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To buy not to buy and what to expect.


Robw85
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22 minutes ago, Lorenz said:
44 minutes ago, saveasteading said:

Archaeological features can be astounding or mundane.

If it was a Roman villa then your project stands still for years, at your expense.

However, most investigations that I have had to allow on site have simply been looking for old trenches/field boundaries  and tracks. 

This delays the work, especially excavation, and they make you pay for their investigations (£2k or so)

But then they go away and you are usually allowed to do what you like.

What are your features?

 

I am sympathetic to understanding our history. What annoys me is that planners ask archaeologists if they have any comments, and they then require an investigation for which you pay them.

 

Long Barrow and Tumulus about 120 metres from the structures.

Our plot is adjacent to a 12th century battle site, is a few km from a pair of iron age hills forts and 1km from a roman fort. Not to mention all the barrows, cairns etc in the area.
I was expecting to jump through a lot of hoops for archeology and it was never mentioned. No one gave a monkey's about it. 

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This is hypothetical, I may go the OPD route in Wales, but this Q seems to be about the only way in England. So here is a place, either building would suit me as a project, the stone one is bigger than it looks in the photos from what I can see on the satellite and the Barn looks big enough to do 2 proper floors but the roof pitch is a bit ugly. Both seem to be hard against the border...

Land for sale in Lot C - Chewton Hill, Chewton Mendip, BA3 (rightmove.co.uk)

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Every farm that is a real working one has several old cars. what's the point of having land then paying to dispose of stuff?

 

Just remember to allow for the cost of a complete new building, as what is there has no  (or tiny) value, and there is asbestos cladding to remove and dispose of to Peterborough.

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6 minutes ago, saveasteading said:

Every farm that is a real working one has several old cars. what's the point of having land then paying to dispose of stuff?

 

Just remember to allow for the cost of a complete new building, as what is there has no  (or tiny) value, and there is asbestos cladding to remove and dispose of to Peterborough.

Has to go to Peterborough? I thought it could be disposed of by the local council sites if it bagged up correctly?

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5 minutes ago, Lorenz said:

Peterborough?

And where do they send it? They used to have an area at the council tips for it, then buried it in clay. 

Now it gets lorried up and taken away at about £3,000 per load. The council will not take a large quantity, only sundry domestic amounts, as this avoids it going in with the rubbish and endangering the refuse staff.

Even doing it yourself, which is legal, requires a sealed skip and disposable clothing, then gets taken away and a very large fee for disposal.

Even farmers are supposed to do it properly these days.....never trust a pile of earth on a farm......

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16 minutes ago, saveasteading said:

And where do they send it? They used to have an area at the council tips for it, then buried it in clay. 

Now it gets lorried up and taken away at about £3,000 per load. The council will not take a large quantity, only sundry domestic amounts, as this avoids it going in with the rubbish and endangering the refuse staff.

Even doing it yourself, which is legal, requires a sealed skip and disposable clothing, then gets taken away and a very large fee for disposal.

Even farmers are supposed to do it properly these days.....never trust a pile of earth on a farm......

When i was in Latvia, the farmers used to use it on roadways, over here they used to soak it and throw it on fires....

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We had asbestos on part of our barn, we removed it ourselves, double wrapped each sheet, double wrapped the skip and put 2 layer of DPM over the top.

There is a tip near here that has a licence to bury it themselves.

To get it done we were quoted 6k, it cost us about 2k to do it ourselves with the cost of the special skip, DPM to cover everything, special clothing and licence to dispose.

 

 

When we were looking someone offered to take if from us for £500, wonder which layby it would have ended up in.

 

I've just realised where this is, my best friend lives in Chewton Mendip and runs a B&B.

 

I'd love to move back to that area of the country, but need to finish this build and retire.

 

 

Edited by LSB
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2 hours ago, LSB said:

 

To get it done we were quoted 6k, it cost us about 2k to do it ourselves with the cost of the special skip, DPM to cover everything, special clothing and licence to dispose.

If you don’t mind me asking who did you use to dispose of your asbestos? 3 of the barns on the site I’m looking at are all covered in it. 

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On 22/08/2021 at 14:36, Robw85 said:

Hi all, I’m looking at buying some land with 5 barns on it.

 

This one (pictured) I think would be the easiest of all as it’ll only be a single story project given the height of the building. 

Now I’m not all familiar with conversions so before I go though is there anything I really need to know? 
The barn frames are of different construction, this one is oak framed supports and trusses. Some of the others are also oak framed and one is of a concrete covered reinforced steel frame.  

All of them have single phase electrics and running water but no sewage waste or gas/oil.
What kind of prices would one expect to convert to a single story, for this one all we’d really want to do is a glass front, bifold on the other side then just bed room partition then open plan kitchen lounge. 
 

sorry for the questions just like to know what one is to expect. 
 
many thanks

 

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Hello Rob.

