coombes:everitt help to deliver rural diversification across the Cotswolds

After (proposed CGI)

Following changes to the Class Q permitted development legislation, Cheltenham based architect, coombes:everitt, has been helping farmers, landowners and rural businesses identify the opportunities in their buildings. The architectural practice has redesigned underused agricultural buildings across the Cotswolds, to create new homes and business opportunities for their owners.

Since the legislation came into effect, they have delivered a new wedding venue, four new homes and secured planning for a 2,500 sq ft business park – all through the repurposing of redundant farm buildings.

John Everitt, Director at coombes:evertit commented: “Class Q permitted development legislation is a great opportunity for landowners and rural businesses. It allows for the conversion of agricultural buildings to commercial or residential use – up to five homes without planning permission.”

“This means that farmers, landowners or businesses in possession of agricultural buildings can look at developing new business opportunities – helping to secure new revenue streams to strengthen the future of their farms or rural operations. It creates an excellent opportunity to leverage forgotten value from their buildings.”

Most recently the architects have repurposed a redundant grain shed to create two new four-bedroom homes in Ravensden, Bedfordshire. The design makes use of the original building, incorporating the original concrete frame into the homes and uses oversized windows and doors to maintain the agricultural look. Now complete, the new homes benefit from double height living spaces and views over the surrounding countryside.

Toby Coombes, director added “The Class Q legislation has paved the way to help deliver a more prosperous rural economy. We are working with all types of landowners to review and develop plans that really leverage the potential in their underused agricultural buildings, ultimately helping these rural businesses to diversify and creating much needed new revenue streams.”

This was certainly the case at Castle Hill farm in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, where coombes:everitt has helped to secure planning permission to renovate a number of unused farm buildings. The proposed new development will feature 11 new small business units, holiday lets and residential accommodation.

Toby added: “For any landowners or farmers, who have redundant buildings or thoughts about diversification its worth reviewing your existing buildings. We can develop plans to help them understand the potential for development.”