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Kings Villa Garvestone Norfolk.


Red House Farm, Garvestone, Norfolk.


Conversion of barn into a three bedroom residential unit.

Following the initial planning appraisal and discussion with the client it was decided to extend the existing barn and covert it into a new residence with the extensions forming a new bedroom and kitchen respectively at either end of the converted barn to maximise the development and allow for a family unit of a size commensurate with the size of the overall plot. 

The application seeks full planning permission for the change of use and conversion of an existing agricultural building to a residential dwelling. A new fenced and hedgerow boundary is proposed to separate the curtilages of the existing and proposed dwelling. Four car parking spaces would be provided .. The proposed dwelling would be accessed via an existing access sited approximately 10 m west of the farmhouse. External materials would comprise feather edged timber, facing brick and clay pantiles in keeping with the locality.
The application is accompanied by a structural survey, protected species survey, design and access statement, a commercial viability assessment and a vulnerable development questionnaire with respect to potential contamination.

The site lies outside the Settlement Boundary of the village of Yaxham. The site currently comprises a private dwellinghouse and its curtilage. The building proposed to be converted is situated approximately 30 m to the north-west of the existing farmhouse and 47 m from the nearest neighbouring dwelling to the west. The barn has been in use for storage purposes. The site is bounded by fencing with a mature hedgerow and trees to the north beyond which are open fields and a garden maintenance business. There is also an established hedgerow and fencing to the highway frontage.

Garvestone is a village in the civil parish of Garvestone, Reymerston and Thuxton in the Breckland district, in Norfolk, England. It is between the towns of Dereham and Wymondham. In the 2001 census the parish, which also includes the villages of Thuxton and Reymerston, had a population of 606, increasing at the 2011 Census to a population of 660 in 268 households. Garvestone lies on the upper reaches of the River Yare, at this point a small and fairly fast-flowing stream. The English mathematician and geographer Edward Wright was born in Garvestone in 1561.

The barn is located in the open countrtyside and the planing policy covering tbe conversion of a redundant rurla buildiong is staed in Paragraph 80 of the National Planing Policy Framework:

80. Planning policies and decisions should avoid the development of isolated homes in the countryside unless one or more of the following circumstances apply:
a) there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside;
b) the development would represent the optimal viable use of a heritage asset or would be appropriate enabling development to secure the future of heritage assets;

c) the development would re-use redundant or disused buildings and enhance its immediate setting;
d) the development would involve the subdivision of an existing residential building; or
e) the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:
- is truly outstanding, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and
- would significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

The above Policy is elaborated on in the Adopted Breckalnd Local Plan with Policy HOU 12 outlined below:

Policy HOU 12 -Conversion of Buildings in the Countryside
The sustainable re-use of appropriately located and constructed buildings in the countryside for economic purposes will be supported.
The re-use of existing buildings in the countryside for residential purposes will be permitted where the commercial use of the building has been shown to not be viable. The building proposed to be converted should be substantially intact and capable of conversion without significant extension or re-building and of value to the landscape of the District. The residential re-use of modern agricultural or industrial buildings considered to be of no aesthetic value, regardless of their location, will not be considered appropriate
For the conversion of buildings in the countryside, regard will be had to the following criteria:
he impact of the development on the character and appearance of the landscape and the quality of design. Development will be resisted where a proposal fails to take the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the appearance of the locality;
2. Access to the highway and the ability of the highway network to accommodate the demands resulting from the proposed development; and
3. Consideration of potential conservation and biodiversity issues, in line with Policy ENV 03 and national regulations. For residential conversions, it is often the case that buildings require substantial works to enable them to be re-used, in order to meet Building Regulations and the demands of the new use. Therefore, in order to be acceptable in planning terms, a building should be capable of residential conversion without the need for significant rebuilding or extension. This restriction will mainly apply to modern buildings which are limited in their suitability for re-use due to their modular and/or temporary construction. The policy limits residential re-use to buildings that are predominately constructed using traditional local techniques as these buildings are more suited to residential re-use.

