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Barn Conversion for sale


Sold by Us £145,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Former Warehouse
  • Waters Edge Location
  • Unrivalled Views
  • Adjacent to Marshes & Creeks

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

THE COAL BARN A former warehouse, The Coal Barn has been the subject of countless paintings over the years, situated at the water´s edge at Thornham Harbour it enjoys unrivalled and unique views and is surrounded by National Trust land. The barn sits alone adjacent to the beautiful marshes and creeks in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. During the 18th century, the Norfolk coastline was notorious for smuggling when wool, tea, tobacco and alcohol were unloaded off the creeks at Thornham. The Coal Barn was recently used in scenes from the BBC production of Great Expectations. It is believed that the barn is the last East Coast property of its kind to remain in private ownership and this is a rare opportunity to acquire a unique and historic property.

THORNHAM Thornham is a lovely village on the coast between Hunstanton and Burnham Market. The village is renowned for its sandy beaches, long walks and the marshland bird reserve. Thornham has a small harbour, three pubs, farm shop, shop/deli and café, church and hairdressers. The Lifeboat Inn is said to have been a haven for smugglers in the 16th century. The Royal West Norfolk Golf Club is a few miles along the coast at Brancaster and King's Lynn - 20 miles away - has a main line rail link to London via Cambridge.

GROUND FLOOR 39' 0" x 20' 0" (11.89m x 6.1m) Current construction: Brick and flint under a pantile roof.
Land: The sale includes a piece of land (see ´Landscaping´ section and accompanying visual plans).

PLANNING / OTHER LEGAL PERMISSIONS Detailed planning permission is ongoing as the first stage of works had started. Due to the environmentally sensitive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the building's historical importance and it's susceptibility to flooding, there are 20 conditions attached to the planning permission. Business use is currently limited to six spring / summer months of the year, but there is scope to apply to extend this time - considering that the area is just as popular with visitors during autumn / winter months. All the necessary conditions for beginning development work have been discharged. Building Control have also issued Notice of Passing Building Plans for commencement of development.
'As official documented confirmation, an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness is currently in process'

The permission is currently for an Arts Centre/Studio (teaching art, activities etc). ' Change of Use' should be straightforward-providing that the proposed nature of activities are sensitive to the building and area. 

FINANCIAL Detailed quotes, including fixtures, fittings, lift, etc. ranged from £115,000 to £160,000 (approx.) - excluding VAT. However, these may need to be updated as they were provided a couple of years ago or so . The project was also in the last stages of a local substantial grant application offer which would cover much of this cost of development. Depending on the new owners intentions for the building, the opportunity to obtain funding this way may still be available.

RESTORATION / ALTERATIONS Planning permission will allow the building to be restored, strengthened and protected. Alterations to the original design are as discreet as possible and have only been introduced to:

- Strengthen the building (see structural engineer's plans).
- Allow the use of sustainable energy sources (below).
- Incorporate more natural light - where necessary. The two new windows will allow a dark corner of the building - otherwise redundant / wasted space - to be used for art activities.
- Limit flood damage in order to preserve the building. This would include raising the floor level and doors on one side of the building, use appropriate drain system and building materials. All door and window frames will be made of movement / rust resilient metal - recommended in flood prone areas.

ECOLOGICAL / SUSTAINABLE / ECONOMICAL FUNCTION The building will be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It will be installed with:

- Solar panels disguised as conservation roof lights to generate energy to facilitate the building's use.
- Rainwater harvesting system.
- Compost toilet - emptied / used as fertiliser (by local farmers?) once / twice yearly
- Grey water treatment / reedbed system - allowing the water to be safely discharged into the creek or reused - designed by Marcus Zipperlen of Centre of Alternative Technology.
- Solid fuel burner for heating / hot water / cooking

LANDSCAPING Stairs and ramp which lead up to a wooden platform in order to enter the building and the jetty on the Harbour side of the building will resemble other wooden jetties in the area. The circular hard standing has been designed to be visually unobtrusive, being surrounded by native plants and will allow for some of the land to be utilised for art activities outside. Landscape design was formed with the intention of incorporating continued use of existing activities, such as fishing, etc.

BIODIVERSITY Several ecological surveys - as recommended by English Nature and Wildlife and Conservation Team at King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council - have concluded that barn owls were the only remaining 'significant' species using the Coal Barn. The proposed design incorporates an owl box into its' structure. Any building work will be done according to the Ecological Risk Assessment restrictions.

ACCESS Disabled access and use: The design includes full access for wheel chair users, including wide doors, ramps, manual lift, etc.

Flood Zone: The building is within flood zone 3, which means that safety precautions must be considered and forms part of the conditions attached to the planning permission. The road floods - usually outside of normal working hours and water does reach the building itself a couple of times a year when there are exceptionally high tides. The Flood Risk Assessment recognises this, but concludes that the building can be safely used providing the recommended precautions are taken.

While every precaution will be taken to make visitors aware of / reduce potential risks due to flooding, it is recommended that ultimate responsibility will remain with the individuals using the centre. This can form part of the building's 'Terms and Conditions' for visitors policy.

Transport / Parking: Clients can access the building via Staithe Lane. Although many visitors to the harbour do this using vehicular transport, groups who use the centre will be expected / encouraged to respect the area by leaving their vehicles at the accommodation nearby or by being dropped off and picked up where possible.

The Lifeboat Inn have agreed to allow parking in their own parking area, with the agreement that use of their business is encouraged.

The popular Royal West Norfolk Golf Club experiences similar flood issues, which they successfully work around.

THE BUSINESS: THE ARK (THORNHAM HARBOUR ECO ART CENTRE) LTD The company is registered with Companies House. It is not-for-profit / not having share capital.

Companies Objectives: Provide educational and enriching activities in and widen access to the visual arts, crafts, design and architecture, local history, ecology and nature, while promoting ethical and sustainable business practices which help to protect the environment. Profits generated by the company will be used to benefit the local community and those who are disadvantaged, This will be done either through the business's own activities or through working with other individuals or groups with social or charitable purposes - who will also benefit from
- at least 5% of company's profits prior to payment of director's salary
- use of business premises for at least 1 day a week or 26 days per business year.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
28 November 2016

Map & Street View

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