Barns and farm buildings
Most people will be concerned with the conversion of barns but the principles set out here also apply to other farm buildings such as cart sheds, pigsties, mistals and stables.
The shape, materials, function and location of farm buildings vary from region to region throughout the country. From them we can get information on local architectural styles and craftsmanship, regional and local economies, patterns of settlement and their changes through time. Their presence is far more than a visual amenity, important though this role is; they are also original evidence presenting us with historical information not otherwise available, which deserves to be retained.
Traditionally constructed farm buildings are part of Calderdale's heritage. They contribute to the architectural and historic character of the District and to its landscape quality. More than 360 barns in Calderdale are listed by the Government and the Council has a duty to operate a sensitive approach to conversion.
If a traditional agricultural building cannot be retained in agricultural use (and there are grants available in some cases to assist this), then careful conversion to another use can safeguard the future of the building while still retaining its character. A change to residential use often requires major alterations to the building, but may be acceptable in special cases where conversion to a house is the only way to make sure that a building is kept for future generations.
Other uses could include workshops, overnight accommodation for walkers, or community use, which require fewer structural alterations but could have other drawbacks - for example, provision of access and parking and effect on the landscape, especially where buildings are isolated. Each case will be looked at on its merits.
Many farm buildings are situated within the green belt or other rural areas where the Council has adopted policies which include detailed points about the re-use of redundant buildings. This guidance is aimed at providing helpful advice in relation to design and should be read in conjunction with other relevant Council policies contained in the Calderdale Unitary Development Plan .
- The SPAB Barns Book; Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings 1982.
- Traditional Farm Buildings of Britain; R. W. Brunskill 1987.