The application  was submited to Breckland Council and was acconmpanied by a Design & Access Statement to shown the suitability of the proposal as well as a structiral report and a Ecology appraisal that covered a bat and owl roost survey.  After some minor alteraitons to the external elevations plainng permission was granted.

The site lies outside the Settlement Boundary of the village of Yaxham where strict restraint is placed on all new development except in exceptional circumstances. Core Strategy Policies CP14, DC20 and Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework are relevant in this regard.
Core Strategy Policy DC20 supports the re-use of existing buildings in the countryside for residential purposes where the commercial use of the building has been shown to be unviable and subject to specific criteria including that regard will be had to the impact of the development on the character and appearance of the landscape, the quality of the design, the sustainability of the location and the impact of the highway and the surrounding highway network.
The submitted structural survey concludes that the existing roof, walls and foundations are satisfactory and can be retained as proposed. With respect to commercial use a commercial viability report has been submitted which concludes that commercial use of the property would be unviable owing to the costs of redeveloping the site for light industrial use and likely rental returns, low demand for office space in the rural areas and low demand for tourist accommodation in the area.
Policy DC11 requires all new residential development to contribution towards outdoor playing space. The application is accompanied by a signed and completed unilateral undertaking in this respect.
Design and appearance
External materials would comprise feather edged timber, facing brick and clay pantiles in keeping with the locality. A condition requiring full details to be submitted to and agreed by the Local Planning Authority prior to commencement is considered appropriate. It is considered appropriate to attach a condition that the external joinery is stained black unless otherwise agreed and conditions removing permitted development rights for extensions, roof alterations, porches or ancillary buildings and with respect to any garage, car port or similar structure for garaging of a motor vehicle in the interests of the visual character of the building and its rural setting.
The nearest residential dwelling lies to the west of the dwelling. There are no immediately adjoining dwellings to the east of the dwelling. It is considered that the proposal would not have a significant impact with respect to the existing levels of residential amenity enjoyed by the existing dwelling to the west owing to the separation distance between the proposed dwelling and this property.
Trees and Landscape
Existing boundary hedgerows and trees are to be retained and enhanced on the western boundary between the application site and its nearest neighbour. The Tree and Countryside Consultant has been consulted on the proposal. He has commented that to the east of the entrance drive is one of the largest field maples in the country which is subject to Tree Preservation Order (TPO 2005 No.57 (T1 ). Further information has been requested of all services, as services commonly access under driveways and in this instance may not be acceptable. This information has been received from the applicant and the Tree and Countryside Consultant has confirmed that the information received removes his concerned over the root protection area of the field maple which is subject to a Tree Preservation Order. A tree protection condition is considered appropriate with respect to existing trees.
Protected Species
A Protected Species Survey dated August 2013 has been submitted with the application. The Tree and Countryside Consultant accepts the content. It is recommended that the recommendations for ecological mitigation in Sections 6.1 and 6.2 should be appended as informatives to any consent together with a condition requiring the submission and implementation of a scheme detailing alternative provision of two nest sites for swallows.
Norfolk County Council Highways have been consulted on the proposal and no objections have been received subject to a condition that prior to the first occupation of the development hereby permitted sufficient space is provided within the site to enable 4 No. standard size family cars to park, turn and re-enter the highway in a forward gear.
Contaminated Land
The Councils Contaminated Land Officer has been consulted and no objections are raised subject to a condition in relation to action to be taken with regard to unexpected contamination and a informative relating to asbestos.

With regard to the overall design En-Plan used te existing barn as the design template and replicated the architectural style in both extensions so as they would blend sesamlessly with the main unit and ensure a successful planning application.  This approach was confimred as acceptable by the Council djuring theior design assessment.


EN-PLAN submitted the application to Breckland District Council Planning Department and were able to secure planning approval and the applicant has subsequently sold the plot onto a developer, and pocketed the large profit.

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