Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:12 pm

My parents bought an old farm with farmhouse about 14 years ago. On receipt of planning permission to build a new house on the land the planners stipulated the following condition:

"Conditions: The existing farmhouse structure shall be decommissioned and shall not henceforth be used for habitable purposes.

Reasons for conditions: In the interests of orderly development."


I was wondering did anyone know how binding such conditions are and whether or not they expire, or what I can do to have this condition undone. I'm looking to restore the farmhouse as my own home in the very near future.
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby Tayto » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:41 pm

simon.d wrote:........ I'm looking to restore the farmhouse as my own home in the very near future.


You'll need a planning permission to rebuild/restore the old house.
The condition you refer to is there to prevent 2 dwellings on the one site.
Tayto
Member
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:01 am

Tayto wrote:You'll need a planning permission to rebuild/restore the old house.
The condition you refer to is there to prevent 2 dwellings on the one site.


The houses are quite a distance apart (i.e. 75m or so), would that still be considered the same site?

Would it be looked on like a greenfield site? The farmhouse itself is around 200 years old, made of clay of the lobby entry form and in very good condition.. It'd be a shame to let it rot... Do planners take into account the heritage value of old buildings when granting permissions?
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby Tayto » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:16 am

The original application for the new house would give you the clues as to why this condition was added. The only (safe) way to overturn it is to make a new application.

The land was (is?) probably zoned for agricultural use. Normally an additional dwelling would not be permitted because of the agricultural zoning. It may have been proposed in the planning application to decommission the existing farmhouse then build a new dwelling. This would in effect represent a replacement of the farmhouse, rather than the construction of an additional house. The planners would permit a new house on that basis.

If the original farmhouse has historical or architectural value then the argument for it's restoration could form the basis of a new application.

If your parents still live in the permitted house and are the landowners, then the new application should probably be made in their name. It should be clear in the application that the new dwelling is intended for the family.

I've said "probably" a lot. You should consider consulting an architect or planning consultant who can examine the planning history and documents etc. in detail and provide you with clear options.
Tayto
Member
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:02 am

Tayto wrote:The original application for the new house would give you the clues as to why this condition was added. The only (safe) way to overturn it is to make a new application.


Are there other (less safe) ways to overturn it? I just like to be aware of the other options if there are any...

Tayto wrote:If the original farmhouse has historical or architectural value then the argument for it's restoration could form the basis of a new application.

If your parents still live in the permitted house and are the landowners, then the new application should probably be made in their name. It should be clear in the application that the new dwelling is intended for the family.


Thanks for all the help!
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby PVC King » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:29 am

If I were in your position I would probably make the same arguments Tayto laid out; but wind the clock back14 years and then look at more of the costs of the Dick Roche style one off housing bonanza when allowed only in some local authorities prior to its nationwide blitzkreig of the mid naughties.


simon.d wrote: The houses are quite a distance apart (i.e. 75m or so), would that still be considered the same site?

Would it be looked on like a greenfield site? The farmhouse itself is around 200 years old, made of clay of the lobby entry form and in very good condition..


Sounds like a pleasant vernacular dwelling; little celebrated but clearly of local social interest.

simon.d wrote: It'd be a shame to let it rot... Do planners take into account the heritage value of old buildings when granting permissions?


Yip the planners at the time and with Dick Roche's planning regime were very happy to let old buildings rot so that McMansions could replace them as the primary dwelling on the curtilage.

Just to be clear I hope you do get the restore the farmhouse and are very happy in it ;)
PVC King
 

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby vca » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:43 am

The best advice I can give you is that you seek professional advice from a qualified and registered architect in order that the exact circumstances at your parents' site can be established. Check out http://www.riai.ie for architects in your area. It is likely that an initial site visit / assessment will cost very little if anything at all.

A lot has changed since the original planning application was made 15 years ago and the planning authority may now look favourably on the re-use and sensitive restoration of the old farmhouse. However issues such as frontage/safe vehicular access to the site, effluent treatment systems and wells, back land development/overlooking issues and local need housing criteria may come into play.

