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Countryside Building Contents VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2 Publishers: Ghyll House Publishing Ltd ATSS House Station Road East Stowmarket Suffolk IP14 1RQ Tel: 01449 677500 Fax: 01449 770028 E-mail:

Subscriptions - free to members of the RDBA Non-members UK: £20.00 Non-members Overseas: £25.00

Advertising Sales Chris Hutchinson, details as above Jason Craig, Tel: 0289 7519178 or 07947 360422 Editor: Tony Hutchinson National Secretary Rural Design and Building Association ATSS House Station Road East Stowmarket Suffolk IP14 1RQ Tel: 01449 676049 Fax: 01449 770028 Email: Cover: Courtesy of Eternit

Countryside Building has been carefully prepared but articles are published without responsibility on the part of the publishers or authors for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any view, information or advice included therein. The articles published do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Rural Design and Building Association. The publishers do not accept any responsibility for claims made by advertisers

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In Association with the


Main Features in our next issue Features planned for Volume 2 issue 3 - March 2002 The implication of the Changes to Part 'L' of the Building Regulations on the Conversion of Rural Buildings - Richard Langley That was the Year that was - John Messer Harmony Centre - Part II - Explanation of the use of Green Construction Materials and Systems. Impact of Climate Change on the Construction Industry- Paul Blackmore of the BRE Planning and Equestrian Buildings - David J Wood Construction Group Stone Slate Quarries, or Delphs, part II Countryside Building 1

Secretaries Column / Diary Dates Secretary s Column I trust that you have had a lovely Christmas and hope you have a prosperous 2002. You will note that we have made a few changes to the magazine and trust that you like the new look. Undoubtedly last year was the worst for the rural economy for many years, but we can be confident that for the majority of us, next year can not be as bad, although there are bound to be changes. We need to watch the development of DEFRA, they have a very difficult task to perform, with all the different demands on the countryside it is impossible to cater for everyone’s requirements, the countryside can not be all things to all people. So some very difficult choices will have to be made but if DEFRA get the choices right and can give a lead, so that the majority of those involved in the rural economy can back them, we can come out of our present problems in a far stronger position. The fear is that they will take the lead from those with the loudest voices rather than those that understand the problems and so the situation will get worse. During the year there has been very little activity either at national or branch level, but now that Foot and Mouth is over, we must look forward to a busy 2002. In the last year our membership has grown by 15% and we need to attract these new members to new interesting and enjoyable events around the country. We should look at the Winter Conference in November on Sustainability as a great stepping stone. You can read all about the conference later in Countryside Building, but there is no doubt that sustainability is with us to stay and we all need to look at what we can do to reduce our impact on the environment. It was interesting to listen to Judi Loach enthusiastically extolling the fact that one way of building sustainably is, where practicable, to reuse old buildings. This is of course a theme that the RDBA has been pushing for many years; with our last competition ‘Re-used but not Abused’ being based on the reuse of old buildings. With this in mind and to continue the theme (and have a bit of fun) I have decided to start my own competition, with the publishers of Countryside Building putting up a bottle of whisky as a prize. The competition is to find the strangest / most interesting building that has been converted or reused. To start this off I reproduce a photograph I took in Athens earlier this year of two buildings that are now smart offices but obviously started life as large gasometers. All photographs with a brief explanation to the Secretary, a selection will be reproduced in the next issue.

Our New Chairman At the AGM on the 15th November 2001 Jim Rogerson was elected as our new Chairman. Jim was born on 5/2/58, the day before the Munich Air Crash. He is a farmer’s son who has worked around the farm for as long as he can remember carrying out the typical tasks such as hand milking the cows into a bucket. After leaving school with 4 O levels he worked for an agricultural contractor for a year before working for two years on a dairy farm of 180 cows. In 1977 he decided to branch out on his own as a self-employed agricultural contractor then in 1979 he started erecting timber cow kennels for Farmplan from Ross on Wye. In July 1988 he bought the building business from Farmplan with the help of the Bank manager, who insisted that he used his house as collateral and pay interest of 5% over Bank base! He renamed the business Farmplus and moved the offices to Shay Lane, Longridge, Preston, Lancashire. Over the years he has redesigned and increased the cow kennel range and can now build quality buildings for differing farm and farming situations. He has also increased the range of General Purpose buildings, which now include more traditional types of buildings to suit conservation areas. He has expanded into Europe recently building 4 Dairy Units in Germany (one of them winning a regional award in the area) He was married in 1984 to Mandy (Amanda Jayne) and now has two sons, Matthew 16 and Adam 14. He advises that he is used to hard work and never had time for a real holiday until 1991. He has been a Town & Borough Councillor since May 95, sitting on the Borough Council Planning Committee since day one; in 1998/9 he was the Longridge Town Mayor. He is very keen to see an increase in “sustainable” development. He advises that some of his aims, as the Chairman, are to increase the number of Contractors who are members of the Construction Group, ensure that next years spring conference is informative, interesting, enjoyable and well attended and to attend as many branch events as he can to meet as many members as possible. Countryside Building 2

