An application to convert and extend a traditional barn on a working farm to create a cookery school required especially sensitive handling. Situated in the Green Belt and near a Listed farm house, parts of the 17th century barn had been relocated from Sussex to a new site in Surrey. We had to carefully consider how the scheme would impact upon the setting of the neighbouring Listed buildings, in particular the scale and siting of a significant extension.
While planning policy restrictions normally limit extensions to no more than 50% of the original floor space, in this case we were able to negotiate a 53% increase to the building on the basis of the requirements of the cookery school to provide demonstration areas, a formal communal dining area and kitchen.
One of the ways we were able to maximise the extension was by lowering the roof and ensuring the porch area was not enclosed so it could be excluded from the volume calculation. This venture has created employment for two local people and opened up possibilities for further farm diversification. We are currently progressing other schemes including a holiday accommodation to run in conjunction with the cookery school.