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A new rush to the barn door : New appeal of agricultural buildings as modern homesAre you

Pridgeon points out that national parks, conservation areas and listed buildings are still protected by additional rules but adds: “The changes clearly offer the opportunity to put an agricultural building to a beneficial new use that could support the rural economy.”

There are still planning rules to negotiate, though, and Richard Copus, a fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents, says: “The general rule is the barn must look the same from outside as it did before conversion and the inside must show as many original features, such as old beams, as possible.”

Although doors can be replaced with glazing, he advises: “New windows are normally not permissible so many conversions have quite a lot of rooflights.”

The restrictions also mean that doors, dormers, porches and conservatories can’t be added without planning permission and Alex Gosling, CEO of online agent HouseSimple, says: “You’ll also need to employ an engineer to check for structural integrity. Consider, too, how you will connect the home to the grid.”

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