New Members Amendments to Members Directory since the last issue New Members Mr J Collinson, Individual, Wessex Monk & Ptnrs, 4 The Crescent, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3AB Phone: 01752 255222, Fax 01752 251100 Building Surveyors offering design and build contract administration. Mr J. LL Edwards, Individual, Wales J. LL. & E O P Edwards, Cefnbraich, Rhydymain, Dolgellan, Gwynedd, LL40 2BP Phone & fax: 01341 450688 Steel framed agricultural and industrial buildings, f/c cladding, box profile sheeting in steel and grp. Mass concrete walling and flooring reinforcing, etc,. Ground preparation, agricultural contracting, etc. Mr G P Middleton A.B.I.A.T. Individual, Wessex Roger Parry Chartered Surveyors, Hogston Hall, Minsterley, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY5 0HZ Phone: 01743 791336, Fax: 01743 792770, E-mail Web Site Chartered Surveyors, Planning and Listed Building Applications + Building Regulations Approvals, Architectural Drawings, Farm and Land Sales Management, Quota Sales, Valuations, etc. Onduline Building Products Ltd, Corporate, South East Eardley House, 182 – 184 Campden Hill Road, Kensington, London, W8 7AS Miss Maisie Meehan, Mr. H M Eichenauer, Mr. Anthony Knell, Claire Hayzer Phone: 0207 727 0533, Fax: 0207 792 1390, E-mail Web Site: Onduline roofing/cladding/oversheeting, Bardoline Tiles, Fonduline Damp Proofing, Ondusteel, Bituline Torch-on Mr Nial Watkin-Rees Individual, North West T E G Environmental PLC, Crescent House, 2-6 Sandy Lane, Leyland, Preston, Lancashire PR25 2EB Phone: 01772 422220, Fax 01772 422210 Continuous flow thermophilic composting system, bio degradable waste solutions, compost plants, design build and operate packages, agricultural diversification opportunities, advice, R & D. Land and buildings wanted to develop in many areas, active plant available to view, nation wide service, agri-business friendly.

Amendments Nial Watkin-Rees Change to Mrs Lorna Shufflebottom Mervyn Rose Engineering, Change of address to: Paradise Farm, Bagber, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 2HB Miss J S Rowe Change from Student to Individual Member

Diary Dates Due to the problems of foot and mouth very few meetings have been planned. Now that the outbreak is over, branches around the Country are booking dates I will try and keep our website up to date, as the dates are agreed. 16th of January 2002: Construction Group visit to Italy to see the Merlo factory. 17th, 18th, & 19th of April 2002: The Spring Conference 2002, Diversification and Intensification in the Rural Area based at the Swallow Hotel on the A59 at Samlesbury, Lancashire. Read all about it later in the magazine. 14th & 15 November 2002: Provisional date for the Winter Conference 2002. Venue and theme to be advised. More details from the National Secretary 01449 676049. 26th, 27th & 28th March 2003: Provisional date for the Spring Conference 2003, Venue and theme to be confirmed. More

Obituary Alex Menzies 28th December 1970 – 4th September 2001 It is with great sadness that I report the death of Alex Menzies. He died of a heart attack on the 4th September. Alex was just 30 years old, married for 2 ½ years to Sis, with whom he had a daughter, Emily Sparkle, 3 months old. Having graduated from the Royal College, Cirencester, Alex joined us at Milbury, where he came into contact with many in the agricultural construction industry. His lively, enthusiastic manner and sense of humour, made him a most popular person in the Company and wherever he went, being completely at home at any level of the society or in any situation. A keen member of the RDBA he held the posts of Chairman and then of Secretary of the Wessex branch. Alex left us 2 years ago, lured by the more exciting world of computers and e-commerce, something by which he had always been fascinated. He kept in touch with us and remained a good friend. His popularity away from work was easily seen whenever we met socially, and very movingly emphasised by the sheer number of friends who attended his beautiful and emotional funeral in Bristol. Alex will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and sympathy are very much with his parents and family and with Sis and Emily Sparkle. Bob Honey Past Chairman Countryside Building 3

Membership The RDBA Membership Package  Regular meetings and conferences at branch and national level.

 The opportunity to comment on draft legislation and have ones views represented on a number of BSI Co

 Plenty of opportunities to meet with experts involved in rural buildings to discuss the issues of the  This journal

Countryside Building

is published at least four times a year and mailed to 10,000 key

contains interesting and informative articles as well as giving members the opportunity to advertise the Directory of Services will be printed in one issue each year.

 The RDBA show stand where Members can show their products and services at the major agricultural show  Receive enquiries via the National Secretary.

 The opportunity to speak to the HSE and other Government Departments as a trade association rather th  The opportunity to develop method statements as a trade association and with an input from the HSE.  The opportunity to promote best practice in the construction of farm buildings.

The Construction Group

In 1999 a new group was formed for the farm›building constructors. It was felt by a number of them that to discuss the industry s problems and to allow them to talk to various Government Departments. This has proved very successful with a large number of farm building constructors joining, such that we majority of farm buildings built now and in the future will be erected by one of our members. They have representatives on BSI Committees and a Member of the HSE is on their Health and Safety Commit They also have their own safety training rig, which is taken to agricultural shows to demonstrate to far that they should see on a building being erected on their farm, The main aims of the Construction Group are:  To promote good safe working practices within our industry.  To raise the profile of agricultural building manufacture and construction as a skilled industry.  To discuss and exchange views and information our industry. within

 To ensure that our clients realise their responsibilities under the Construction Health and Safety Re  To promote a Safety and Quality Scheme to the highest standards within our industry.  To liaise with the Health and Safety Executive and other bodies, including suppliers.

Based on the aims, the group has agreed a Mission Statement and a Health and Safety Statement, which t They are now working on standardising method statements for the different processes involved in construc They have published an advice note on the Farmer s responsibility when he has a building erected on his as the client the Farmer must ensure that he uses a competent Contractor and that in many instances the principle Contractor and so has full responsibility for health and safety on site.

Membership of the Construction Group is open to Corporate Members, with the Construction Group annual su


The RDBA was formed in 1956 and until 1991 was known as the Farm Buildings Association. We are still today the only Association in the UK having a detailed knowledge of the function and envi requirements of a modern agricultural building, together with the breadth of expertise in their siting construction. This expertise also extends to conversion for diversification and other rural building There is a branch structure with most branches holding:  Regular meetings.  Interesting and informative visits.  Seminars and presentations on subjects of interest. Members are drawn from all sectors of the rural building industry giving them the opportunity to meet range of interesting people.

 Designers, Surveyors  Teachers, Lecturers, Colleges  Contractors, Farm Building Erectors,  Equipment Manufacturers,  and Farmers. The Construction Group are responsible for the construction of over 50% of the buildings erected in th buildings either new or modified have some Member, input from either a as a designer or component Supplier. We are actively recruiting new Members.

