Adapting Traditional Farm Buildings

Best Practice Guidelines for Adaptive Reuse

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Traditional farmsteads and farm buildings make an important contribution to the remarkably varied character of England’s landscape. They are fundamental to its sense of place and local distinctiveness. Although the majority of traditional farm buildings have now become partly or wholly redundant for modern agricultural purposes unsupported by income to fund their maintenance and repair, they often have the potential to be of economic value in terms of their capacity to accommodate a variety of new uses.

Successful adaptive reuse of any farmstead or building depends upon an understanding of its significance, its relationship to the wider landscape setting and its sensitivity to and capacity for change.

This advice is aimed at owners of farm buildings, building professionals and local authority planning and conservation officers. It explains how significance can be retained and enhanced through well-informed maintenance and sympathetic development, provided that repairs, design and implementation are carried out to a high standard.

This replaces The Conversion of Traditional Farm Buildings published September 2006.


  • Introduction
  • Introducing traditional farmsteads
  • Assessing character and significance
  • Adapting farm buildings
  • Obtaining consents
  • Where to get advice
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 56
  • Product Code: HEAG158


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