 

There are no daft questions, it's daft not to ask in fact. I hope this helps to add to your research knowledge.

 

To add to the great informative comments from other posts I'll touch on the structural side of things. I'll do a bit of general stuff first (tell a story)  and then focus a bit on what you have.

 

A bit of background on agricultural buildings... lets go "back to the second world war" Very roughly.. and there are a good few bits missing from the following but I've written this to take you hopefully on the "Build Hub Journey" 

 

When this war started the steel industry were a bit more advanced in the quality of the material they were producing. They went to Churchill (well not him really but it sounds good) and said.. look we need steel for the war effort. We have moved on from making steel in our back garden and now have "quality control" so our steel is more reliable and less varaible in quality. As it is less variable allow us to reduce the factors of safety we need to apply. This way we will use less steel for building domestic structures and there will be more available for making tanks etc.

 

I will stand corrected but the Gov said OK. Now the concrete folk said...hang on that's not fair as we are all at war.. let us too reduce our safety factors..but they were still making concrete in their "back garden". In essence in a war situation Chuchhill said OK although there was no rational safety basis for doing so. The only basis was that we were in a war.. frankly, if we had lost it we would have much more to worry about than safety factors of concrete and steel design.

 

Moving on..Rationing was still in place after the war and for a while folk still had ration cards, eating powdered eggs and so on. Folk wanted to see some improvement..

 

There was a push to mechanise farms, improve production. farmers made hay. Barns were needed to house grains and live stock. No one gave two hoots about the quality of the barn stuctures as the populase were restless and demanded a higher standard of diet. The demand was immediate not least politically.

 

Over the next few decades the insurance industry clocked that they were having to shell out for barns say that were say "falling down" too often. Maybe they woke up to the fact that farmers are quite canny, were stuffing them and "having a laugh"..

 

One part of the solution was to start to bring agicultural barns into the "building regs" They started to codify the design. One other driver for this was also that a lot of kids / young men were getting killed on farms back then. It was what we would call today "carnage"

 

What then happened to some extent was that the farmers went "mental" and said if you impose these regs on us the food price is going to go up. I think a compromise was reached where the farmers got a half way house and this manifests today in the modern agicultural code BS 5502 part 22.BS EN 5502.

 

A key thing about this code is that agricultural building design is based on lower loadings, a lower what we call "occupancy rate" , and have no proscribed deflection limits..the amount it sways / deflection.

 

Deflection is critical if you want to use the same frame for a house. It may not fall down but it will move so much that it will burst your cladding fixings and the place will leak like a sieve. Have a look at modern cladding systems, they all have caveats on deflection. If that is not enough then go back to the loadings and occupancy rates.. they are often not compatible with the regs for modern housing roof loads and so on.

 

As an aside jump now to 1980's. Here (and it still happens from time to time) we were getting a lot of "fake sections" from Asia. They are hard to spot, they look like a BS standard sections.. put a micrometer on the flanges and they are thin! Also they had a lot of impurities in the steel which compromises the welding. They are a "shoogly peg" to hang your new house off.

 

Rob and for all. In reality nine times out of ten you''ll find that the frames are of no use structurally. If you want to delve down an SE will want to look at the base connections, have to make safe assumptions on the quality of the steel / oak frame / timber / concrete degredation / the size of the founds. Then the SE has to look at whether they can sign off on the fact that what you have will last for another 50 years which is often a lender requirement.

 

Also remember that in the case of timbers when you alter the ground level, moisture content and let in air you can promote decay in timbers. timbers buiried in the ground will last for hundreds if not thousands of years.. look at some of the old oak piles etc found in the Thames.. all good until you let the air get at them.

 

To sum up. I would start out by investigating the ins and out's. It's a pity that the planners in some cases insist on the retention of a building frame that has no historic value and  is no longer serviceable.

 

They fail to recognise that by trying to retain a frame that has outlived it's service life is actually bad for the environment, can prevent young folk getting on the housing ladder and so on.

 

Rob. Lastly you have a fair mix of frames and different constructions. If you want post some photos of the concrete clad frames.. would be interested to see what you have to work with.

 

Oh and if you are converting an old barn there were just as many chancers cutting corners in the past as there are now so proceed with that in mind.

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Wow Gus what a informative post, thank you. 
We have a planning consultant coming to view next week so hopefully I’ll have more of an idea then if that goes well I guess a structural engineering would need to have a look. 

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Gus, as always has great advice and background info.

As I was building streel buildings for 35 years I can add a bit to this.

 

On occasions we were asked to adapt existing structures for modern use, or even to relocate a dismantled building.

We either declined or quoted for all new, and then won the work as new.

I did estimate both ways once and new-build was far cheaper, and a much better product.

 

It only works for being another agricultural building.