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Membership Application Form (Includes information for the Membership Register) Please give your details below in block letters. If you do not want your details to be published please mark a cross here ( ) We/I wish to become members of the Rural Design & Building Association and agree to pay the annual subscription on 1 October each year. Name of Company or College (if applicable) Address

Post Code

Tel No

Fax No



E-mail Web address Title Mr./Mrs./Miss. Position Professional or other qualifications (abbreviations) Home Address

Post Code

Tel No

Fax No

Business, please describe materials, products or services offered, including Trade Names. If a College please describe courses available.

Signed Date Membership (circle)

Corporate - £220.00,

College - £110.00,

Individual - £39.00,

Retired -£20.00,

Student - £15.00.

Construction Group Membership is open to Corporate Members of the RDBA plus a £100.00 annual fee. Tick the box if you wish to join the Construction Group and you will be invoiced for the £100.00 fee once you are a Corporate Member. There is a special concessionary rate for small firms with less than 6 employees, who wish to join the Construction Group of £150.00. The cheques should be made payable to the RDBA Construction Group. Please return to the National Secretary with your cheque made payable to RDBA. National Secretary, Tony and Jeannie Hutchinson ATSS House, Station Road East, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1RQ Tel: 01449 676049, Fax: 01449 770028, E-mail: Countryside Building 5

National News Minutes of the Rural Design and Building Association Annual General Meeting Held on 15th November 2001 The Royal Hotel, Ross on Wye

Local Authority can carry out checks of the calculations at their discretion but should check sites post construction to ensure that the building is built as drawn. The RDBA can see no reason why the fixed cost to the client for this work by the Local Authority should be excessive.” Now that it looks as if Foot and Mouth is finally over the Association has started to become more active, the conference should be the launch of a more active year. He hoped that the already active branches would lead the way for the activation of old branches. He asked for continued support for Countryside Building, which was helping to attract new members and give the RDBA a higher profile. We should all support the continued expansion of the Construction Group.

Annual Accounts for Approval. Present: Mr R Coates Mr J Rogerson Mr C Hesketh Mr J Loynes Mrs H Ronson Mr A Hutchinson Mr C. Pearce Mr J Lace Mr P Douglas Mr K Musson Mr D Tysoe Mr S Thorpe Mr L Scragg Mr T Blake Mr S Miles Mr D Pollard Mr A Roberts Mr P Cottrell Mr R Johnson Mr R Stewart Mr L Woodhams I believe that other members also attended but did not complete the attendance sheet. Please advise the Secretary if you did attend but you are not listed above.

Apologies : See Secretary’s Report. Minutes of the AGM held on 8th November 2000: Jim Rogerson, seconded by and Hazel Ronson proposed that the minutes of the AGM of 8th November 2000 be accepted as a true record. The proposal was passed.

Matters arising from the previous minutes: There were no matters arising

Chairman’s report The chairman advised that he was delighted with the way the membership had grown over the last year, but foot and mouth had had a very negative effect on our activities. Despite this he was pleased to report that we had moved forward with one of his key aims of creating a level playing field in the quality of farm buildings. There is a move, from others, to bring working farm buildings under Building Control approval, but the Association and the Construction Group disagreed, except that they accepted that there should be some checking of the structural safety. To this end a statement had been agreed, which states: “The Rural Design and Building Association and its Construction Group does not support the move for “working farm buildings” to come under full Local Authority Building Control, but it does support the checking of the frame, foundations and load bearing walls in a systems similar to the system in Scotland, where by the manufacturer supplies to the Local Authority drawings and an engineers certificate underwriting the design. The Countryside Building 6

The Treasurer, Jim Loynes presented the annual accounts. It was obviously very disappointing that there was a loss, when we had budgeted for a small profit; this was directly due to Foot and Mouth, which meant that we had to cancel so many events many of which would have given us a profit. Unfortunately the accountant only presented the final accounts to him late on the evening before and so there were a number areas where he was not clear how some of the figures had been arrived at. He was confident that the final result was correct but some of the figures needed to be clarified, such as how was the VAT on the secretary’s fees accounted for. As the loss was due directly to Foot and Mouth it was agreed that the Secretary and Treasurer would investigate whether there were any grants that could be claimed to reduce our loss. Jim Rogerson seconded by Keith Musson proposed that the accounts are not adopted at this time, but that clarification is sought by the treasurer and then provided to council for their acceptance and adoption at that time. The proposal was passed. The Treasurer presented the budget for next year. He pointed out that at the Council Meeting, the evening before, two items had been discussed that might change the budget, but since no decisions had been taken the effect on the budget could not be predicted. The two items were; the publishing of the Members Directory in Countryside Building, which might be more expensive than originally thought and an increase in the Secretary’s fees. Both were the subject of discussions and investigations that were on going. It was hoped that decisions would be taken at the next council meeting. Nick Woodhams seconded by Jim Rogerson proposed that the budget was accepted, with the above comments noted and it was hoped that it would be achieved. The Chairman thanked the Treasurer for all his hard work over the last year.

National secretary’s report The Secretary presented his report. Hazel Ronson reported that the Spring Conference planned for March of this year, which was cancelled due to Foot and Mouth, would now be changed and reorganised for late April of 2002. The Secretary would provide more information once it was known.