Here is a link to the County Kildare Development Plan 2011-2017 Housing Policy and if you read section 4.12.1 it gives some idea of the considerations of the Planning Authorities on this issue.

http://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/Planning/DevelopmentPlans/PreparationoftheDraftCountyDevelopmentPlan2011-2017/DraftCountyDevelopmentPlan2011-2017/LinkToDocument,22016,en.pdf
vca
Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby Tayto » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:47 am

simon.d wrote:Are there other (less safe) ways to overturn it? I just like to be aware of the other options if there are any...



Thanks for all the help!


Unless your name is Jesse James and you wear a Stetson you shouldn't really consider rebuilding the house without permission like other cowboys would. If you do, expect a tap on the door from the local sheriff and to be served with an injunction or enforcement notice ordering the demolition of the unauthorised development. You could stall for time by applying for Retention but this is a huge gamble to take considering the time effort and money it would take to restore the house. A refusal would mean demolition. A grant would overturn the original planning condition.
Tayto
Member
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby pico » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:52 am

Do some research :
1. Check the Development Plan Map for the current zoning of the land, and also look in the main document for current attitude to development / restoration in that zoning.
2. Ask to see the original Planning File (available for a small fee from the Local Authority) and in particular the Planners's Report for an indication of how the decision and conditions were made.

This will give you a few more pointers as to whether it might be viable. If you feel it is, approach an Architect, preferably local.
pico
Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:39 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:23 pm

Thanks again for all the replies... Very helpful so ye are!

vca wrote:A lot has changed since the original planning application was made 15 years ago and the planning authority may now look favourably on the re-use and sensitive restoration of the old farmhouse.

I've great plans to restore it very sensitively, and do as little as is needed to the original structure, and banish all the cement that has crept in over the last 40 yrs etc.. I'm also concerned with the idea that it might be listed once I highlight its existence to the council and the further planning issues that would bring up.. What sort of problems/benefits might that give me?

Tayto wrote:However issues such as frontage/safe vehicular access to the site, effluent treatment systems and wells, back land development/overlooking issues and local need housing criteria may come into play.

Access is fine I think, with a 1/2 mile lane leading up to the house off a very straight road and very secluded... Nearest house (aside from the parents which is also hidden from the site) is buffered by farm buildings and a couple of acres field.. I've also lived in the area for about 12 yrs.. Sewerage is what I'm most worried about, as I'm not sure if the site is up to sratch.. The parents have a septic tank which is accessible from the farmhouse.. Would it be possible to increase the capacity/standard of that one to appease this issue or would the farmhouse site be treated independently, needing it's own tank? Does the fact there's already a septic tank there have any bearing on the decision to install a second one?

Will the historical importance aspect induce the planner to give consessions on other aspects? i.e. allow a septic tank on a site that might be a bit below whats normally warranted?

vca wrote:Unless your name is Jesse James and you wear a Stetson you shouldn't really consider rebuilding the house without permission like other cowboys would. If you do, expect a tap on the door from the local sheriff and to be served with an injunction or enforcement notice ordering the demolition of the unauthorised development. You could stall for time by applying for Retention but this is a huge gamble to take considering the time effort and money it would take to restore the house. A refusal would mean demolition. A grant would overturn the original planning condition.

I do fully intend to go down the planning route, as lots of money is gonna be thrown at this, but playing devils advocate here, can they force the demolition of an old building of such historical value? (it could even be applicable for monument status (300 yr +) as the farm was well established on the 1830's OS maps, implying that the dwelling could be much older than 200 years) Also, could it be classed as an agricultural building seeing as it's positioned on a working farm? i.e. I could be restoring the farmhouse to be a fancy chicken coop...Could that block demolition if it came to it? Does the agricultural aspect throw up any planning oppurtunities?
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby Tayto » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:39 pm

simon.d wrote:Thanks again for all the replies... Very helpful so ye are!


I've great plans to restore it very sensitively, and do as little as is needed to the original structure, and banish all the cement that has crept in over the last 40 yrs etc.. I'm also concerned with the idea that it might be listed once I highlight its existence to the council and the further planning issues that would bring up.. What sort of problems/benefits might that give me?

I do fully intend to go down the planning route, as lots of money is gonna be thrown at this, but playing devils advocate here, can they force the demolition of an old building of such historical value? (it could even be applicable for monument status (300 yr +) as the farm was well established on the 1830's OS maps, implying that the dwelling could be much older than 200 years) Also, could it be classed as an agricultural building seeing as it's positioned on a working farm? i.e. I could be restoring the farmhouse to be a fancy chicken coop...Could that block demolition if it came to it? Does the agricultural aspect throw up any planning oppurtunities?