The factors of safety for populated use add about 30% to the loads that the building is ready to support, so it can take thick snow on the roof, and hurricanes.

 

I had never heard of a commercial steel building falling down. But I asked a farmer, and he said there were often reports in the farming press of collapses, especially in the winter. As there were no humans involved, it goes unreported elsewhere.

So these buildings you are looking at are no use except as precedents for planning permission. It would be cheaper to take it all away and start anew, but you cant because of planning rules.

Therefore you have to retain the steel, add extra frames to make it strong enough and underpin the existing frames. 

 

Being a cynical sort, I assumed most people were getting away with using the existing structure, so asked a building inspector. 'Absolutely not, it has to done properly'. Perhaps the reason we don't hear is that the owners just have to keep spending, and don't tell us about it.

 

This is entirely a commercial statement, reminding you to allow plenty of build cost, while others may not.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 25/08/2021 at 13:21, saveasteading said:

I am sympathetic to understanding our history. What annoys me is that planners ask archaeologists if they have any comments, and they then require an investigation for which you pay them.

It much more than annoys me - I may start a public campaign against it.  It is an unfair stealth tax that few people except commercial developers even know about.

 

In Scotland (and probably the other nations also) If they discover something they like the look of and want to document, record and/or take away there is no cap or limit on the costs you are liable for, whether you have £5 to your name or £50m. Any artifacts found do not belong to you. The only slight saving grace is that the archaeologist cannot instruct the digger to dig beyond what is required to complete your works. They can only tell them to stop, apart from if human remains are found and then police are called and it all changes.

 

The Argyll & Bute pre-application process (designed to save you wasting your and their time on a full planning application) is designed to prevent unwanted surprises by warning of issues that might arise. The paperwork even mentions archaeology specifically as one of the possible issues. But then the smallprint says the council has no liability and you have zero come-back if something gets missed in their report. This enables an archaeology order to be placed on your project later and without warning and as a condition of your full planning permission if the local council archaeologist decides on it based on other data in the vicinity. The reason for the surprise ambush is presumably to try and stop developers burying or destroying archaeology on the quiet in advance.

 

This based on personal experience. I was lucky (most people are) to get sign-off on site in a day with nothing found and an archaeologist's bill of £1000, of which £134 was a fee to the council archaeology department.

 

 

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like many people we had to have an archaeology survey for our barn conversion, build in the 60's.

They didn't find anything thankfully, but one condition of planning that we are not allowed to replace the 120m driveway in case there is anything under the muddy track.

 

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Looks like class Q is out of the question has been applied twice and rejected twice. 
 

Had a planning consultant come out yesterday, said it’ll be best to knock the others down and start again, apply for PP to get something in keeping with the old barn design to try and get it approved. 
 

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I would not knock them down, not yet. When were they last applied for as I was under the impression that class Q was loosened up a lot a few months back. But others here will know for sure. No buildings no class Q, no planning permission.

How many acres, if more than 12.5, there maybe other approaches you could make?

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18 minutes ago, Robw85 said:

applied twice and rejected twice

 

What were the reasons for rejections though?

And on what basis did the planning consultant think it would be easier to get full PP on the same site?

Naively I'd have thought if the planners are finding ways to deny a class Q (which you could make look like whatever they like), then they would not be minded to grant full planning?

 

In an ideal world yes as @Gus Potter says it would make more sense in almost every way if you knocked down and started again, but the planning environment usually prevents this. Does the consultant know that the local planners are actually in favour of this enlightened approach?

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Class Q was already applied on another building when the farm was as a whole. It’s since been split up. 
said if we knocked demolished 2 of them, that would leave us with the 18th century barn and a 1960s one. Said we’d have more luck getting planning if we demolished the 1960s one too and had a new PP with a new building in a similar style to the 18th century one so it’s in keeping with the area. 
will also need an archaeological survey and record. 

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The devil's in the detail with Class Q. From what you've put above the rejection of "other barns" is a little vague. Have you looked on the Planning Portal yourself and read the reasons for Rejection, and would that also apply to these barns? Or, has the Planning consultant given you a full explanation of why it would not work for these barns. Just make sure you are satisfied that that option is really off the table. Feel free to upload the (anonymised) Officer Report for the previous Class Q applications, to get comment on them.

 

There has been no easing of the Class Q rules, since they were first introduced as Class MB, however it is now possible to convert a greater area of barn(s) to residential if you juggle your large (over 100m²) and small (under 100m²) houses effectively. Guidance has been added though to help LPAs be more consistent with their decisions.

 

The alternate route your planning consultant is suggesting is certainly an option. National Planning Policy Framework rules are strongly against development in the open countryside, but there are caveats, such as "unless the development enhances the openness". Trading off existing structures in order to convert another is one of the arguments that LPAs will accept.

