Planning & Design Practice recently gained planning permission for the conversion of a range of farm buildings to 4 dwellings at Lawn Farm located on the western slopes of the Derwent Valley a short distance from Belper and Ambergate.
Lawn Farm was historically a part of the wider Hurt family estate and lies within the Buffer Zone to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, meaning any conversion must be particularly sympathetic to the rural character of the landscape. The main cluster of farm buildings consists of traditional stone barns in a U-shape, some of which have been demolished and replaced with other structures. What was once an internal courtyard to the traditional buildings has been entirely infilled with modern agricultural barns.
We were approached by the client to prepare designs to convert the buildings into a number of dwellings, one of which they would like to live in themselves. After a brainstorm of ideas and a variety of sketches, it was agreed that the buildings forming the U shape, would be best converted to 4 dwellings varying in size from 2 to 5 bedrooms. The only significant rebuilding will be in the North-East corner of the range of buildings. It was evident from a 1971 photograph that there was formerly a traditional stone farm building in this corner which had been replaced by a steel framed hay barn. Photographic evidence was also used as the justification for 2 new single storey garages at the opening to the U shape and 2 more garages on the outer edges to replace redundant modern agricultural buildings.
Throughout the application a number of issues were raised, particularly relating to Highway safety and heritage, but we negotiated extensively with the local planning and highway authorities to achieve an acceptable solution for all. The designs respect the agricultural character of the buildings with the number of new openings kept to a minimum. The removal of the modern buildings that are currently inside the U-shape will create an inner courtyard, reinstating the farm’s former character.
We look forward to continuing our involvement during the construction phase and seeing this farmstead restored to its former glory.