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Aerial view of Bucks Lane Barn in Wymondham.


Bucks Lane Barn, Wymondham, Norfolk.


Variation of Planning Condition Application to allow for new first floor on the approved gymnasium and garage.



Following the original planning approval for the barn conversion and detached garage at Bucks Lane Barn EN-PLAN were able to secure planning approval to alter the original planning conditions to allow for a material alteration to the design of the gymnasium and garage and allow for an increase in ridge height and lowering of the eaves height that produce a design that compliments the main unit and allows for the addition of a of a first floor at a later date, as and when required. by the owners.  The owners who are pursuinga healthy lifestyle are keen to utilise the space for a home gymnasium and yoga studio.  The positon of the building in the Norfolk countryside makes for a perfect setting.

Much of Norfolk's landscape is dominated by arable farmland, with vast fields of crops, such as wheat, barley, and sugar beet. The county is renowned for its fertile soils, and agriculture has been a significant part of the local economy for centuries.  The agrarian setting of Bucks Lane Barn rflects the farming history of the area and it is with this in mind that all development on site has been designed in order to protect the plain simple utilitarian vernacular of the locality.

Wymondham itself is a historic market town located in the county of Norfolk, England. Its history dates back to ancient times, and the town has seen significant developments and changes over the centuries. Wymondham's history can be traced back to the Saxon era. The town's name is believed to have derived from "Wimund's Ham," indicating a settlement belonging to a person named Wimund. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was inhabited during Roman times, and there are remnants of a Roman road nearby. After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Wymondham came under Norman rule. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded the town as a relatively large settlement with a market and a church.  In the 12th century, a Benedictine priory was established in Wymondham, which later became an abbey. The Wymondham Abbey, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was a significant religious and cultural center for the town and the surrounding region. The abbey played a crucial role in shaping the town's development and prosperity during the medieval period. Wymondham was granted a market charter in the 12th century, allowing it to hold regular markets and fairs. This contributed to the town's economic growth and importance as a local trading center. During the Tudor and Stuart eras, Wymondham continued to thrive. The town's timber-framed buildings and narrow streets still reflect its historical character from this period. The dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII in the 16th century led to the closure of Wymondham Abbey. Many of its buildings were dismantled, but parts of the abbey, including the gatehouse, were incorporated into other structures. The iconic Wymondham Market Cross, an octagonal building, was constructed in 1617 to serve as a shelter for market traders. In the 18th century, the town hall was built next to the Market Cross. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, Wymondham experienced further growth and development. The railway line connecting Wymondham to Norwich was established in the mid-19th century, enhancing the town's accessibility and facilitating trade.

Wymondham expanded as a residential town while still retaining its historic charm. It has become a popular place for commuters due to its proximity to Norwich and good transport links. Today, Wymondham is a thriving town that celebrates its historical heritage while embracing modern developments. Visitors can explore its medieval streets, visit the ancient abbey ruins, and enjoy the vibrant community and cultural events that make Wymondham a unique and charming destination.

Variation of Condition 2 of 2014/1908 - Changes to roof pitch, window layout and garage design

Bucks Lane Barn Buck's Lane Wicklewood NR18 9BL

Ref. No: 2018/0745 | Received: Mon 02 Apr 2018 | Valid

ated: Fri 06 Apr 2018 | Status: Decided

The application has allowed for an increase in usable domestic flloor area fo ths residential adjunct and offer flexibility in the accommodation on site that can respond to the familys changing needs in the future. Future avenues for the owners to explore are the creation of primary living accommodation in the outbuilding to create an annex or the conversion fo the building to a stand alonge residential unit or holiday let.

It shold be noted though that normal hosueholders can build an aray of incidental doemstic buildings under permitted development rights that they aoutomiocally have as the owner of the proety.  These rightsa are explained below.

Over the past two years we have seen a stark rise in outbuilding enforcement cases across England. This has been caused by a misunderstanding of Schedule 2 Part 1 Class E of the General Permitted Development Order.

Homeowners tend to think that as long as they remain within dimensional restrictions then they can build large outbuildings without permission – unfortunately it is not as simple as that. En-Plan have seen more and more homeowners falling foul of the confusion over what is and isn’t an ‘incidental use.’

