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Apperley Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland

Client: Mr H. Smales

Local Authority: Northumberland County Council

The proposed development site comprised a modern single-storey storage shed, formerly a cow/agricultural shed, constructed with a steel frame and corrugated walls and roof, with doors and rooflights. It was situated within the small farming settlement at Apperley Farm, accessed via a private farm track, situated c. 3 km south-east of the village of Stocksfield. The scheme comprised a Class Q barn conversion.


The Proposal

The proposed development sought to convert the existing agricultural storage shed/barn into a single dwelling comprising two storeys and five bedrooms, as part of a Class Q barn conversion. Key planning and heritage constraints included the requirement for change of use from agricultural to residential, as well as its position within close proximity to a Grade II listed farmhouse 

The Challenges

Any development within the setting of a listed building can be tricky, especially one with so modern a construction as the existing metal-framed shed. The local authority conservation team initially had concerns regarding the number, size, and position of new openings, worrying that views from the listed farmhouse would be impacted negatively if the overall agricultural character of the shed was compromised. 


The Solutions

Blue Willow Heritage prepared a detailed and robust Heritage Impact Assessment, working alongside the client and the rest of the design team to position openings discretely, especially along those elevations most prominent in views from the listed building. We concluded that aside from providing further agricultural built form within the wider landscape, the modern shed itself did not make a key contribution to the setting of the listed building as existing. As such, the proposed conversion and alterations as expressed externally, despite the proposed new openings, would still be clearly legible as a barn due to the retention of its outer materials. 

The Outcome

Following a period of statutory consultation, and some minor amendments to the design, we are pleased to say that the application was successfully approved in January 2023 and our client was able to begin work on their new family home. They were so pleased with our work, Mr Smales even left us a glowing review.


The design team for this project comprised Blue Willow Heritage, Carter-Smith Planning Consultants, and Crawford Higgins Associates

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