates and confirms that the existing building is in fact not capable of being converted. It is therefore considered that the proposed conversion of the building to a residential use falls outside the scope of the permitted development set out in Class Q of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015”.
The assessment of whether the proposal is classified as ‘permitted development’.
Whether prior approval is required as to:-
Transport and highways impact of the development
Noise impacts of the development
Contamination risks on the site
Flooding risks on the site and,
Whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or
undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to a use falling within
Class C3 (dwelling houses)
The design and external appearance of the building.
The structural report confirms that the building is in a good condition and structurally capable of being converted. The submitted plans show that the existing walls, comprising of concrete blockwork would be retained as part of the conversion and that none of them require structural repairs or replacement. Where
the building currently has timber cladding this will be replaced with new brickwork. The Council howver found that the level of new building workls required meant gthe building could not e classed as a conversion even though all other elements of the planning assessment were found to be accpetable.
This then led to the applicants submitting an Appeal to the Planning Inpsectorate in Bristol. The Inspector in charge of the case found in favour of gthe proposal as shown by the following extracts from the Appeal decision:
"Class Q.1 (i)(i) states that development is not permitted if it would consist of building operations other than the installation of windows, doors, roofs or exterior walls or water, drainage, electricity, gas or other services to the extent reasonably necessary for the building to function as a dwellinghouse. Planning Practice Guidance1 (PPG) recognises that for a building to function as a dwelling some building operations which would affect the external appearance of the building should be permitted. It goes on to state that internal works are not generally development and for the building to function as a dwelling it may be appropriate to undertake internal structural works, including to allow for a floor, the insertion of a mezzanine or upper floors within the overall residential floor space permitted, or internal walls, which are not prohibited by Class Q. However, it is not the intention to include the construction of new structural elements for the building. The existing building should be structurally strong enough to take the loading which comes with the external works to provide for residential use. Consequently, it is only where the existing building is structurally strong enough to take the loading which comes with the external works to provide the residential use that the building would be considered to have the permitted development right.
There is no dispute between the parties that the existing building is structurally sound and in good condition. The existing steel frame, roof and concrete floor would be retained. Approximately 50% of the existing block walls would be removed due to the creation of new openings or replaced with timber cladding. The proposed timber cladding would be attached to a timber frame that would be affixed to the remaining block walls and the steel frame. The appellant confirms that the internal walls would be supported by the existing steel frame, blockwork and concrete floor.
I acknowledge the Council’s argument that the building is utilitarian and designed for housing cattle. That is the case for many agricultural buildings. The building is single-skin and therefore it is not unreasonable for works to be carried out to make the building weatherproof. The GPDO recognises this by allowing works to such buildings in order to convert them into dwellings. The Council also state that the building is not capable of functioning as a dwelling in its current state. However, it need not be. The GPDO permits reasonably necessary works to enable the building to function as a dwelling.
The proposal would involve the creation of the internal walls and the replacement of approximately 50% of the existing walls, which would be facilitated by the installation of a non-structural timber frame. I do not consider that these works go beyond what is reasonably necessary for the conversion of the building.
I find therefore that the appeal building is capable of conversion and the proposal would only consist of building operations reasonably necessary for the building to function as a dwellinghouse and therefore does not conflict with Class Q.1 (i)(i) of the GPDO."
The Planning Application
20/01463/FUL | Alterations to new residential unit (approved under application 18/01420/PMBPA); change of use of land to residential curtilage and erection of detached garage and workshop | Proposed Barn Conversion Northwood Ellesmere Shropshire
The application progressed despite the Covid-19 restrictions and despite hitting initial resistance from the Planning Department at Shropshire County Council. En-Plan were able to sucessully argue the planning merits of the case and that the alterations to the elevations proposed allowed for a better design and the new garage /worskshop and the extension to the curtilage woudl all be reasonably required for a residnetrial unit of thissize. The proposal was judged to be acceptable and planning approval was issued with condiotns attachd to the approval requiring details if parking, access and drainage.
En-Plan submitted the required detail and these were jugded under application:
20/02011/DIS | Discharge of condition 3 (Parking and Turning), condition 4 (Access) and condition 5 (Drainage) for an application for prior approval under Part 3, Class Q of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.
Post Planning Approval
We have gained Full Plans Building Regulations Approval for the technical sepcification and worked with the owners during the build process to provide project support where required. One notable issue we provided help on was how to protect the steel frame post conversion.
Protecting a steel frame within a building from condensation is crucial to prevent corrosion and maintain the structural integrity of the frame. Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces, causing the moisture in the air to condense into water droplets. To prevent condensation on a steel frame, you can take several measures. Firstly you need to insulate the building to prevent temperature differentials between the interior and exterior surfaces of the steel frame. Insulation helps maintain a more consistent temperature, reducing the likelihood of condensationInstall a vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation. This barrier prevents moisture from penetrating the insulation and coming into contact with the cold steel surfaces. Ensure that it is properly sealed to be effective, Owners must also maintain appropriate heating and ventilation systems within the building to control humidity levels and temperature. This can help keep the steel frame and other surfaces above the dew point, reducing condensation. Use dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity, especially in baements or other areas prone to moisture buildup. Ypu must also esure that the building design includes effective drainage systems to carry away any moisture that might infiltrate the building. This can include properly designed roofing, gutter systems, and downspouts.
Post conversion it is important to inspect the building regularly to identify any signs of condensation, such as water droplets or rust on the steel frame. Address any issues promptly to prevent corrosion. Apply anti-corrosion coatings and paint to the steel frame to provide an additional barrier against moisture and rust. Ensure that the coatings are properly maintained and in good condition. Seal any gaps, cracks, or openings in the building's envelope, as these can allow moist air to infiltrate and come into contact with the steel framIn areas with chronic humidity issues, you can use desiccant materials like silica gel or molecular sieves to absorb moisture from the air.During the initial design and construction of the building, consider the placement of the steel frame in relation to potential sources of moisture and incorporate protective measureContinuously monitor the condition of the steel frame, especially in areas where condensation is likely to occur. Promptly address any signs of corrosion or moisture-related issues.
Preventing condensation on a steel frame involves a combination of design, insulation, ventilation, and maintenance measures. The specific strategies to use will depend on the building's design, location, and the environmental conditions it faces. Consulting with a structural engineer or building professional with experience in moisture control is advisable for specific guidance in your situation.
If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.
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