Diversification 16 Jul 2014

Diversification – Covey


Acorus has recently completed a significant conversion project

The project involved converting a range of medieval barns to dwellings for a client in Cambridgeshire. We have worked with the client from the very early stages dealing with the detailed design, tender and project administration through to final handover.

Our client initially approached us with the aim to convert the semi derelict, historic barns sited near the accompanying Grade II listed farmhouse. The main farm buildings had been sited away from the historic buildings for over 20 years.

As the original buildings were redundant in agricultural terms, they had remained largely unused with parts of the buildings almost in a state of collapse. The buildings comprise of historic oak frames with the main frame and stud work dating back to the medieval period. A new use was sought to retain the historic group of buildings alongside the medieval farmhouse.

Our client decided to convert the barns into two, high specification residential dwellings for the rental market. There is huge demand for these types of properties due to their proximity to the M11, London and Stansted airport.

DIV2A planning application was submitted in 2010, alongside the various reports required under the Planning Authority validation checklist procedure. Negotiations with the Planning Authority continued throughout the construction phase of the project.

A detailed design was drawn up for the first of the two conversions. This involved a detailed survey and the number of all the existing timbers. Where replacement timbers were required they had to match the old timbers closely. Obviously a dwelling is massively different to a barn, so everything had to be agreed with the Planners and at the same time the Conservation Officer, Building Control and the requirement of bats and newts had to be met.

Contractors were invited to tender for the first dwelling and after careful consideration a contractor was appointed. Similar to the planning stage, close liaison was required between the Planning Authority, Building Control, the Main Contractor, Acorus and various other parties.

During the construction of the first dwelling, negotiations took place between the existing contractor, the client and Acorus and the contractor was appointed on an “open book” basis

The first conversion was completed and occupied six months ago and the second conversion was completed in February 2014. The buildings comprise two high quality five bedroom dwellings and the client is pleased at the standard and quality achieved.