Under Schedule 2 Part 1 Class E of the GPDO, permitted development is defined as:


“(a) any building or enclosure, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such, or the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of such a building or enclosure”.

The fundamental word used in the GPDO is incidental, but in planning terms what does this actually mean?

The dictionary definition is: “Of a minor, casual, or subordinate nature”. Therefore, many homeowners press ahead with large outbuildings, granny annexes, summer houses and garden offices thinking that these are incidental in scale and use to the main dwelling.

However, many outbuildings such as granny annexes and staff accommodation are actually defined as having an ‘ancillary use’. Whilst the dictionary definition of this sounds similar to ‘incidental’, being defined as: “of secondary importance, auxiliary or supplementary,” this in fact is an entirely separate concept in planning law.

Whilst ‘ancillary’ and ‘incidental’ are seemingly similar in their general definitions, the application of these terms within the context of planning means they are fundamentally different.

Planning Definitions

There is so much case law examining ancillary/incidental it is difficult to briefly summarise – but in its most basic terms:

ANCILLARY (needs planning permission) =  generally anything you (as a person ) could do normally in a standard house as built; e.g. eat, sleep, sit comfortably, pray, study, watch tv, shower.

INCIDENTAL (permitted development) = generally everything else. Including storage, swimming, bowling, gym, art studio, or something that can be classed as a hobby. An incidental use is “parasitic” on the primary use- it cannot exist without it. Also ancillary use can be incorporated as long as it’s subordinate to the incidental, i.e. shower room for gym or small bar area- these are seen to not materially extend the normal living accommodation at the property.

Given that Permitted Development rights are supposed to make life easier, the confusion over what you can and can’t do in outbuildings is an example of where this simply isn’t the case.

Before you embark on your outbuilding development we strongly recommend you make absolutely sure you don’t need planning permission.

Further Information on the Variation of Planning Conditions.

Planning conditions are often applied to the grant of planning permission.  These limit and control the way in which the planning permission may be implemented.  Conditions may be imposed on the grant of planning permission for regulating development or use of any land under the control of the applicant, requiring the

carrying out of works on any such land, the removal of any buildings or works authorised by the permission, or the discontinuance of any use of land so authorised, at the end of a specified period, and the carrying out of any works required for the reinstatement of land at the end of that period.


Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows applications to be made for permission to develop without complying with a condition(s) previously imposed on a planning permission. The local planning authority can grant such permission unconditionally or subject to different conditions, or they can refuse the application if they decide that the original condition(s) should continue.  Please refer to our dedicated page on this matter for further examples.

Your application must be submitted on the National Planning Application Forms (1APP). You can submit the forms by post or online via the Planning Portal. For more information please refer to Information and Resources.

Planning fees are set by the Government. Please refer to the Schedules of Planning Fees for the correct fee by clicking here

Latest Developments

2023/0466 | Extensions to main unit and detached outbuilding | Bucks Lane Barn Buck's Lane Wicklewood Norfolk NR18 9BL

Proposal and Site Context

The application site lies within the open countryside and accommodates an existing barn conversion and outbuilding. The site is entirely exposed to the open agricultural fields that bound it. The dwelling and outbuilding create a courtyard style arrangement which accommodates the main entrance to the dwelling. The proposal is to erect two lean-to extensions to the dwelling and a small lean-to extension to the outbuilding.  The extenmsion sare to facilate the housing of an air source heat pump, new utility room, and the removal of passive solar gain in the summer months by the canopies added to the western elevation.



The extensions are acceptable in principle under Policy DM3.6. As such the main considerations are design and impact upon residential amenity.

With regard to desighn we must first understand the historical design of barns in Norfolk.  The historical design of barns in Norfolk reflects the agricultural heritage and traditional building techniques of the region. Norfolk, being a rural county with a strong agricultural history, has a rich tradition of barn construction that evolved over the centuries. Traditional Norfolk barns are typically constructed using timber framing, a building technique that involves large wooden beams and posts joined together with mortise and tenon joints. The frames are often left exposed both inside and outside, showcasing the skill of local craftsmen. Many historical Norfolk barns feature thatched roofs, which were a common roofing material in the region due to the availability of locally sourced reeds and straw. Thatched roofs provide excellent insulation and have a distinctive rural charm.


