SBK planning team secures another Class Q approval

Sheldon Bosley Knight’s planning and architecture team is celebrating its latest Class Q replacement scheme approval.

The proposal sought the change of use of a former agricultural barn in Offenham, near Evesham, to a family home.

Once built, the new house will have two storeys, be metal clad and have floor to ceiling glazing at the back to maximise the wonderful views.

Using the existing shell of the barn, it will also feature a variety of eco measures including electric car charging point, triple glazed windows, air source heat pump and solar panels. Outside, a three-bay garage will be constructed in the same style as the house.

It was granted consent by Wychaven council’s planning team on Wednesday, February 7, following an initial Class Q approval last year.

For planning officer Laura Ulyett, who has been with Sheldon Bosley Knight for seven months, it has been exciting to work on, not least as it was her first solo project.

She said: “I’m really pleased with the result. To get an approval on my first application is fantastic but it was also a really interesting application to work on.

“The new house was designed in collaboration with the clients so as to perfectly suit their needs and wants. What was lovely was the fact it’s going to be a home for them to live in rather than it be sold on once built.

“One of the best things about it is the eco features which are becoming more and more important to people who want to incorporate them into their developments. It’s going to be an absolutely lovely family home.”

Given its rural location, the application wasn’t without its challenges. Being mindful of the ecology of the area, ensuring the design was in keeping with the surroundings and navigating the issues surrounding the unadopted road were elements which had to be looked at and checked thoroughly.

Laura said: “There were various challenges along the way. The main one was overcoming the issue of the unadopted road. We had to include a statement by the applicants saying they would work with their neighbours to maintain the roads, for example, making sure any potholes are filled.

“It was also essential there was no harm done to the ecology of the area so checking for evidence of great crested newts which are a protected species, as well as bats and birds such as owls roosting in the barns.”

Although this was Laura’s first Class Q conversion application, SBK’s planning and architecture team has a great deal of experience in this area.

Barn conversions increased in popularity in the 1980s as their use as farm buildings declined. However, redevelopment was not always easy to achieve thanks to complex planning laws.

Since 2014 planning legislation has made such conversions easier with less red tape and more freedom in terms of design.

This is down to the introduction of Class Q permitted development rights which allows for residential conversion of agricultural buildings including barns via “prior approval”.

It means the full planning application process is unnecessary as long as the building concerned meets a series of requirements.

So if you have a barn which you feel is ripe for a Class Q conversion or are after advice or guidance on any other planning matter, get in touch with the team on 01789 387880.