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  1. Hi Dmac, I still look in on the forum but not as much as I used to as I am in the middle of building my own house. If anyone has any questions on rural planning please do not hesitate to post them for me or send me a message. I have written a column on rural planning and sustainability for the Farming Life for more than 4 years so I should know the answer. As usual BelfastVI is well ahead of the curve but to be honest the new Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland doesnt have anything in it that would suggest a change to the existing policies.
  2. If you do need free advice on building in the countryside please do not hesitate to contact us either through this forum, the farming life or at our office. 2020 Architects specialise in rural/sustainable architecture and as a result of this specialism we write a monthly column in the farming life called 'ask the architect' dealing with specific rural planning and sustainable issues.
  3. Hi folks, We still have some complimentary tickets left for the show, if you would like some just head to our facebook page and we'll sort you out! http://www.facebook.com/2020architects.co.uk
  4. Sorry I meant that ...'this belief'... The house achieves a 93% under SAP, has 12 inches of insulation in the floors and roof and 10 inches in the walls, comes as standard with triple glazed passive house approved doors and windows and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system. This house is 1500 sq ft so at £59,500.00 including contractors profit it is not expensive.
  5. I would disgree with this statement. This believe is why we created the 2020 Eco Home, to prove that low energy did not mean expensive.
  6. I wrote about permitted development for farmers in my column in the farming life, see below for a copy of the text, again I hope that this helps. Ask the Architect 2020 Chartered Architects are specialists in specialists in sustainable technologies and rural architecture. Regional Director Michael Howe, the senior architect in 2020 Chartered Architects Ballymoney office, is a member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architect’s and a member of the Royal Society’s Sustainability Committee. If you require additional information or wish to discuss a specific site please do not hesitate to contact our team in either the Belfast or Ballymoney Offices 028 276 67999. What development can I complete on the farm without planning permission? As a rural architect I am probably asked this question more than any other and although I have written about it previously, in the farming life, I thought it was worth outlining the policies again as the first in this series of Ask the Architect. The following is a simplified version of the planning department’s policies on permitted development rights, because of the individual nature of every site please seek professional advice from either the local authority or an Architect specialising in Rural Planning before commencing any works. Planning is not required for the erection, extension or alteration of a building and any excavation or engineering operations required for the purposes of agriculture within the farm business. Unless the development is on agricultural land less than 0.5 hectares in area or if the proposed building is more than 75m from the principle farm buildings or if the ground area to be covered by any proposed building exceeds 300sq metres or if the height of any part of the building is over 12m or the works consists of or include the erection, extension or alteration of a dwelling. Planning is also not required for the construction, formation, laying out or alteration of a means of access to a road unless it is required for a planning application or if the land is within a site of archaeological interest. It must be noted that these do not apply to engineering businesses or fish farms. If there are any issues relating to planning, architecture, farm diversification or sustainable technologies that you would like answered in a future Ask the Architect column, please do not hesitate to contact Michael at 2020 Architects Ballymoney.
  7. I have recently written about permitted development rights in the Belfast Telegraph, permitted development rights (what you can build without planning) for home owners are slightly different from those of farmers. See below the permitted development rights for a home owner when it comes to building a small structure in your garden, if you are a farmer this is will not relate to you. With regard the building of this type of structure it would be the detailing, to ensure that the building did not leak etc, that would be the most difficult aspect; however, this type of building is not that unusal and in Cornwall where I used to work this type of self build was fairly normal. Many kinds of buildings and structures can be built in your garden or on the land around your house without the need to apply for planning permission. These can include garden sheds, garages, a car port, greenhouses or other buildings. In some circumstances you will need to apply for planning permission. You will need to apply for planning permission if any of the following cases apply on the land around your house.You want to put up a building or structure which would be nearer to any road than the nearest part of the "original house" and any road. The ground area covered by the building and any other buildings within the boundary of the property (excluding the original house) is more than half the total area of land around the original house. The building or structure is not to be used for domestic purposes and is to be used instead, for example, for parking a commercial vehicle, running a business or for storing goods in connection with a business. You want to put up a building or structure which is more than 3 metres high, or more than 4 metres high if it has a ridged roof. (Measure from the highest ground next to it.) If your house is a listed building, and you want to put up a building or structure with a volume of more than 10 cubic metres. If you live in a Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you want to put up a building or structure with a volume of more than 10 cubic metres (though it might be allowable as an extension) The building must not be used for keeping pigeons. Pigeon lofts need planning permission as does the use of an existing shed for keeping pigeons. I hope that this helps
