Appeal win at historic barn conversion

Our client was trying to add a large 2 storey extension to his barn conversion. Horsham District Council resisted three separate applications for the proposal, and eventually we were instructed to lodge an an appeal.

There were two main reasons for refusal:

  1. Impact on the countryside; and
  2. Impact on a historic Sussex barn.

To overcome the first concern we undertook a robust Visual Impact Assessment, with additional photomontages. This successfully showed that the development would have negligible impact on the countryside when viewed from public vantage points.

The second concern of the Council was answered via a Heritage Statement. We undertook extensive research into the history of West Sussex farm buildings and was able to prove that the proposed barn ‘aisle’ was a sympathetic design solution as they were a common trait amongst Sussex Barns. Aisles served a number of functions, from storage to animal stalls, and they were added or taken away as required to match the prevailing economic climate.

At appeal the Planning Inspector concluded:

“The extension would effectively add another two bays to the barn which is clearly larger than as envisaged in the Advice Leaflet; however the question is whether it would harm the character of the building or its setting. The barn now has an established residential character and the new build would be seen as an addition to an already converted barn. In my view, this would be a sympathetic extension, clearly distinguishable from the original structure and using construction details, building forms and materials typical of historic Sussex barns. It would be set back from the front elevation with a lower ridge height, and would ‘wrap around’ at the rear under a ‘catslide’ roof, making it subservient both in scale and character and proportionate in size to the existing building.”

The appeal was allowed with no onerous conditions.

If you wish to convert or extend a barn please don’t hesitate to contact our rural department at