You know now what might be a great idea- that would be to sneak in an 'ol cooker an' a fridge, on the quiet, like. Then an 'ol wardrobe, a bed, a TV and an aul hoover.
Then what ye might do then like, just to be on the safe side, ye know, would be to let a few chickens loose inside, so as not to give the game away, like. Ye could grab an aul feather as well, stick it where the sun don't shine and pretend you're a duck.
They'd never catch on.:rolleyes:
Tayto
Member
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:13 pm

Tayto wrote:You know now what might be a great idea- that would be to sneak in an 'ol cooker an' a fridge, on the quiet, like. Then an 'ol wardrobe, a bed, a TV and an aul hoover.

The truth of it is I would most probably get away with it, as private access is needed to get near the site, or to even see it.. Also I can't see the council ordering the demolition of a 200 year old cottage, especially one that was simply restored without any external bells on... However I don't want to go down that route, which Is why I'm looking for advice here...

I massively value the history of the building, alongside it's full complement of outbuildings, and I think any planning decision that would rule out the possibility of restoring it as a dwelling would be absolute bureacratic nonsense adding yet more losses to our vernacular heritage that have been habitually bulldozed over the years..
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby kieran0426 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:02 pm

From the wording of the condition “Decommission", it is implied that the use of the building as a habitable dwelling needs only to be decommissioned. There is nothing stopping you maintaining and or restoring the building provided the works are exempt from planning. However if you wish to once again commission the building for usage as a domestic dwelling you would need to apply for planning to rehabilitate previously decommissioned farmhouse. Not knowing the actual county or case I would image that the rehabilitation of the dwelling would also mean that the existing entrance and also the effluent facilities would need to be brought up to the relevant Development Plan standards.
kieran0426
Member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:11 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:13 pm

kieran0426 wrote:From the wording of the condition “Decommission", it is implied that the use of the building as a habitable dwelling needs only to be decommissioned. There is nothing stopping you maintaining and or restoring the building provided the works are exempt from planning. However if you wish to once again commission the building for usage as a domestic dwelling you would need to apply for planning to rehabilitate previously decommissioned farmhouse. Not knowing the actual county or case I would image that the rehabilitation of the dwelling would also mean that the existing entrance and also the effluent facilities would need to be brought up to the relevant Development Plan standards.


Thanks Kieran,
I was thinking along those lines myself.. i.e there's nothing stopping me working on it, just living in it...
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby kieran0426 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:48 am

That would be my understanding but would need to see the exact wording of the condition to be sure.
From previous experience once a building is decomissioned or can be proven has been unused for a period of ten years the uses becomes "Vacant" and therefore planning permission is required for the building to be reinstated to is previous or possibly new use.
kieran0426
Member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:11 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby onq » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:42 am

simon.d wrote:My parents bought an old farm with farmhouse about 14 years ago. On receipt of planning permission to build a new house on the land the planners stipulated the following condition:

"Conditions: The existing farmhouse structure shall be decommissioned and shall not henceforth be used for habitable purposes.

Reasons for conditions: In the interests of orderly development."


I was wondering did anyone know how binding such conditions are and whether or not they expire, or what I can do to have this condition undone. I'm looking to restore the farmhouse as my own home in the very near future.


Well, it won't be in the VERY near future.

You'll need a permission and you may need to do a significant amount of rebuilding.

14 weeks for the planning permisison without an Appeal, eight months minimum with and Appeal plus four to six months of a build [mid range estimate] - could be a year away.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:16 pm

onq wrote:Well, it won't be in the VERY near future.

You'll need a permission and you may need to do a significant amount of rebuilding.

14 weeks for the planning permisison without an Appeal, eight months minimum with and Appeal plus four to six months of a build [mid range estimate] - could be a year away.

ONQ.


