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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. 

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.

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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