Worth Farm Barns, Swanage, Dorset

This was a disused dairy farm barn that had more recently been used as a café. The business was struggling – largely due to the considerable cost of maintaining and heating this very run-down 250 year-old building.

The owners had recently had an application to convert the barn into two 3-bedroom homes refused and were concerned that their primary asset was not providing any income or capital return.

By working closely with the case officer and senior planning officer at Purbeck District Council, we were able to identify and respond sympathetically to the concerns with redeveloping this building as well as its change of use.

In considering the local and national planning policy framework and employing one of the Country’s top "heritage" architects and a conservation specialist, we were able to achieve approval for four 3-bedroom barn conversions – three from the original building and an additional new-build in traditional style.

  • The site is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Conservation Area.
  • Overhead electricity cables needed to be redirected below ground with archeological implications.
  • A natural spring running through the site.
  • Bats and newts were both present on site.
  • Many of the barn’s original features were of architectural and historic significance (including Purbeck-stone roof tiles and Queen Anne oak joists).
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