Norfolk barns often have a longitudinal layout, with the longer sides of the barn facing the prevailing winds to protect the structure and its contents from harsh weather conditions. Barns in Norfolk typically have strategically placed ventilation openings to allow air circulation, crucial for drying crops and preventing mold and rot. These openings often have wooden louvers that can be adjusted to control airflow. The ends of Norfolk barns often feature gable walls with decorative timberwork, and some barns may have porches or lean-tos attached to provide additional covered storage space. Many barns in Norfolk have brick plinths, serving as a solid foundation to elevate the timber structure off the ground. This helps protect the wood from rot caused by dampness.  In some cases, older barns were constructed using reclaimed materials, such as recycled timbers from earlier buildings, reflecting the practical and resourceful nature of the local farming communities. Norfolk barns were designed with specific agricultural functions in mind. For example, some barns had separate sections for storing different crops or livestock. Livestock areas might have lower walls to provide better ventilation, while grain storage areas required secure doors to protect against pests. While there are some common features in historical Norfolk barns, there is also a degree of local variation in design and construction methods. Different areas within Norfolk might have distinct barn styles influenced by the availability of materials and the prevailing farming practices.


Over time, some of these historical barns have been preserved as part of the region's cultural heritage, while others have been adapted for modern agricultural use or converted into alternative functions, such as event venues or holiday accommodations. The traditional design of Norfolk barns remains an essential part of the county's architectural identity and rural landscape.


 With reference to design the scale, form, choice of materials and overall design details were all considered appropriate and in keeping with the existing dwelling. Regarding the dwelling alterations, the northern side extension continues the existing form of the single-storey element and fenestration details are consistent with existing. The western extension also follows the form of a traditional lean-to extension with matching materials. Regarding the small extension to the outbuilding, this also follows a simple lean-to form with matching materials. The extensions are visible across the wider open views which include listed buildings, however, given the traditional and consistent approach, the extensions were considered to not adversely impact the character and appearance of the barn which continues to clearly appear to be the buildings’ original purpose or the wider area / surrounding heritage assets. It was considered that the proposal did accord with Policy 16 of the NPPF, Policy DM3.8 and DM4.10 of the SNLP and Sections 16 and S66(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.


With regards to impact upon residential amenity, there was not considered to be any adverse impact on privacy, daylight, direct sunlight, or outlook by virtue of the siting of the proposed alteration and distance of this to the nearest neighbouring residential property. Thus, the proposal accords with Policy DM3.13. 


The extensions are not considered to impact parking and turning facilities considering their location and purpose. Thus, the site continues to accord with Policy DM3.12.


Other Considerations

The application was also assessed against the conservation objectives for the protected habitats of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation and the Broads Special Area of Conservation and Ramsar Site concerning nutrient pollution in accordance with the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2017 (as amended) (Habitats Regulations). 


The River Wensum Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Broads Special Area of Conservation and Ramsar Site are two important designations that recognize the ecological significance and conservation value of these areas in Norfolk, England. The River Wensum SAC is a protected area designated under the European Union's Habitats Directive. It is located in the county of Norfolk and encompasses parts of the River Wensum and its surrounding habitats. The River Wensum is a chalk river that flows through the city of Norwich and its surrounding countryside. The SAC designation is primarily aimed at protecting and conserving the river's diverse range of habitats and species. The River Wensum is known for its high ecological value, supporting a variety of plant and animal species, including important populations of aquatic plants, invertebrates, fish, and birds. The conservation measures implemented within the SAC aim to preserve the river's natural flow dynamics, water quality, and riparian habitats, ensuring the survival of its unique biodiversity.


