NTAD successfully gained planning approval for the conversion of an historic threshing barn into a new dwelling granted under the Extended Family Dwellings Policy to enable the applicant to live on the farm with her parents.

We were over the moon with this result as local planning policy makes it incredibly difficult to gain permission to convert barns into new dwellings within Exmoor National Park.

The barn is set within an historic farmstead that includes a farm house, two holiday cottages and a range of modern machinery barns. The rear elevation includes a lovely open fronted barn with a series of stone columns that frame views overlooking a natural pond.


Barn conversions typically benefit from as fewer interventions as possible. Too many elements and the barn appears overly domestic and looses its agricultural theme. This design was handled with a very light touch. NTAD worked closely with the Planning Officers to develop a sympathetic design that could retain the barn’s historic agricultural appearance. The challenge was to create a comfortable and bright living accommodation whilst only utilising the existing window openings.

The proposal includes a glazed oak framed porch set back within the main barn opening. A second glazed oak frame will be located behind the stone columns on the rear elevation effectively sealing the barns envelope. The internal layout includes two double bedrooms with en-suites at one end with a large living room featuring a high vaulted ceiling at the opposite end. New openings through the rear stone internal wall will create views from the lounge through the new kitchen/family living space towards the pond. A series of conservation rooflights located on the rear elevation will provide daylight to the lounge and bedrooms.

As part of the planning requirements an Ecologist carried out a number of surveys to check for protected species. Bat mitigation detailing includes a non-woven, short fibred bitumen roofing membrane. It is important to note that bats can get there feet caught and therefore unable to detach themselves on breathable roofing and wall membranes. Bat boxes will also be installed and external lighting kept at low level and shielded towards the ground to minimise disruption to bat flight paths.

This project is about to start on site with a completion target of early Summer 2020.

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AuthorNick Thorne