Storming barn conversions

Field House Barn, Kettlesing - �700,000 with Savills, 01904 617800.
Field House Barn, Kettlesing - �700,000 with Savills, 01904 617800.

Barn conversions used to be the epitome of the “alternative” property: all Agas and organic muesli.

But time and the housing shortage have conspired to gentrify them and in some moneyed areas of England so-called “super-barns” have become the modern equivalent of the traditional country house.

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But then, they’re usually large, sturdily built of local materials, blend in well with the landscape, and are surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside – so what’s not to like?

Converting is rarely straightforward and can cost quite a bit – typically around a third more per square foot than building from scratch – but the results can be simply stunning.

The following four properties are all currently for sale within a fairly small area west of the A61, in the lower reaches of the Yorkshire Dales.

The barn at Red Barn Farm, Felliscliffe, is set well back from the A59 Skipton Road, down a long, shared access track.

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The stone building comes with planning consent for a four-bedroom home with adjoining double garage and, as is the norm with such conversions, there is some pretty heavy-duty work to be done to convert it to residential use.

The buyers will pay one third of the cost of laying new water pipes (to be installed by the sellers), as well as any connection costs, and half the cost of installing a new sewage treatment plant (also to be installed by the sellers), as well as a share of the access track maintenance costs. The buyer will also be responsible for building the stone boundary walls, incorporating wooden double entrance gates.

Then again, the expense of the conversion should be largely mitigated by a very reasonable-looking guide price.

Just along the road at Kettlesing, Field House Barn has planning consent for two units, although a single sizeable home might be a more popular choice.

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A former dairy farm, the slate-roofed, stone-built property already has the utilities on site, but does need a new private drainage system.

The plot comes with a small paddock which is landscaped to its western edge, and the exact boundary may be negotiable.

A few miles to the north is Haddockstones Farm, which was built on the site of a former medieval grange that supplied grain and other produce to the monks of Fountains Abbey.

A slice of this history, in the form of some former farm buildings, could be yours, along with planning consent for conversion to two spacious homes, two affordable three-bed semis and a building for B1/B2 use.

The buyer will need to build a new access to the site and connect to a water supply, although there may be access to the main farm’s borehole, and will have to install a new sewage treatment plant sufficient for the properties for sale plus four others.

Finally, if connecting water supplies and installing sewage treatment plants sounds a little too taxing, you might consider the Old Wheelhouse at Hampsthwaite, where all the hard work has already been done.

This newly-converted barn has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, three reception rooms and is surrounded by woodland and farmland just a few minutes from the village.

The paddock immediately behind the house may be available by separate negotiation.