A client who had retained us previously to design an extension to a property in Cheshire approached us to give advice on a site in the East Midlands in excess of two acres where they had previously tried to obtain planning permission some six years earlier. A local architect's practice had been instructed to put together proposals to redevelop the existing farm buildings which were in very poor structural condition to form two separate dwellings. They produced a detailed scheme for a substantial fee and submitted to the local authority. It was refused.
The buildings comprised of one single storey barn and one much larger barn which could be made into a two storey dwelling with single storey attached outbuildings. One major problem was that though the site was some distance from the coast, it lay in a potential 3a flood zone. Preliminary discussions were held with the Planning Authority after a flood risk assessment was undertaken by EDS that established that the site had never been flooded even in 1953 when sea defences were overcome resulting in great loss of life. To be granted planning permission it would be necessary to produce a detailed scheme together with a detailed highly comprehensive 'Flood Risk Assessment' all by EDS . On the basis of the discussions with the planning authority, we were instructed to prepare a detailed planning submission.
The single storey barn was extended creating a three bedroom property with a large garden area fronting the site. The two storey barn had four bedrooms and two bathrooms to the first floor. The single storey outbuildings were brought into the ground floor accommodation with additional exterior store rooms and a substantial garage and also had the benefit of the substantial paddock to the rear of the house. Despite the fact that the site had never been flooded, both buildings included mitigating design elements to ensure the safety of the occupants as well as greatly improving the site to be fully in keeping with the small surrounding rural village. The scheme received full planning permission from the Local Authority.
The single storey building which had previously been the original dairy of the farm was in poor condition. A detailed structural survey was undertaken which confirmed it was possible to retain and upgrade the original local brick structure and install high quality insulation to the interior wall faces. The building was extended with a matching brick outer face over a modern high performance structure. The roof was rebuilt and faced in red clay pantiles that matched the original roof. The building was designed to use minimum energy and by retaining the existing building fabric was fully in line with current thinking of recycling the building fabric and thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the development.
Originally the main storage barn for the farm, the structure of the main barn could be saved but the attached single storey buildings were beyond saving. The roof tiles and original brickwork could be used in the new structure, again complying with the recycle approach and also with extensive insulation to keep running costs to a minimum. The layout to the ground floor allowed for very generous room sizes as well as a four car garage and tack store rooms for the horses that would call the pasture home.