National News Election of Council The Chairman advised that last years Vice-Chairman, John Scott-White who had been expecting to stand for election as Chairman, had recently decided to move house to the North of Scotland and felt that he would not often be able to attend meetings or be able to spare the time to be Chairman, and so was not standing for election. The Chairman thanked John for all his hard work and support as the Vice Chairman last year. He advised that he was delighted to report that Jim Rogerson who had been an active Council Member for many years had put himself forward to be elected as Chairman and Hazel Ronson had agreed to stand as Vice-Chairman. Nick Woodhams seconded by Jim Rogerson proposed that those requiring election on the list of officers and Members supplied with the agenda should be elected on block. This proposal was agreed. The list is provided below. Name Sir Pat Astley-Cooper Jim Rogerson Dick Coates Hazel Ronson Jim Loynes Tony Hutchinson Graeme Blanchard David Bussey Paul Douglas Bob Honey Mike Kelly Jonathon Lace Phillip Lewis David Marston Keith Musson Chris Pearce Jim Reid Member Scott-White Lee Scragg David Tysoe Chris Wareing David Wood

Position LastElected Hon President Life Chairman 2001 Immediate Past Chairman Vice-Chairman 2001 Treasurer 2000 National Secretary Paid Member 2000 Member 1999 Member 1999 Member 2001 Member 1999 Member 2000 Member 2000 Member 1999 Member 1999 Member 1999 1999 John Member 2001 Member 2000 Member 2000 & Nom Member Nominee Member 2000

Any other business

RDBA at the European Dairy Event We had planned to attend at least three agricultural shows in 2001, but then foot and mouth struck and for a time, for obvious reasons, all shows were cancelled. We were then advised that the European Dairy Event was going to go ahead at Stoneleigh, without any animals and reduced from 2 days to 1. After much debate as to whether it was correct for us to attend, when some areas of the UK were still being devastated by foot and mouth, it was finally agreed that we would. Last year we saved money by taking an outside stand, but it was obvious that there were not nearly as many people outside as there were inside and so the decision was taken to reduce the size of our stand and pay the extra to be under cover. This proved to be the correct decision with plenty of visitors to the stand, although with hindsight we should have had a larger stand, as you can see from the photograph the stand was very full. My thanks to Briarwood Products Ltd, Eternit UK Ltd, GFA-RACE Partners Ltd, Richard Mumford, Rombull (UK) Ltd and John Scott- White who all took space on the stand and help make the day such an enjoyable success. There was a general consensus that we should book again for next year, undercover if the price is not too high, and with a larger stand. Talking to the farmers who visited the stand confirms the great changes that are sweeping through the agricultural industry, although in the short term milk prices to the farmer have increased this is not expected to continue in the long term. Only those farmers who continue to make efficiency savings or include added value processing on their farm are going to be able to make a living in dairying. The smaller herds are likely to disappear unless the farmer can find a higher priced niche market to sell into or find other paid work that allows him to run a hobby farm. Many farmers at the show were looking to reorganise their dairy to make them more efficient and a few were talking about totally rebuilding and increasing the herd to 400 or 600 dairy cows. It is though disappointing to note that many farmers are happy to take time and effort to research the equipment they need to make them more efficient and accept that price is not necessarily the most important aspect of their decision, but not as many are prepared to spend much time on considering the type of building that they are going to put the equipment in, even though they still expect the building to be in use for considerably longer than the equipment they put in it.

The RDBA stand at the European Dairy event

Stoneleigh was again a good venue but they did let themselves down by having nothing open the night before. There were a number of stand holders who stayed the night and an even larger number of stand erectors who worked late into the evening, who would have welcomed somewhere to eat and have a drink. National Secretary

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Letters Letters Dear Sirs

Stone Slate – Minerals Planning I read with some considerable interest the article on Stone Slate in Vol. 2 Issue 1 of your publication. Under the heading ‘Minerals Planning’ you indicate a need for a guide to preparing an application. Earlier you refer to the working group formed to tackle specific problems and the fact that certain County Councils are represented on that group and that minerals policies are supportive of slate grouping. Advice is always available from mineral planning offices. They will always advise on the best way to present an application and indeed most have a special (standard) application form. What I suggest is needed is clear advice and publicity by RDBA, CLA and others that all potential applicants should first approach the minerals officer for their area and obtain advice and help. Also the minerals local plan will contain advice and other Government guidance eg. MPG1 is available. The advice is already in place it is a matter for publicity to inform landowners etc about it. Graham Warrilow FRICS Coed Helyg, Feidr Brenin, Newport, Pembrokeshire, SA42 0RZ ED – Since this article ‘Stone Slates National Briefing’ created so much interest we are starting, in this issue, a series of four articles on a ‘Guide to Making a Mineral Planning Application for Stone-Slate Production, which does advise that contact should be made with a mineral officer.’

Stone Slate National Briefing I write as Chairman of the Collyweston Stone Slaters Trust, which is actively involved in many of the issues referred to in the above titled article in the last issue, with a specific reference to Collyweston stone slate. We have recently published a leaflet on Collyweston Stone Slates, which can be made available to anyone who is interested on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope to the address below. Quantities of the leaflet may be ordered at the rate of £25.00 per 50 copies. The Trust has also established a website. The address at the moment is rather indigestible, ( but we hope shortly to be using We would be grateful for any further publicity you can give to this matter. Yours sincerely Robert Dalgliesh. Collyweston Stone Slaters Trust Estate Office Milton Park Peterborough PE6 7AH Phone: 01733 267740 Fax: 01733 331200 Reader enq 64

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National News The RDBA 2002 National Spring Conference Diversification and the Environmental Impact 18th & 19th April 2002 Based at the Swallow Hotel, Samlesbury, Lancs 18th April 2002

19th April 2002

The Conference

The Visits

1. Sustainable Hi-Tech In-Vessel Composting 2. The Future is Bright the Future is Green 3. Farmscape a Modern Concept 4. Finance for the Rural Future 5. Grant aid for Rural Areas 6. Future Buildings for Modern Agriculture 7. Modern Estate Management and a Guide to Funding 8. Is Organic the Modern Way? 9. Environment Agency - What is the Future?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Dairy Farm and Equestrian Centre From Grain to dog food Modern Composting Plant From farm to Golf Club Dairy Farm and award winning Ice Cream Factory

6. Garden Centre on a beef and sheep farm

Booking Form To book your place, please complete this form and return it to the address at the bottom Conference, with one night D B & B & visits, Double