I'm no expert, but I'm assuming from my own reading, and some of the feedback here, that the repair and restoration can begin immediately seeing as the structure already exists, so long as the exterior works do not materially affect the external appearance of the structure ...? Therefore without planning, I can do almost all the works necessary and that planning is only needed to have it reclassified as a dwelling? So I hope to be in there by late summer!
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby henno » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:46 pm

simon.d wrote:I'm no expert, but I'm assuming from my own reading, and some of the feedback here, that the repair and restoration can begin immediately seeing as the structure already exists, so long as the exterior works do not materially affect the external appearance of the structure ...? Therefore without planning, I can do almost all the works necessary and that planning is only needed to have it reclassified as a dwelling? So I hope to be in there by late summer!


very risky to pump funds into a project where you are not guaranteed to be able to inhabit it when complete. Very risky indeed :eek:

id seriously suggest a preplanning meeting. If its in kildare, good, as their planners are quite pragmatic in my experience.

a big issue is whether there is enough landholding between the two dwellings to cater for 2 dwellings... id suggest a min 1 1/2 acres, possible 2 acres.

as others have said, the reason the condition was included original was, most probably, to allow for a new farmhouse on this farmland. You will need to comply fully with kildare co cos stringent local needs requirements.
henno
Senior Member
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 12:07 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:21 pm

henno wrote:a big issue is whether there is enough landholding between the two dwellings to cater for 2 dwellings... id suggest a min 1 1/2 acres, possible 2 acres.


The edge of the farmhouse is about 100ft from the nearest edge of the parents house... With a dense row of very mature trees marking a ditch about halfway between them... So I'm not to sure.... They don't seem to close... But who knows! Ideally I'd be able to tap into the parents septic tank, though I'm not sure if that's a possibility.. Are two houses allowed to share the same septic tank (assuming it's large enough)?

I (possibly naively) would have thought the primary issue here was the architectural heritage locked up in this lobby-entry mud farmhouse, that if left for the next few years will be beyond salvation.. One recent find in it to date was uncovering from a veil of cement plaster, a fully intact and well crafted stone jamb wall with it's quintessential spy window that once supported a grand canopy chimney over the hearth (one I plan to fully restore), an absolute gem of our heritage in my mind.. If a planning authority fails to recognise the value of this structure and bend over backwards to reclassifiy this as a habitable dwelling, then the system in this country is entirely dysfunctional in my opinion....

Will they bend over backwards for me, or would they prefer to let it rot?
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby onq » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:56 am

Two in one month - it must be signs of a recovery! :)

Simon, IMO you cannot simply recommission a decommissioned building, willy-nilly..
You cannot simply start doingworks to something supposed to be an ex-habitable structure to make it habitable again.
Doing any works to make it habitable may be viewed as substantially the same in planning law terms as building a house without permission.

We're all suffering from the lack of proper regulation and foresight in Government and Banking levels of our society and alleged corruption and croneyism at the highest levels.
Yet here you are going to great lengths to apparently bat back competent planning advice from a host of competent building professionals AND hoping for special treatment from the local authority.

Stop talking this through, start listening, take professional advice you have to pay for and then maybe you'll appreciate it.
But you're being told here, this week, categorically, that NO, if is not safe to assume you'll get permission for this - you maydo, but its by no means certain.

So +1 what henno and other have advised - tread very cautiously from here on in or in a year you may be back here seeking free advice on planning enforcement issues.
Appoint your own architect to advise you on all of this, especially in relation to this bucket of cold water I'm about to douse you with to get you to see some sense; -
  • the ex-house is not a listed building
  • you will get no derogations from the LA on compliance with the building regulations
  • it will never be "right" given the structure and lack of DPC and insulation [rising dampt through walls, etc. and
  • in the end, it will be cheaper to knock and rebuild
Now I know some builders and architects who would make a good job if this, but I also have met a lot of people like you - you won't employ them.

You are a tyre-kicker here refusing good advice even at planning level.
You have no intention of hiring a professional or even a competent contractor because you think you know everything and everyone should do things your way.
You intend to do this on a shoestring and don't want any professional or contractor standing between you and the direct labourers you are going to brow-beat into doing things your way.

Over to you, since you don't listen to advice - you've been warned, more than once now - a damp cold house, enforcement action and a court case will cost you a lot more than not appointing competent people because you want to "do it your way" - saving pennies and losing pounds.
Lose the ego - stick to what you're good at, and appoint others to do what they're good at - and pay them.
We all deserve the opportunity to earn a living.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby vca » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:22 am

Thanks ONQ for slipping one to Simon.D after he 'bent over backwards'!

