Blackrock Architecture Ltd’s Work on Grade II Listed Barn

As planning consultants, Blackrock Architecture Ltd submitted an application to convert a 475-year-old farm in Teynham, Sittingbourne, into three homes. Frognal Farm Barn was a dilapidated shell, with a concaved roof, water damage, and a large tree that had grown into it. The structure, though deteriorated, dates as far back as 1548, offered 3,900 sqm and overlooked the main house, which is a protected property, and included a courtyard.

The application to convert the sixteenth century property into residential use proposed new internal and external doors, ceilings and windows, plus alterations to the barn’s roof, walls and floor. As this property was Grade II Listed, it meant it was recognised as having “special significance” and is legally protected from being demolished, extended, or significantly altered without permission from the local authority.

“The state of the listed barn and its presence on the ‘At Risk’ register should encourage any scheme to see it restored and bring it back to viable use,” The original planning permission applicant said, and we couldn’t agree more. It was clear this property had potential, even in its derelict state.

If you’re looking to develop a property such as Frognal Barn, the first step should be to commission a thorough condition survey of the building. Repair in large buildings like this might be obvious, but a survey will clarify even the ‘difficult to access’ areas which might be more neglected than other areas in the building. Even previous attempts to repair the structure could have caused more damage (such as techniques which cause contrasts in humidity, or repointing without the right mortar) should be taken into account before moving forward.

If you’d like to know more, check out this blog on developing a listed building here.

As our designs became more detailed, we asked several questions about the construction process, to pre-empt those of the local council. Such as:

  • Does the replacement have to be like-for-like?
  • Will the new interventions replicate the existing or will they create a completely new appearance to the property?
  • What consultants or specialists will be needed on this project?
  • What’s the allowance for additional/unforeseen repairs?
  • What will the general maintenance of the property look like once the project is finished, to keep it fit for use?

Developing a historic building like Frognal’s Barn offers plenty of new challenges and should be highly rewarding – and we’re excited for new generations to enjoy this beautiful building. If you’d like us to consult on a listed project, or to know more about Frognal Barn in particular – contact us here.

Blackrock Architecture

Blackrock Architecture

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