It's quite possible that as well as the archaeological survey, the LPA will also want a contamination survey and a protected species survey. Better though that these are pre-commencement conditions rather than all having to be done up front with the application, to avoid your costs spiralling.

Edited by IanR
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Our proposed development would remove a 200m2 barn, a 150m2 barn, 4 smaller out buildings around the old red brick barn that the farmer put up.  
Rebuild and convert the red brick (pre 19th) that is in disrepair. 
and convert the remaining two middles ones (1960s) that have been combined into one with a lean to he got permission for and built already in 2018. 

so we’d open up the land more by doing this plan
 

He said we could submit a pre planning application and see how it goes before going any further doesn’t see planning getting refused if we remove the other structures.
Some of the previous refusals shouldn’t effect us on PP. 

He said if we lowered the barn to a more suitable height in keeping with the red brick it’s got more chance of acceptance but you might as well start a fresh with a new build doing that.
ATM they are all an eye sore bunch of derelict barns/sheds in a field and the red one is falling apart doing nothing. 

 

He did mention contamination and a bat survey will need to be done. 

 


Previous reasons for refusal were as follows; 

 

Change from agriculture to general industrial 

 

Consultee comments - Insufficient information given within plans to see how it would operate - members have concerns about access etc

 

Environmental health - noise and other environmental impacts to neighbours

 

Public comments - 

No due to single lane road unlit and with ditches on both sides. Increase in traffic etc

 

1 building is a local heritage asset and a local land mark —- (it’s not listed!)

Previous planning app classed it as a both fragile and irreplaceable and can’t see how it can be converted into general industrial

 

Next was - withdrawn same applicant as above

 

Change of use of agricultural buildings to a flexible use within shops (Class A1), financial and professional services (Class A2), restaurants and cafes (Class A3), business (Class B1), storage or distribution (Class B8), hotels (Class C1) or assembly and leisure (Class D2).

 

 

This one was - refused 

 

The proposed development site is a Local Heritage Asset. This threshing barn and adjoining shelter shed was built in the third quarter of the 19th century. The brickwork of both buildings is corbeled out just below the eaves. The barn is embellished with simple pilasters. The barn has a hipped roof covered with slates. The shelter shed has a hipped roof covered with clay pantiles. A barn was constructed on the site between 1792 and 1797. The barn was described in 1866 as "lately rebuilt" and it is possible that the replacement barn reused bricks from the earlier barn. Historic buildings are both fragile and irreplaceable and any permitted development on site should therefore be preceded by a programme of archaeological investigation which should be secured by an appropriate condition attached to any forthcoming planning consent. 

 

It is therefore recommended that if this proposal is approved that a full archaeological condition is attached to the planning consent. This is in line with advice given the National Planning Policy Framework,

 

L1 Archaeological Assessment

No development including any site clearance or groundworks of any kind shall take place within the site until the applicant or their agents; the owner of the site or successors in title has submitted an archaeological assessment by an accredited archaeological consultant to establish the archaeological significance of the site. Such archaeological assessment shall be approved by the local planning authority and will inform the implementation of a programme of archaeological work. The development shall be carried out in a manner that accommodates such approved programme of archaeological work. 

 

L2 Archaeological Building Recording Programme

No development or demolition/conversion of any kind shall take place within the site until the applicant or their agents; the owner of the site or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological recording from an accredited archaeologist or historic building specialist in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The development shall be carried out in a manner that accommodates the approved programme of archaeological work.

 

The archaeological work will comprise historic building recording of the barn and shelter shed and any associated structures. All fieldwork should be conducted by a professional recognised historic building recorder in accordance with a brief issued by this office. 

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So, those planning apps were for business, I assume that you want it as a residential dwelling.

This may make a difference as they seem concerned with noise and access which will be much reduced by one house.

How big is the barn as to fit all that it must be pretty large.

 

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We need to do 2 conversions as one would be for my family and the other for the parents. 

 

I think the red brick one did have a application was for residential but it was refused based archaeological survey being carried out. 
 

We had the same conclusion aswell. Will be a max of 3 cars, reduction of current buildings etc and would open up more land. 

The big ones in the middle (connected via a pp approved lean to) my partner and I would like for ourselves I think measures at 467m2 so would need a reduction? To meet if class q.
But if pp it wouldn’t and it would be cladded in wood so would look a lot better than the asbestos it’s currently got. We’d be doing the world a favour to do the conversion tbh. 

This was other refused application on the red brick. 

Proposal Application for notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house (Class C3), and for associated operational development.
Status Application refused
Decision

Prior Approval Refused

 

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1 hour ago, Robw85 said:

 

Proposal Application for notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house (Class C3), and for associated operational development.
Status Application refused
Decision

Prior Approval Refused

 

 

This is the only one that relates to a Class Q. Have you got the full Officer's Report to see the reasons for Refusal?

Edited by IanR
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