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somerset Life looks at a new way to help make your barn conversion dreams a reality

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:26 02 April 2013

somerset Life looks at a new way to help make your barn conversion dreams a reality

somerset Life looks at a new way to help make your barn conversion dreams a reality

Breathing new life into ramshackle buildings is a labour of love – but it can also be a minefield. Carol Burns finds out how a unique new service is helping people achieve their grand designs

Back to the drawing board


Breathing new life into ramshackle buildings is a labour of love but it can also be a minefield. Carol Burns finds out how a unique new service is helping people achieve their grand designs

Barn conversations are a dream dwelling for many of us, but how do you turn that into a reality? The owners of Walnut Tree Farm in Stawell turned to James Venton and the drawing, planning and design team at Bridgwaters Tamlyns Estate Agency and Auction Rooms for help.

Gaining planning permissions for new buildings can often be easier than getting applications to convert existing ones, but even getting permission for improvements can add value to the sale price of your property. And with government plans to relax planning laws to re-energise the economy, more of us are dreaming of our own grand designs.

At Walnut Tree Farm the plan was one of investment. The farm included a large farmhouse in desperate need of renovation, a traditional barn ripe for conversion, and sufficient surrounding land, within the village development boundary to accommodate an additional dwelling.The owner wanted to maximise the value of the site before selling it on. Tamlynsplanning, drawing and design team took the project on and planning was approved in April 2011 to extend and split the existing farmhouse into two cottages, the conversion of the barn to form a two-bedroom home and a new detached home at the rear of the site, alongside the existing farmhouse.

The end result has earned a nomination and commendation at the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2012 for the category of Best Small Development.

The team provides expertise to people looking for ways to improve their home, fulfill their dream of converting a barn or renovating an auction bargain or just wanting to gain a better price for an existing investment property.

Simon Matthews of SHM Construction bought the site at auction and working with James transformed the site from an overgrown wilderness to a sympathetic village development - which has already been sold. The Tamlyns team was on hand to work with the new owner to tweak the planning permission and obtain buildingregulation approvals, and oversee the construction.

The development was split into three phases, firstly the splitting, extension and refurbishment of the farmhouse, secondly the erection of the new house and thirdly the conversion of the barn.

The comprehensive refurbishment and extension of the farmhouse was completed at the end of last year and one already sold on to a local family.

The Local Authority Building Control Department has nominated this first phase for an award at the LABC Building Excellence awards 2013. This recognition has left the developer and the designers at Tamlyns delighted.

James said: We have had another really good year and the department is continuing to grow. I think the message we really want to get across is to let people know that we are here.

Everybody knows about Tamlyns Estate Agency and Auction Rooms, but the Drawing Planning and Design department are submitting around 60 planning applications through Sedgemoor District Council each year - and this doesnt include the numerous planning applications we submit elsewhere across Somerset and Devon.

The second phase, the erection of the new dwelling, will begin soon, with a revised planning consent. It is anticipated the new dwelling, which will accommodate five bedrooms a large garden and three-quarter acre paddock, will be completed in the summer.The barn conversion will begin in early 2013, with the completion of the development as a whole anticipated for the end of 2013.

The team has also recently gained planning permission for the conversion of three barns to dwellings near Over Stowey, and planning support for a proposal for a temporary agricultural workers home near Othery.

Tamlyns holds free planning clinics every Thursday morning, to book your appointment call 01278 454500.

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