  8. Building Control would not be the main problem, we have recently designed a straw bale house for an AONB (see image) and building control are more than happy about the construction, your main issue would be planning. Planners are eager to see Northern Irish Architecture reflect Northern Ireland and as such a hobbit house from the Lord of The Rings would be difficult to achieve. I would definitly not suggest looking for retrospective planning on this type of building, your best chance would be to put in a full planning application and hope that you get a responsive case officer who you can work with. I would suggest that serious negotations would be required in order to achieve an approval. If you decide to go ahead with it lets us know how you get on. 2020 Architects
  9. I have seen a copy of the letter you received and have discussed it with the RIBA, after these discussions I would suggest that following the advice of BelfastVI's post above would be a sensible solution, although, I would always recommend taking professional advice at an early stage to avoid disapointment. Sorry that I cant comment further on the letter but It would probably be unwise. Hope that this helps
  10. Hi FTB There are areas that are more difficult to obtain planning, for instance around the causeway; however, if they are looking to get a house under the farming policy of pps21 then these areas should not affect teh application. I cant see the farming policy under PPS21 changing any time soon, although I do not have a crystal ball regarding such issues. If I was in your situation I would apply for the outline application, this would give you an approval for 5 years and is a reasonably cheap process. Many people extend this time limit by putting in a full planning application, a building regulation application and laying the foundations. Building regulations do have the powers to enforce you to finish the project within a reasonable period of time but I am not aware of this ever occuring. This essentially means that you have an approval for as long as you wish. If you wish any further advice or wish to discuss the above in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact the office. regards Michael Howe 2020 Architects 028 276 67999
  11. Lanie It is very difficult for me to give you accurate advice without more information, if you would like to email me directly to [email protected] with an address this would help. (I can appreciate people might not want to give this information out on line) The ribbon development policy does relate to the countryside but it is a specific set of circumstances that provide the opportunity for this type of development, which would be very time consuming to list here. Your address would be enough for me to look on a map to see if your site is inline with this policy; however, I am sorry to say but the way you discribe the site and its surroundings I dont think PPS21 is going to help you. Dispersed rural communities are presently few and far between, listed in your local plan, and unless you fall into one of these then the policy presently does not help you. Although I believe the idea is that planning will create more of these communities in the coming years and there is the possibilty of bringing one to the attention of the planning department. I hope that this helps and sorry if it is not what you wanted to hear. regards
  12. no problem at all No, under new policy the time scale doesn't matter. If you want to discuss any sites in more detail, don't hesitate to contact me on [email protected]
  13. Hi John, Yes, under the new policy, as long as the building has 4 substantial walls, there is a good case for a replacement dwelling.
  14. sorry, does the building have stone walls or just a stone base? It sounds like your building is on the cusp of what is acceptable; however, I would have to see images of the building and preferably a site location plan to give a comprehensive answer. If you do not feel comfortable posting those images online you can email me at [email protected]
  15. "the new building is visually linked or sited to cluster with an established group of buildings on the farm and where practicable, access to the dwelling should be obtained from an existing lane." - PPS21 There is ambiguity surrounding this because unfortunatly it is poorly worded. I recently met with politicians from the four main partys and a senior planning officer to discuss this and it was accepted that this was one of the many gray areas within the policy. I will be writting a response for PPS21 before the review period is over and will flag the areas of ambiguity up in that. The farming lobby is working hard behind the scenes to try and get the wording of this policy lossened so that the buildings do not have to be visually linked. Presently it is accepted that any future building must be close to the existing farm cluster. What is close? it depends on the existing farm cluster and the size of any previous developments sites around the farm cluster. You would be looking to mimic plot sizes and distances that are already present. So it depends on each application. A reasonable architect, working in rural designs, should be able to use the gray area in the policy to get the site a little further from the existing cluster than I have sugested but it will unlikly to be acceptable if there is a field between them. ( dependant of course on the size of the field) sorry that this is so woolly but the policy is not exactly water tight and each case will be different.
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