Replacement farmhouse – planning success

Although an attractive house at first glance, the farmhouse had become increasingly difficult to maintain due to the poor quality of the original build.

 

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On the face of it – not an unreasonable proposal.  To replace a farmhouse which has served many generations of tenant farmers since the middle of the nineteenth century.  The practice has developed a reputation for conserving buildings wherever practical, but sometimes buildings have simply reached the end of their life & replacement is the best way forward. ‘Springs Farm’ is one of these.
Planning permission has now been granted to demolish the farmhouse & build a replacement one.  The process has been protracted, as the planning officers required a ‘Heritage Asset Statement’ to be submitted along with the usual ‘Design & Access Statement’.  This is a document introduced in the government’s ‘Planning Policy Statement 5’ (PPS5).  Published in March 2010 this is still a relatively new piece of planning policy intended primarily to ensure changes affecting Listed Buildings are thoroughly evaluated.

 The practice prepared & submitted a Heritage Asset Statement.  The document dealt with the issues relevant to this case including analysing the significance of the building from several angles: the historic context of the building within its immediate site, within the village & within the wider region;  evaluation of significant architectural features; the impact of not proceeding with the replacement was also discussed, concluding that the farm may become redundant without a viable dwelling.  This outcome could have resulted in the subsequent total loss of not only the farmhouse, but also the 19th century purpose-built crew yard & other specialised buildings.

We feel that planning authorities will be increasingly relying on the preparation of Heritage Asset Statements to provide the depth of analysis, which they will need when determining applications, which contain not just listed buildings or buildings in conservation areas, but any building which may have an historical context.  The practice is well placed to carry out the kind of research needed & present the material in an appropriate format.

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