You are unlikely to get the commission to decommission his farmhouse but hopefully we will not have to read any more of his 'tyre-kicking' fantasies on here.

Thanks for the Tuesday a.m. chuckle!
vca
Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:16 pm

onq wrote:Two in one month - it must be signs of a recovery! :)

Simon, IMO you cannot simply recommission a decommissioned building, willy-nilly..
You cannot simply start doingworks to something supposed to be an ex-habitable structure to make it habitable again.
Doing any works to make it habitable may be viewed as substantially the same in planning law terms as building a house without permission.


Indeed I can start doing works, especially repair on the structure as it's in dire need of drainage works, reroofing, reflooring and replastering... Without which it will be gone beyond repair within a decade...

onq wrote:We're all suffering from the lack of proper regulation and foresight in Government and Banking levels of our society and alleged corruption and croneyism at the highest levels.
Yet here you are going to great lengths to apparently bat back competent planning advice from a host of competent building professionals AND hoping for special treatment from the local authority.


I'm not looking for special treatment personally.. I'm expecting that the heritage of this country receives special treatment.. . Yes it would be cheaper to knock... Yes it would be easier (and cheaper) to build a new house from scratch on some greenfield site a few hundred yards from the farmhouse.. But that means the history and character of that dwelling and the fire that has lit in the hearth of that house for the last 200 yr+ is permanently extinguished... If the system doesn't go out of it's way to protect these structures, then the system is very wrong in my mind, and still champions the bulldozing of our dwindling rural heritage... I'm looking for improved regulation of these issues such that the destruction stops, and the professionals in this country stop their bulldozing refrain.... It's a disgrace of a situation whereby there's no laws stopping me from bulldozing this property, while at the same time there are laws preventing me from saving it... Am I the only one who sees the wrong in this situation?...

onq wrote:
  • the ex-house is not a listed building
  • you will get no derogations from the LA on compliance with the building regulations
  • it will never be "right" given the structure and lack of DPC and insulation [rising dampt through walls, etc. and
  • in the end, it will be cheaper to knock and rebuild
Now I know some builders and architects who would make a good job if this, but I also have met a lot of people like you - you won't employ them.

That single statement highlights whats wrong with most of the construction profession in this country with respect of restoration (i.e. ignorance)... With such a blinkered view of construction methods focusing purely on the cling-film approach of Plastic, Steel and Cement... We're miles behind the UK in this respect, who actually appreciate their old cottages/buildings making it very difficult for people like me to find professionals who know what they're talking about... There are many ways to deal with damp and insulation in old houses, i.e. french drains, recycled foam glass/coat lecca under floor, hemp lime plasters, limerete.. The key is breathability and drainage... Feel free to educate yourself and do this country a service...
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby onq » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:05 pm

You were warned about doing the works - having been "decommissioned" I doubt any of the exempted development schedule applies.

As for the kind of works, I know the measures taken by Grade I to III Conservation Architects - you forgot about creating an Area and using Calcium Silicate render.

However all of those have the common denominator that they are not works you undertake to a shed, but to a habitable building and you don't have permission for that use yet.

You can spray your protests about all you want but it all boils down to you saying you should be let do it "for the good of the country" - I heard enough of that nonsense from Cowan yesterday.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby PVC King » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Simon

When you get advice of that quality free; do not look a gift horse in the mouth. There have been enough people wiped out taking chances in recent years, unless you can fund the entire project from cash and can afford to lose it; you may find getting finance on potentially unauthorised development as difficult as it always should have been i.e. non-existant.

On the house in Meath that the High Court ordered demolished; was it ever established if A BANK FUNDED THE PROJECT AND IF SO HAS THE RELEVANT LOAN OFFICER BEEN FIRED YET?
PVC King
 

Re: Decommissioned Farmhouse?

Postby simon.d » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:48 pm

onq wrote:You can spray your protests about all you want but it all boils down to you saying you should be let do it "for the good of the country" - I heard enough of that nonsense from Cowan yesterday.


You seem to share the same delusion as cowen, in that you don't see what's in "the national interest" as you've essentially just said that maintaining our vernacular heritage is nonsense.. . And you wonder why people like me won't employ "professionals" expousing such attitudes....
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Next

Return to Irish Planning Matters