Member Non Member No Total Cost Cost Cost 200.00 150.00

Conference, with one night D B & B & visits, Single



One day, either the Conference or the visits, without dinner



Two days without dinner or bed



One day cost with dinner no bed



Two day cost with dinner no bed 120.00 100.00 For those that are not attending the complete conference please ring the dates below to advise the dates that you will be attending: 18th April, 19th April The Conference is likely to start early on the 18th of April and so for those wishing to stay the night before in the hotel, we have agreed a special rate of £80.00 for doubles and £65.00 for singles. We are organising an “Event” for the evening of the 17th April and so if you wish to join us please advise. Name (in caps) Signature: Address Tick in box below if you wish to be booked in for the Post Code: Phone: night of 17/04/02 Fax back to 01449 770028 or post to RDBA, ATSS House, Station Road East, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1RQ, Phone 01449 677500 Countryside Building 9

Construction Group The Importance of our H &  S Campaign  The latest fatal injuries in farming, forestry, horticulture and related industries, make very sombre reading.

Farmers are using their own (non skilled) labour to carry out building and maintenance work. Contractors are not using the correct safety precautions Contractors are not ensuring that on new roofs the complete roof structure is non-fragile.

No doubt each of the above is driven by the need to save costs, but if those taking the decisions knew the risk they were taking with peoples’ lives or well being, would they really carry out the work in an un-safe manner. It is important that these figures are widely publicised so that those taking decisions are aware of the risks they are running, and that the Construction Group continues to publicise the fact that working at height is dangerous and so only competent contractors such as Construction Group Members should be used.

Any contractor: who is prepared to erect a building or carry out maintenance at height without adequate safety protection (often at weekends to reduce the risk of being caught by a Health and Safety Inspector), needs to seriously consider the above figures and forgetting the law for a moment, just consider how you will feel telling the wife or children of one of your workman that their husband or father is dead because you saved a few £ and did not insist on the use of the correct safety precautions.

Any Farmer:

The provisional figure for 2000/1 is 53 deaths an increase of 9 on 1999/2000, of these deaths 12 or 23% were caused by falls from height, with 7 of the deaths probably related to construction. The breakdown is given below.  Through fragile materials 5  From unsecured work platforms 2  From trees 2  From walkway 1  From feed trough 1  Into grain pit 1 This does show how important the Construction Group’s aim of creating a level playing field is, not just to allow fair competition but also and more importantly to save lives. The figures for deaths 1990 to 2000 are broken down into more detail and show that: The majority of deaths from falls from height occur to the self-employed, 48 deaths (65%), rather than the employed at 26 deaths, but this figure is reversed for non-fatal injuries, with the falls from heights numbers for the employed at 235 (90%) as against 24 for the self-employed. It is difficult to know how accurate these figures are, no doubt there is a considerable amount of under reporting particularly in the non-fatal injuries to the self-employed figures, in my view it is more likely that the relationship between the deaths and non-fatal injuries of the employed at 1 to 9 is likely to be the more accurate figure, which would suggest that the true figure for the self-employed is likely to be in the region of 432. So in 10 years the figures for deaths from falling from height is 74 and non-fatal injuries 667 a truly frightening statistic, but what is even more concerning is that even though the number of buildings being erected and the number of people employed in agriculture over the last 6 years has reduced, the number of deaths from falling from height has not reduced. This suggests that the man-hours worked per death have decreased! There could be a number of reasons for this, some of which are listed below:  Maintenance on old buildings is not being carried out. Countryside Building 10

who is employing a contractor to carry out work at heights needs to think in the same way. It is no longer acceptable to just say that the contractor is the expert and so Health and Safety is not my responsibility, you do have responsibility and if a workman is killed it will be on your conscience for the rest of your life. You must ensure that the contractor that you use is competent in Health and Safety and the easiest way to do this is to use a Construction Group Member.

Any Designer: must also think in the same way, you also can not leave Health and Safety up to the contractor. It is your responsibility to ensure that your design can be erected and maintained safely for the life of the building. We must all ensure that we work together in a safer way if we are going to reduce this annual death toll.

Proposals for regulations t amend the Personal Protective Equipment at Work, The Manual Handling Operations, The Workplace and the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations. The changes have been proposed to clarify a number of issues recently raised by the European Commission (EC) on specific aspects of the UK’s implementation of five EC directives and to address minor drafting problems that have since been identified in some sets of regulations (e.g. incorrect cross-references within regulations). The proposed amendments are relatively minor and will have little practical effect for those complying with the existing law. They should, however, help improve clarity in what the regulations require. Copies can be obtained online: or free of charge from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA Tel: 01787 881165

Construction Group HSE ISSUES FRAGILITY CLASSIFICATION ALERT TO THE ROOFING INDUSTRY A new alert to ensure that industry is working to the right fragility classification when constructing or repairing roofs has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today. HSE's report, Fragile and non-fragile sheeting materials, SIR 30, is no longer valid and has been withdrawn. The only current test, accepted by HSE, to classify non fragile materials is contained in the Advisory Committee for Roofwork document, Test for Fragility of Roofing Assemblies, (Second Edi-tion), ACR[M]001:2000, also known as 'The Red book.' The Advisory Committee for Roofwork (ACR) is a body dedicated to making working on roofs safer. Its membership is made up of nominees from the Health and Safety Executive, the major roof working Federations and Associations and others, who provide the experience of many years of involvement in working on roofs. ACR[M]001:2000 was produced under its guidance. Principal Specialist Inspector, Martin Holden, said: "We have received information that some manufacturers are still claiming non-fragility based on the old SIR 30 test. This test is no longer valid as it only tested roofing components. It took no account of how such components behaved when fixed in position or their interaction with adjacent materials and fixings. Everyone involved in the roofing industry should be aware that a different test is now in place which classifies the non fragility of roofing assemblies." "HSE is concerned that manufacturers, designers - which includes specifiers-, planning supervisors, clients and contractors may be incorrectly using some products in the mistaken belief that they are non fragile. It is important when selecting, specifying or claiming non-fragility always to verify from suppliers and/or manufacturers that the products (e.g. metal cladding, roof lights etc) , when assembled together, meet the requirements of 'The Red Book.' " Copies of ACR[M]001:2000 [second edition] "Test for Fragility of Roofing Assemblies - "The Red Book" can be obtained from the RDBA Secretary

It is important that all those involved in the design of buildings that are covered by building control obtain read and understand these new regulations.