The Broads is a network of interconnected lakes, rivers, and marshes situated in Norfolk and parts of Suffolk. It is one of Britain's most significant wetland areas, providing vital habitats for a wide range of plants, animals, and birds. The Broads has received dual protection under both the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar Site designations. Designated under the Habitats Directive, the Broads SAC aims to safeguard the unique and diverse wetland habitats found within the area. These include reedbeds, fens, grazing marshes, open water, and wet woodlands. The protection measures focus on maintaining and restoring the ecological integrity of these habitats, promoting sustainable land management, and ensuring the survival of rare and endangered species. The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. The Broads has been designated as a Ramsar Site due to its importance as a wetland of international significance. The designation recognizes the area's critical role in supporting a wide array of waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wetland-dependent species. It also highlights the Broads' ecological functions, such as flood regulation and water purification. Both the River Wensum SAC and the Broads SAC and Ramsar Site play a crucial role in preserving the natural heritage of Norfolk, protecting valuable ecosystems, and providing opportunities for people to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and biodiversity of these special places.


The Habitat Regulations require Local Planning Authorities to ensure that new development does not cause adverse impacts to the integrity of protected habitats such as the River Wensum or the Broads prior to granting planning permission. The proposal relates to an existing residential unit and will not increase the number of dwellings. Using the average occupancy rate of 2.4 people, the proposal is unlikely to lead to a significant effect as it would not involve a net increase in population in the catchment and is not considered a high water use development. This application has been screened, using a precautionary approach, as is not likely to have a significant effect on the conservation objectives either alone or in combination with other projects and there is no requirement for additional information to be submitted to further assess the effects. The application can, with regards nutrient neutrality, be safely determined with regards the Conservation of Species Habitats Regulations 2017 (as amended).


Under Section 143 of the Localism Act the council is required to consider the impact on local finances. This can be a material consideration but in the instance of this application the other material planning considerations detailed above are of greater significance.



It is considered that the design is in keeping with the property and that the proposal will not have an adverse impact on the wider open countryside and heritage assets or the amenity of either the immediate neighbours or the wider area. As such the proposal accords with the criteria set out within policies DM3.6, DM3.8, DM3.12, DM3.13 and DM4.10 of the Local Plan, Policy 1 and 2 of the Joint Core Strategy and Sections 16 and S66(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Further Information on Energy Saving Tips for Barn Conversions

How to remove passive solar gain

Passive solar gain refers to the natural heating of a building through sunlight during the summer months. While passive solar gain can be beneficial during colder seasons, it can lead to uncomfortable indoor temperatures and increased cooling costs in the summer.


Here are some effective strategies to reduce passive solar gain and keep your home cooler during hot weather:

  1. External shading: Install external shading devices such as awnings, pergolas, or sunshades on windows and doors facing the sun. These structures will block direct sunlight from entering the building and significantly reduce solar heat gain.

  2. Window treatments: Use light-colored or reflective window treatments, such as blinds, curtains, or shades, to block and reflect sunlight away from the interior. Keep them closed during the hottest parts of the day to prevent excessive heat buildup.

  3. Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings: Consider using Low-E window coatings on your windows. These coatings reflect infrared light (heat) while allowing visible light to pass through, helping to reduce heat gain.

  4. Window films: Apply solar control window films to your windows to reduce the amount of heat and UV radiation entering your home. These films can help block a significant portion of solar heat gain without obstructing the view.

  5. Ventilation: Promote natural ventilation by opening windows during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning and evening, to allow cooler air to flow through the house.

  6. Insulation: Ensure that your home is well-insulated to prevent heat transfer from the outside to the inside. Adequate insulation helps maintain a more stable indoor temperature.

  7. Landscaping: Plant deciduous trees or use trellises with climbing plants on the southern and western sides of the building. During the summer, the foliage will block the sun, providing shade to the building, and during the winter, the leaves will fall, allowing sunlight to pass through.

  8. Roofing materials: Choose lighter-colored roofing materials, which will absorb less heat from the sun compared to darker materials.

  9. Reflective surfaces: Use light-colored or reflective materials for walls, especially for those facing the sun, to minimize solar heat absorption.

  10. Cool roofs: Install cool roof systems that are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofs.


Combining several of these strategies can help effectively reduce passive solar gain in your home during the summer, creating a more comfortable and energy-efficient living environment.

What is the best way to install an air source heat pump?

