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18th century barn conversion, Ystradfellte, Brecon Beacons

Description: Three 18th century ruined barn conversions on 4 acres of woodland
Local Authority/Location: Brecon Beacons
Project size: £100,000

This 4-acre woodland with three small 18th century ruined barns (with a complete lime-kiln) was purchased as a future 1st home for self-builders.  A stunning site, opening directly on to ‘the commons’ and with red kites wheeling on the rock cliff behind, it had an existing planning consent for a rather poor ‘studio-flat’ in one barn, but clearly the owners’ planning consultant felt the other barns, roofless and collapsed for over 100 years, derelict beyond repair.

We obtained an excellent consent to restore these barns, and to unite them all with a large grass roof link, providing the central living space.  The design needed to enable the owners’ adult children and grandchildren to stay in one wing and be relatively independent, and the new consent is 3-bedroomed.

A new access track had to be provided initially and the cost of this engineering challenge was more than halved using an unusual textile and geogrid combination, the tiny self-build team completing the 350m length in 2½ days.

Work on the barns is ongoing.  A 365’ borehole already provides high quality drinking water, and under-floor heating is by solar panels.  The final building group is currently emerging and maybe will one day be featured on TV?

The total project cost is estimated to be £100,000.

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