Amendments to the Building Regulations part B Fire Safety European Supplement A Consultation document on proposed amendments to Part B of the Building Regulations was published on the 12th November 2001, with comments required back by 15th February 2002. The main reason for the amendments is to ensure that construction products tested by the European harmonised fire test methods can be used in England and Wales. The document is suggesting that there is a three-year change over period during which products tested to the British Standards and the new European Standards can both be used. This three-year period will start in 2002, at the end only products tested to the new European Standard will be allowed. It is expected that the new standards will be more severe on some currently acceptable products and constructions. This is an important document that all manufacturers of building products, builders and designers should read and understand. It can be down loaded from or by post from, DTLR, PO Box 236, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7NB, phone 0870 1226 236.

RDBA says NO to Building Control for working farm buildings Most working farm buildings are at present exempt from Local Authority Building Control. The RDBA understands that there is a move to remove this exempt status and so bring all farm buildings under Local Authority Building Control. This has been considered in detail by both the Construction

Group and the RDBA Council, who have come to an almost Amendments to the unanimous decision that we should not support this move. It Building Regulations partwould L be expensive, it would cause delays and very little benefit would ensue. We understand that the above amendments will come into force from the 1st April 2002.

There is concern that the new requirement for air leakage testing and thermographic imaging could be seen by certain Main Contractors as an excuse to delay payment to the subcontractors until both tests had been successfully completed. It may be possible to carry out the air leakage test fairly quickly but the thermographic imaging could only be carried out in the correct weather conditions and so there could be considerable delay.

It is though recognised that there may be advantages in ensuring that the frame, structural walls and foundations are correctly designed and constructed in accordance with the relevant class in BS 5502. So both the Construction Group and The RDBA Council suggest that a similar system of checking the structural design is used as that used in Scotland. This would mean that a fully qualified Structural Engineer would provide a certificate to the local authority to confirm that the frame, structural walls and foundations were correctly designed to the relevant class in BS5502. It would not be expected that the LA would check the Engineers calculations unless they had reason to believe that they were wrong. It would be expected that the LA would visit site to check that the building was erected as designed.

Where there is a problem with air leakage it may be very difficult to decide which trade or subcontractor is at fault, again causing delays in payment.

The cost of this LA approval should not be large as on the majority of contracts all the LA will have to do is to visit site to check that the structure is as designed.

We understand that only work that has commenced before the 1st April 2002 or for which there is a full Building Control Certificate covering the contract will avoid the new regulations.

Countryside Building 11

Technical Plastic Structures for Livestock Housing Dr Mike Kelly, works as an agricultural building designer, with an interest in assisting manufacturers in developing their products to suit the agricultural market, tel: 01563 830147, e-mail:

are less common. As early as 1972, Dr Hartwig Erps at the Institute Fur Landwirtschaftliche, Braunschweig, Germany, designed and built a plastic tunnel for dairy cows. He concluded that this concept was not likely to be successful, mainly due to a poor finished appearance, and a lack of durability. This was borne out by some early structural failures of polypen plastic sheep houses, on exposed sites in Argyll, reported by Don Stevenson of SAC in the early 1980’s. However, polypen-type frames have been considerably strengthened, and improved claddings are now available to suit a wide range of applications.

Photo 2, Equestrian centre New York state

Companies such as Visqueen now offer a very tough sheet, produced by bonding together 3 layers of polythene, all extruded at the same time to form one Introduction composite sheet. A sheet can now be designed to meet certain criteria, such as thermal or ultra-violet Plastic housing for livestock is not new, and many of us resistance. are very familiar with polytunnel-type structures for The greatest advances have been in the horticultural sheep, which continue to be popular, mainly for smaller sector, leading to improved structural strength of to medium-sized flocks. buildings, associated with large structures using trellis Plastic structures for larger animals such as dairy cows girders, and heavy gauge uprights to rack units together. A typical large horticultural building is shown in photograph [1] with shade lining. Such structures are resilient, with sophisticated designs based on a considerable amount of windloading research, carried out at the Silsoe Research Institute, Bedfordshire. Pressure coefficients for wind loads comply with BS 5502 : Part 22 : 1993. Silsoe staff are now working on a European wind-loading design code for horticultural buildings. To what extent is all this horticultural design knowledge transferable to the livestock sector? Will it lead to large, costeffective units for cattle? Plastics are a rapidly developing technology, with the ability to provide specific claddings to meet Photo 1, A typical large horticultural building with shade screening. What benefit does specific needs. The signs are this have for livestock housing? there that the breakthrough into Countryside Building 12


Photo 3, Calf housing with ridge outlet ventilation in New York State wider agricultural applications is imminent.

Developments in USA and Canada

cover woven from high- density polyethylene tape, backed by a 15 year warranty. A range of colours is available, with good natural light levels of at least 40% daylight factor. A Cover-All building has been erected in Norfolk for general purpose farm storage, and carries a ten year warranty for UK conditions. Similar buildings are

The author saw a horticultural building adapted for dairy cows in Canada in 1996. The unit housed 70 dairy cows in cubicles in a 3-row layout, with drive-through passes. The roof shell at that time cost ÂŁ15/sq m for a doublelayered plastic roof. Air monitoring by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture indicated good internal climatic conditions. The high natural light level was attractive for cow welfare and management. Cover-All Shelter Systems, based in Canada, produce fabriccovered steel framed buildings over a range of spans from 6m to 48m, to any length required. The buildings can be ground fixed or post or wall mounted, with a fabric Photo 4, 100 head goat unit in Holland

Countryside Building 13

Technical This is shown in photographs [4] and [5], with the Blunt family looking very pleased with their decision. The unit is impressive because of high natural light levels, good cross ventilation, and a good working headroom, at a low-cost. The roof sheeting is in sound condition, with no signs of wear or ripping a ft e r 4 y e a r s i n u s e . Sto c k p e r f o r m a n c e i s e x c e l l e n t a n d t h e o w n e r a l r e a d y p l a n s t o e x pa n d t h e h e r d i n t o a s e c t i o n p r e s e n t l y u s e d f o r m a c h i n e r y. T h e clear height of 4.5m under the trusses allows for large machinery access. Rovero are building a dairy unit in Holland based o n t h i s p r i n c i p l e , u s i n g c u r ta i n w a l l i n g t o s a v e c o s ts , a n d h a v e a l r e a d y c o m p l e t e d l a r g e p i g u n i ts under plastic.