Installing an air source heat pump requires careful planning, proper sizing, and professional installation to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.  There are the key steps to consider for the best way to install an air source heat pump.

Firstly begin with a thorough site assessment. Evaluate the available space for the outdoor unit, ensuring there is sufficient clearance and proper airflow around the heat pump. Check for any potential obstructions that might affect its performance, such as nearby trees or buildings.


Determine the correct size of the heat pump needed for your property. This involves calculating the heat load based on factors such as the building's insulation, size, and layout. Oversizing or undersizing the heat pump can lead to inefficiencies and higher energy costs.


After the inital assessment you need to hire a certified and experienced HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) professional to install the heat pump. Ensure the installer has experience with air source heat pumps and is familiar with local building codes and regulations. Install the outdoor unit in a location with good air circulation and minimal noise impact on occupants and neighbors. Elevate the unit on a concrete pad or sturdy platform to protect it from flooding and debris. Determine the best location for the indoor unit, which includes the air handler or fan coil unit. This should be in a convenient location for airflow distribution throughout the building. Properly size and install the refrigerant lines that connect the indoor and outdoor units. Ensure they are insulated to prevent heat loss or gain. All connections must be sealed correctly to avoid refrigerant leaks. The heat pump requires a dedicated electrical circuit. Ensure that the electrical connections are done by a licensed electrician and comply with local electrical codes.

Once the installation is complete, the heat pump system must undergo commissioning and testing to verify its proper functioning and efficiency. This process involves checking refrigerant levels, airflow, and the system's overall performance. You ideally need to provide user training to the building occupants on how to operate and maintain the heat pump system effectively. This will help maximize energy savings and ensure the system's longevity. You should also schedule regular maintenance by a qualified technician to keep the heat pump operating efficiently and to address any issues promptly. Remember that proper installation is crucial to the long-term performance and efficiency of your air source heat pump. Hiring a professional installer and following these steps will help you get the most out of your heat pump system while reducing your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

What is the best way to install solar panels on a barn conversion?

Installing solar panels on a barn conversion requires careful planning, adherence to local regulations, and professional expertise to ensure safety, efficiency, and optimal performance. There are some key steps for the best way to install solar panels on a barn conversion.

Firstly begin with a thorough assessment of your roof's suitability for solar panels. Check for factors like roof orientation (south-facing roofs are typically best for maximum sunlight exposure), pitch, shading from nearby trees or buildings, and the structural integrity of the roof. Before proceeding with the installation, check local planning regulations and obtain any necessary approvals.

Invest in high-quality solar panels from reputable manufacturers. Consider factors like efficiency, warranties, and the long-term reliability of the panels and hire a professional solar installer with experience in residential installations. Look for certifications and references from previous customers to ensure their expertise and reliability. You should work with the installer to design the layout of the solar panels on your roof. They will take into account factors like available space, optimal tilt angle, and avoiding shading issues to maximize solar energy production.


Before installing the solar panels, ensure the roof is in good condition and, if necessary, make any repairs or replacements. Properly sealing and waterproofing the roof penetrations is essential to prevent leaks. The solar panels can be mounted using different types of racking systems. Depending on your roof type and installation requirements, your installer will use either roof-integrated or surface-mounted racking. The installer will connect the solar panels using electrical wiring, ensuring all connections are secure and complying with electrical codes. A proper grounding system will be installed to enhance safety. Install an inverter that converts the direct current (DC) generated by the solar panels into usable alternating current (AC) for your home's electricity needs. Consider choosing a high-quality and efficient inverter.

System Testing and Commissioning: After installation, the solar panel system will undergo testing to ensure proper functioning and compliance with safety standards. You should then set up a monitoring system to keep track of your solar system's performance. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the panels and checking for any issues, is essential for optimal efficiency.


By following these steps and working with experienced professionals, you can install solar panels on your domestic property in the most effective and efficient manner, reducing your reliance on traditional energy sources and contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss varying an existing permission and see how we can help you please do not hesitate to contact us for a free no obligation consultation.

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En-Plan: Planning & Architectue Chartered Planning Consultants Chartered Town Planning Consultants


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