Pen y Bryn
This project was for a new extension to an existing agricultural dwelling (rural enterprise dwelling now). Some years ago, the father of the client had gained permission for a small bungalow within the curtilage of the farm estate. This approval was based on the needs and financial viability of the farm and was approved so that his son or a worker could live there to assist with the day to day activities of the farm.
10 years or so had passed and the bungalow was no longer fit for purpose. Our young client who had started a family wanted to extend and modernise the property to suit their growing needs.
During the site survey it was apparent that the bungalow had been designed economically and had not really appreciated its surroundings. There were some fabulous views from the property and when you were stood within it you would not have known, this needed to be addressed. There was also very little light in the property. When gaining access to the loft, it had been constructed using attic trusses meaning it was ideal for conversion to a habitable space. This meant that we could put at least two bedrooms up in this space living more room for the master suite in new extension.
The old and new building were configured around a central glazed stair core that divides the property. This glazed link floods the stair with light and allows the user to enjoy the surrounding views as they navigate the levels. This area also providing passive stack ventilation to the first floor.
The new extension has a fully glazed stone gable, as the views from the property were fantastic. The whole top floor of the new extension was dedicated to the master suite and bathroom. The rest of the property was reconfigured to suit the clients brief. It had doubled the size of the dwelling but the Conwy LDP was lacking in regards to the size of a rural enterprise dwelling which weighed in our favour.
The new concept was submitted to Conwy Planning. At this point it should be noted that the LDP was very restrictive regarding what a “rural enterprise dwelling” should be. They clearly or antiquatedly thought it should be of no architectural merit, small in size, cheap to build, cheap to maintain. We didn’t agree with this thought process, just because it’s a farm workers dwelling it didn’t mean they should have to live in a glorified shed, in fact we were quite offended and indignant by this.
We submitted our case and drawings to the Conwy Planning department, and it was refused. We were not surprised by this as the officers tend to follow the LDP guidance and sometimes rely on the appeal process to challenge the document and challenge it we did. We went to the welsh inspectorate and appealed the decision. We put our case forward to the inspector under section 78 of the town and country planning act 1990. I am glad to say we were successful in our appeal and the inspector was very supportive in keeping our client on and involved in the farm, in a property that they have a right to build and enjoy.