D e v e l o p m e n ts i n t h e U K

Mr & Mrs Blunt with their goat house provided by Calhoun Agri Services, based in Ontario, and a typical design of this type of structure is shown in photograph [2]. The building in question is an equestrian centre in New York State, seen by the author in 1999. These buildings are not pretty to look at, but are well thought of by their users, especially the high light levels, generous volume, and speed of delivery and erection. An average size 21.6m span building can be fully installed within one week. Large dairy units in New York State are housing calves

M a n y U K c o m pa n i e s c o n t i n u e t o s e l l b a s i c t u n n e l structures for a wide range of applications, including calves and pigs. McGregor and others , such as Northern Polytunnels, have progressed into m u l t i - s pa n s o l u t i o n s f o r l a r g e r c o n t r a c ts . T h e M c G r e g o r 3 b a y m u l t i - s pa n i s 2 3 m w i d e b y 8 0 m long and can be used for inwintering sheep, lambing, pig weaning or pig fattening. A Milk Development Council research project completed by the author in March 2000 suggested that it would be possible to build a 4-row dairy unit under plastic, as shown in Figure [1]. Cost savings for such a unit are up to 23% on conventional designs, and 10% on timber kennel structures. A i r i n l e ts w o u l d b e a l l o w e d f o r, u s i n g m e s h f a b r i c d o w n t h e s i d e s o f t h e b u i l d i n g , w i t h o u t l e ts a s required in the ridges of the roof. The high natural light transmission within such structures is beneficial to stock management, and may be beneficial to stock performance as well. P l a s t i c s h e e ts a r e n o w a v a i l a b l e w i t h a 1 0 y e a r l i f e s pa n a n d t h e s e a r e t o b e w e l c o m e d . T h i s i s t w i c e t h e l i f e s pa n o f m a n y p l a s t i c m a t e r i a l s currently in use, and the increase in cost, at 2%, is

Fig 1. A 4 -row dairy unit under plastic under plastic, and an example is shown in photograph [3]. This is a well-ventilated building with side and ridge openings, allowing good air circulation. Again high natural light levels are an attractive feature. . D e v e l o p m e n ts

in Holland

T h e D u t c h c o m pa n y R o v e r o i s o n e o f t h e w o r l d leaders in innovative buildings for horticulture. They are increasingly turning their attention to livestock housing. In 1996 they built a 1000 head goat house for W & FW Blunt, Slijk-Ewijk, Holland. Countryside Building 14

i n s i g n i f i c a n t a s a p e r c e n ta g e o f t h e c o s t o f t h e whole structure. I f p l a s t i c s t r u c t u r e s a r e t o m a k e a n i m pa c t , customers must be confident of proven structural s ta b i l i t y a n d g o o d l o n g - t e r m p e r f o r m a n c e o f claddings. Plastic sheeting replacement is cheap h o w e v e r, a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y ÂŁ 3 p e r s q m , a n d i n these days of concern over building disinfection, what better way to disinfect than to replace the roof cladding. What is needed is an entrepreneurial farmer and

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Countryside Building 15

Technical STONE SLATE QUARRIES OR DELPHS Editors note: - In Volume 2 issue 1 the article ‘Stone Slate National Briefing’ created a lot of interest, as can be seen from the letters page and so we have agreed with Terry Hughes, the chairman of the Stone Roofing Working Group and the primary author Andrew Sierakowski, to reproduce over the next 4 issues ‘A guide to making a mineral planning application for stone-slate production’ This guide has been produced by the Stone Roofing Working Group, and is published jointly by the Stone Roofing Association and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

economic development department may be able to direct you to sources of help with this. 2 Check whether planning permission is required, will other permissions, licences and consents for example for diverting public rights of way or tree felling be necessary? 3 Preparing the planning permission application. (a) Before making a formal application: Discuss your provisional ideas with the minerals planning officer and the local council’s building conservation staff;

A guide to making a mineral planning application for stone-slate production Part 1

Before you meet make sure you have the following in outline -

In this issue 1. Overview 2. Introduction 3. The Purpose of this Guide 4. Using an Agent 5. First Steps – Locating a Source of Roofing Stone 6. Is the Rock Suitable for Stone-Slate Production 7. Is Planning Permission Required

Overview Britain is fortunate in having a wide variety of roofing sandstones and limestones that have contributed to the regional distinctiveness of our towns and countryside. Unfortunately, many of these are no longer manufactured with the result that we are losing historic roofs at an alarming rate. In an effort to stem this loss, English Heritage’s Roofs of England campaign is encouraging the re-opening of small, stone-slate quarries or ‘delphs’ to supply local markets. Before you can open a quarry or delph you must obtain planning permission from the local council. This can appear to be a more difficult process than it really is, so don’t be put off. Help and support are available from many organisations and if the various steps are approached methodically with a clear plan of action in mind you will find that the process is straightforward. This guide sets out the stages in preparing an application and where to go for help and advice. Every council will have a Local Plan that is intended to ensure that the market for stone products can be satisfied without unacceptable consequences. So if there is a demand for the products then the mineral planning process will normally support its supply. A planning application should:   

demonstrate the demand for the stone-slates and the size of the market; explain how the rock will be quarried and the slates manufactured; and, explain how any impacts on the environment or neighbours will be controlled or eliminated and how the quarry will eventually be restored.

