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  • Amanda Stobbs

No Saluting this Magpie

Magpies are often associated with bad luck, with many a superstitious person saluting a single magpie to ward off potential doom; but at Magpie Farm, no such salute was needed as Prior Approval was granted for the conversion of five agricultural buildings to three dwellings including the replacement and infilling of wall and roof cladding, the creation of new window and door openings and new drainage proposals.

The buildings included a single storey pitched roof barn to be converted to a single storey dwelling (building 1), a tall Dutch barn with two smaller buildings to be converted to a two-storey dwelling with separate domestic store and home office/gym (buildings 2 to 4), and tall pitched roof barn to a single storey dwelling (building 5).

The proposed scheme was carefully designed by Tyler Parkes’ in-house architects to maximise opportunities to create floorspace whilst remaining in compliance with the limitations set out within the permitted development rights regulations, with particular attention to the site’s layout accommodating private amenity space and parking.

The Council queried the agricultural use of the site, having noted horses on site during their site visit, as well as questioning the proposed use of buildings 3 and 4 for a study/gym and domestic storage on the basis that the permitted development right provides only for the conversion to use as a dwellinghouse.

However, the Tyler Parkes planning team were able to demonstrate the site had been in sole agricultural use on the date as set out in the regulations, that its current use was not relevant to the determination ,and that there is no exclusion within the regulations for the use of ancillary buildings for related domestic use, with many of these agricultural conversions using smaller barns for garages.

Prior Approval was subsequently granted by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council under delegated powers in March 2023.


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