Building Type: Class Q conversion
Location: Teignbridge, Devon
Service: Planning and detailed construction stages
Approx Budget Range: £150-200,000

This project was completed under rights afforded to owners under the General Permitted Development Order – Class Q. This is part of the Permitted Development (PD) that allows change of use and minor alterations to disused agricultural buildings. It allows a new dwelling to be created, provided that the qualifying criteria are all met, and is a streamlined process to achieving a new dwelling in the countryside.

Generally PD class Q barn conversions can often be recognised by their plain, unadorned form (they have to follow the original barn shape as one of the criteria) but otherwise are warm, comfy and energy efficient. This barn was originally a basic timber-framed, partly-enclosed machinery and hay store that hadn’t been used in a long time and was surplus to requirements since the farm had been sold off and reduced to a smallholding, that no longer had such storage needs.

The previous owner had a refused application for converting the barn, but the new owners interrogated this and felt that it was not very well conceived. By bringing in an architect, a planning consultant and experienced structural engineer as a design team they were able to secure consent to convert, and unlock the hidden value associated with such a permission.

The structural engineer reviewed the structure and wrote a summary report and design for the planning approval (necessary as one of the steps for PD approval), the planning consultant brought in a large degree of experience within the legal framework of the planning system and together were able to gain a new permission.

Internally a new mezzanine floor was added to provide two small but adequate bedrooms ‘upstairs’. Below this a larger bedroom with ensuite was added. A family bathroom was located off the entrance hallway at the bottom of the stairs, and the small but efficient kitchen tucks under one of the bedrooms in a lowered ceiling space within the main living area. The remaining height of the barn is retained over the living space to create a spacious and light filled room that feels larger than it is.

With modern insulation, windows and an air source heat pump the building is an efficient, light filled space that performs well.