22 Sep Conversion of Oast into Residential Dwelling

The Rural Planning recently achieved a successful outcome for our client for the conversion and partial reconstruction of an Oast building into a four-bedroom dwelling in Kent. The building has fallen into to decline over many years and in its current state it detracted from the setting of the adjacent Grade II listed farmhouse. The significance of the building was such that the planning officer deemed that it constituted a non-designated heritage asset where retention and re-use should be encouraged.

We were required to provide a Statement of Significance to detail the historic importance of the building. The proposal included reconstruction of one of the roundels to include a tiled roof and a cowl. New access was also created off the main road and a detached three bay timber garage was erected at the front of the building.

Each of the roundels within the dwelling would have a different use and the main link area would incorporate an entrance hall/lobby. Through careful discussions with the architect the final plans used existing openings and minimised new windows and doors as far as possible. To adhere to good conservation practice the brickwork and stone was to be repaired and maintained.

Following initial conversations with the Conservation Officer, amended plans were submitted which showed an amended roofline reduced the amount of new build elements to the structure and only one cowl rebuilt. He concluded that the building was historically interesting and the approach towards the restoration of the building is to be commended.

The application was accompanied by a Structural Engineers Report which detailed that with careful reconstruction techniques the building was capable of reuse for residual purposes. Although the adopted local planning policy favoured commercial re-use in the first instance we were able to prove that this would be a suitable use here. The Ecology Report submitted with the application showed that both barn owls and a low number of bats had used the building, however with mitigation strategies proposed there would be no detrimental impacts to population numbers.

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