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We are pleased to have achieved a ‘Grand Design’ planning consent for a client. Starting with a functional modern agricultural barn in a beautiful spot in the Cambridgeshire Countryside we gained a Class Q prior approval consent to turn the barn into a house. We then sought to improve the design and worked with the Planning Authority to create something more interesting and attractive. The Planning Authority were receptive and flexible, seeing the benefits of the new design that created more interest in the roofline and improved the character of the area. The application for the new design was successful, but that was not the end of the project.

Discussions with the neighbours and Parish Council resulted in ideas which would improve the amenity for neighbours by lowering the house. This could not be achieved by carrying out a barn conversion and so a new application for a replacement home was needed. Planning case law is clear that weight can be given in planning decisions to a fall back position. In this case, the planning consents for the barn conversion showed the owner was determined to develop a house. A planning application was submitted demonstrating the benefits to local residents of the lower design and the benefits to the owner resulting from a simpler build and a better and more environmentally friendly house. The application was approved resulting in a stunning new house in an amazing location. Getting Planning Authorities to recognise the fall back position can be tricky but a clear application and positive benefits worked well for our client.