Plot hunting around these parts is a bit of a challenge even more so when you’re trying to find somewhere to build an eco-friendly passivhaus. The site must have a southerly aspect for solar heating, not be over-shadowed by trees and obviously not be built on a plague pit or other supernatural hazard. Finding something that ticks those boxes AND is available for the right price has taken some effort. Well actually, it’s probably just luck as I’m not sure our previous efforts actually got us anywhere.
The plot we’ve found is on the outskirts of a village near Bath, a short access lane away from the high street. The site almost entirely faces south which is excellent and is not over shadowed by other buildings or trees, also great. To the south and west are farmers’ fields, with neighbours’ gardens to the north. The fields, including the bits we own, are currently the domain of two large horses so building a fence is fairly near the top of the “todo” list once we are all allowed out.
On the site there are three buildings, all of which will get converted as part of our project:
- a cow shed or as we like to grandly call it ‘the stables’. This has planning to be converted into a small, self contained one bedroom annex. Not exactly sure what we will do with it yet but it looks ideal for an office, workshop and gear store once all the horse poo has been removed;
- a stone barn. This has seen better days as it now consists of a large pile of stones decorated with brambles. One gable wall still stands although I don’t rate its chances in the next storm. Adjacent to the stone barn is …
- … the tin barn. This is a dutch barn and will be converted to form the two story part of the house with the attached and refurbished stone barn making the second half of the ground floor.
Given the whole village is a conservation area, the planning permission comes with several constraints, the most significant being that the house must essentially consist of the two rebuilt barns. While this means we don’t have free rein as to how the exterior of the house will look it does give us the perfect size dwelling so that won’t be a problem.
ps. we will post some site pictures when we can, the only ones we have at the moment were taken in the middle of Storm Dennis so are a bit rubbish