We won a challenging planning permission to convert a redundant Victorian brick hop barn into a new farmhouse and family home at the edge of a village in the Kentish Green Belt. Sevenoaks raised issues about departing from local character and change-of-use in open countryside outside the settlement development area. We successfully addressed these by arguing that the conversion would be carried out sympathetically and revive its agricultural typology and farming use. The proposal retains the original barn, removes ad hoc outbuildings and adds a contemporary extension in sympathetic form and materials. The re-emergent form of the original barn is properly appreciated and the whole sits attractively in its rural surroundings.
Internal reconfiguration, inserting bedrooms between existing trusses, celebrating a double-height stair hall, allows for a free flowing layout to accommodate family needs, and opens up views out across fields to the North Downs. Ground source heat pump and photovoltaic panels meet the farmer’s commitment to low energy. Careful restoration of original brickwork and slate is balanced by contemporary timber cladding and red zinc roof to achieve an agricultural vernacular appropriate to modern farming.
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