Construction has commenced to remodel and add a storey to a bungalow in St Agnes Cornwall. The design promotes a strong Cornish and British theme to celebrate its rural location. The latest Building Information Modelling process has been applied to all aspects of the project from design to the construction process.
This year marked our debut at the Royal Cornwall Show, which has been deemed a great success.
As part of the Green Cornwall Show, BkT Architecture showcased over 10 projects focusing on Rural Enterprise from Farm Diversification, Permitted Development Rights for farm buildings to Affordable Housing schemes.
In a show full of highlights, we welcomed existing and potential clients to our stand where we could offer advice on various aspects of planning, design and construction over the 3 day event, which this year welcomed more than 126,000 people through its gates.
Initial sketch scheme
From the 6th April 2014 new Permitted Development rights came into effect that has allowed the conversion of farm buildings up to 450 sq metres to create a maximum of three dwellings per holding.
The new rules only apply to England and are not available for buildings in designated areas such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Having read through the changes it would appear the new Permitted Development rights are a positive step to utilising disused farm building that have been abandoned due to farms progressing with more modern methods of production.
However, there are various issues that will need to be investigated. An application to notify the Local Council to determine if prior approval will be required relating to the following five key issues.
- Transport and highways impacts of the development
- Noise impact of the development
- Contamination risks of the site
- Flooding risks
- Whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses)
Although the last issue is likely to result in disputes and disagreements between the Developer and the Local Planning Department the others are still hurdles that will need to be addressed.
Furthermore, the new Permitted Development rights state that any agricultural building can be converted with building operations ‘reasonably’ necessary to convert the building will be acceptable. This will surely be a contentious issue between the Developer and Local Planning Department and will be based on personal opinion.
Also, the Local Planning Department can request further additional details of the design or external appearance and can refuse the prior approval if they don’t support the information.
One other fundamental issue that has come to light is a self-build scheme requires a ‘Planning Approval’ to recover VAT which can not be given under a Prior Notification Application. Until H M Revenue and Customs or self-build lenders amend what documents are required VAT will not be recoverable under this scheme.
Overall, I think these changes are welcomed and should be embraced by the Rural Community. Owners of these buildings now have an opportunity to add additional accommodation for sons/daughters or as an investment to let.
However, I am unconvinced as to whether the changes will make Planning Applications easier as the five issues above will need to be addressed and consultations will be made to Natural England, Highways, Environment Officers etc for feedback.
Over recent years I have been involved in several farm building conversion projects and PPS7 (Planning Policy 7) has been the driving policy along with a robust Financial Viability Appraisal to convince the Planning department the application was acceptable. One Application was won at appeal against a stubborn Local Authority which forced them to change their opinion of similar applications thereof after.
Hopefully this will be the end of the Local Planning Departments historic, negative view on the conversion of disused farm buildings into dwellings as maybe they will begin to understand that the conversion of these will give the future rural generation a chance to remain in the countryside.
Any farmer or land owner wanting to find out more please contact Barry Tape on 01872 211645.
Construction is well underway on a replacement tennis clubhouse in #St Agnes. We have been appointed by the Committee to form part of the construction team to assist with the technical specifications, construction drawings and construction stage. Updates to follow
BkT were appointed to review the Farms Planning and Sustainability Strategy for the re-use of old stone barns and to relocate the farmyard to another areas of the estate to provide a sustainable future for the farming business. The planning application has been successful and includes 14KW’s of Solar Panels on the new farm buildings that will produce enough energy for the farm.
BkT have been commissioned by a private client to replace a bungalow with a bungalow. This bungalow is so eco, it actually costs nothing to run by using a combination of micro-renewables, solar gain and has outstanding thermal performance.
The proposed dwelling will be constructed following passivhaus methods utilising high levels of natural insulation, high performance windows, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, photovoltaic panels, wood burner and an electric vehicle charging point. The dwelling will comprise white rendered walls, timber cladding, timber windows and a zinc standing seam roof. The materials and form derive directly from a response to its exposed environment and eliminates unnecessary details at junctions and roof penetrations. The roof structure uses timber glulam beams which have been designed to provide generous eave overhangs to prevent overheating from solar gain and provide weather shelter. The project been granted planning approval and construction work will start later in the year.
We are delighted to have just received planning consent for an outbuilding following negotiations with the Dartmoor National Park Authority. The building will overlook Haytor and has been designed using a timber post and beam structure utilising a light weight foundation system for minimal environmental impact. Construction work is due to start in September 2013. Project link
Extension to cottage nr Newquay.
Foundations, blockwork and oak trusses constructed. Roof vaulted and slates ready to be fixed.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tax that local authorities in England and Wales can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The levy is designed to be fairer, faster and more transparent than the previous system of agreeing planning obligations between local Councils and developers under section 106 agreements of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
In areas where a community infrastructure levy is in force, land owners and developers must pay the levy to the local Council.
The charges are set by the local Council, based on the size and type of the new development. Some Councils have already implemented the CIL whilst others are still at the consultation stage.
Reading through the proposals the CIL is designed to be non-negotiable. No CIL, no development. However, if developers are going to continue building housing stock to still meet the housing need they will will still need to generate a profit and with the addition of the CIL margins may become unviable. Unfortunately CIL will slow down any recent growth in house building with more sites becoming unviable to build on. This will also undoubtably lower the number of affordable houses from each scheme.
Cornwall CIL Watch
The consultation on the preliminary draft charging schedule closed on the 22nd April 2013.
Cornwall Council propose three charging zones for residential development, with charges of £0, £40 and £100 per square metre. The Tax taken from one area will in many cases benefit another i.e. If a self-builder/developer proposes to develop one house with a floor area of 150 square metres (Family sized house) in Morwenstow (North Cornwall), they will have to pay £15,000 toward the CIL and this could be spent in Helston which is proposed to pay nothing for development.