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30th May 2022



Well 6 months on and once again the only progress is paid work.

After all the disappointment over the issues we have been pretending that it's not happening.


We came up with a list of options.


Give up totally and clear the site 

Return the barn to stables

Sell as it is

Sell barn and our house so we don't have to watch someone else do what we wanted to do.

Hand over to a building company even though we can't really afford to.

Try and progress slowly.


We tried this, but none of the groundworkers who visited would even give us a quote and just stopped responding to us, so obviously just too much hassle.


So, final option seemed to be start again and try for planning for a knock down and rebuild.


In the end this option is the direction that we are trying to go in.

I had some very long conversations with the architect, same company, but different person who is much more experienced in Class Q.  Slight issue, he is based in Exeter and we are East coast.

But, discussing the situation, taking into account the increase in materials, the lack of builders and the general issues he said he would send us through some ideas.


I also sent him some drawings that I did using some software explaining to him what we would really like.

He sent back his costs based on his ideas, but I explained to him that I have been thinking about this for many years and I am very happy with the curtilage, the location of the build and that I don't want a bigger garden or house come to that.

All these things would make planning more tricky, as I said to him, I want to start from scratch, but in exactly the same spot, with the same size garden and the same outlook.

So of the reasons for this were to hopefully make potential planning easier as it will be replaced a barn rather than building a new build in a different spot in the countryside.

I also pointed out to him that his company had already done drawings similar to what I want so that should make their job easier.


So, after our 'talks' he came back with a preliminary cost schedule, reduced by £500 and excluding full building drawings until after he has planning on the slightly modified current drawings.


So, now more waiting whilst they prepare the first draft.


Hopefully, it would be too long before we can actually get going on this build.





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I've done a stable conversion (half way through now, but liveable) and have watched your blog with interest. I also couldn't get proper quotes or reliable people at first, I think partly because a conversion is so tricky to price up. Lots of people advised me to apply for demolish and rebuild but it seemed that the council were very keen on reuse here. It can end up like Trigger's broom. Class Q must be stressful because you are supposed to finish in 3 years, so full planning would give you more time. My architect had a good relationship with the planning officer and discussed several versions of appearance. My neighbours managed a rebuild of a barn with living accommodation and a couple of internal 'stables' by playing the rural worker's dwelling card. pm me if you would like details.




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My architect is planning on using the gambit that a rebuild will be more environmentally friendly and efficient and of course that a house will be there anyway so a 'better' one will be preferable.

We  have had a direct neighbour, 2 fields away, who got class Q, then managed to get it changed to rebuild in a different footprint, his argument is that it will be a holiday let not a new house in the countryside.  This is a 5 bedroom 320 sqm house which everyone is pretty sure will end up residential.

But, that aside that build can be seen from my build so the architect says that precedent has been set.


I know about the 3 year rule, and if necessary we know someone who will take it on and do the whole thing, but not as we would like it so we don't really want to do that unless really necessary.  We would also need to sell our house to pay for it, which we were also hoping not to have to do at this stage.


I will talk to my architect and send you a PM if he thinks that will help.


Which LPA are you, I know ours is pretty strict.


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conversion, the LPA said that the barn must be converted as a rebuild is a new build in the countryside which is not allowed.
We are still doing it now, but am converting with some issues as not straight or the right measurements for blocks etc.

We have had to do some underpinning as well.

It would have been much easier to knock down and rebuild, but it was convert or nought so convert it is.


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2 minutes ago, LSB said:

It would have been much easier to knock down and rebuild, but it was convert or nought so convert it is.

Bonkers, they could have stipulated it looked like a conversion but benefitted from being a new build. My new build looked like an old cottage just by incorporating certain features.

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this does seem to depend on the LPA, ours is very strict about this, but they have been good about the time, we are late due to covid and they accepted that as they came and visited and were happy because we are working on it.  They took away 5 apps, 3 because the 'barn' had disappeared and looked like a new build and 2 because nothing had been done in the 3 years since planning was permitted


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