If your proposals are sensible, and realistic and provide sufficient detail you have every chance of succeeding. Action Check List

The justification - market need, an estimate its size and any other products to be produced. The location of the proposed quarry (and any alternative sites). The scale of activity - estimates of the ground area needed with a sketch plan, duration and quantity journeys, and site restoration proposals.

At the meeting ask for an explanation of the local plan for mineral development and how it relates to other local objectives such as building conservation, sustainability and historic building conservation. This guide contains details of all the information which might have to be included with the application. Take this along and go through it to check what you must submit. Check the planning meeting timetable so that you can time your application. (b) Preparing your application:Consider employing a minerals planning consultant. Read the local development plan including all relevant issues such as sustainability, conservation and local distinctiveness. Make a check-list of all the issues, the evidence to be submitted and how or where you will obtain it. This might include:    


A market report and evidence of need for the product(s) from amenity and building conservation organisations, local builders, roofers, architects, and the public; A report on the suitability of the rock and the viability of the quarry; Other supporting evidence such as employment prospects; Site plans at several scales showing the operations including working and storage areas (emphasise the small scale), buildings, restoration plan, access routes and water courses; A description of the operation including hours and methods of working and a restoration plan; Methods for controlling effects such as noise from machinery and preventing the contamination of land or water How you will respond to or deal with objections consider a public meeting or an article for a local paper to explain what you are proposing and why; Ownership certificates and notices.

1 Finding a source of roofing stone and market research -

Ask the minerals planner to advise on other evidence that might be needed. If you need to, obtain any supplementary documents or reports such as an environmental assessment.


Complete the application form and assemble all the supporting documents.


Is the landowner willing? Is the rock suitable for stone-slate production? Undertake trial pits and trial splitting. Is the market big enough to support your business? Prepare a business plan. The council’s business or

Countryside Building 16

4 Submit the application and pay the fee.

Technical 1. Introduction

information on what the process involves.

1.1 The roofs and walls of our historic buildings reflect the geology of the surrounding landscape and demonstrate local skills in using available resources. The results have created the ‘vernacular’ or traditional local buildings which we now cherish.

3. Using an Agent

1.2 In many parts of the country, stone-slate roofs are a fundamental part of vernacular buildings. But for years, their existence has been under threat. Modern man-made slates and tiles have replaced limestone and sandstone slates. As a result, stone-slate quarries or delphs have closed down and local sources of materials have disappeared. 1.3 In a few areas (such as the Cotswolds, South Wales and the South Pennines), this trend has begun to be reversed and there has been a revival of stone-slate production. But in many parts of Britain, where stone roofing was once commonplace it is now almost impossible to find a source of new locally produced material. Meanwhile, the number of stone roofs dwindles as they are destroyed to maintain other buildings. 1.4 In an attempt to address this situation, a ‘Roofs of England’ campaign was started by English Heritage - the government’s historic buildings conservation agency for England. As a continuation of the ‘Roofs of England’ project, a working group was established to continue the initiative at a national level. 1.5 Set up in 1999, the Stone Roofing Working Group (SRWG) is made up of professionals with an interest in stone-slate production, stone roofing and historic building conservation. The group works at a national level and aims to:  

promote and revive the stone-slating industry and provide a forum for developing specialist advice on all aspects of stone-slate production and stone-roofing repair, restoration and construction.

1.6 The SRWG has been looking at how to stimulate the development of new stone-slate delphs. This is particularly important where none now exist, or where there are insufficient sources of supply in terms of the type, quality and quantity of stone slates available. This guide has been produced as the first part of this initiative. 1.7 The extraction and production of stone slate was traditionally - and is still - low tech and small scale. This means that the capital investment required is minimal compared with other types of quarrying. Traditional uses of stone-slates tend to be very localised, so large-scale production is unlikely. Because the potential market is relatively small major quarrying companies tend not to become involved. Instead, most existing sources of stone slate have been developed by farmers and landowners, or by specialist companies quarrying with the agreement of the landowner. 1.8 The SRWG sees this type of small-scale production as the best way of increasing the range and supply of new stone slate. This guide is therefore aimed particularly at landowners but will also be of interest to anyone else considering setting up in production.

2. The Purpose of this Guide 2.1 Despite the revival in stone-slate production in some areas, the SRWG is concerned that appropriate guidance and advice has not been available to those people wishing to make an application for planning permission for a new delph. 2.2 This guide aims to help you to prepare an application and takes you through the process of seeking planning permission. It is not intended to be a substitute for using a professional agent but does aim to provide

3.1 Making a planning permission application can require a considerable amount of information, details and plans, so it is recommended that you use a professional agent. You will probably require some specialist advice in investigating and developing your proposal, even before you make your application. There are a number of minerals planning consultants and surveyors who specialise in this type of work and who will have an in-depth knowledge of the minerals planning process. 3.2 If you do use an agent, ensure that they have the relevant professional background and experience - minerals planning is a specialist field even within the planning process. For advice on specialists in your area, contact the Stone Roofing Association at the address given in Appendix 5 ‘Addresses and Further Information’ at the end of this guide.

4. First Steps - Locating a Source of Roofing Stone 4.1 So, if you are interested in stone-slate production or think you may have suitable stone on your land, what are the first steps and where do you start? In practice, interest in stone-slate production tends to begin either with awareness of a potentially suitable source of stone or with a need to find a particular type of material. 4.2 Indications that you are in a stone-slate area are usually fairly selfevident. Most obviously you will probably be aware of stone roofs on some of the buildings you see and pass everyday. In some places, relatively few such buildings now remain but there may be other clues. The presence of drystone walls, made from thin, flat (or fissile) pieces of stone, often indicates areas of stone-slate production. 4.3 You may already own a building that has, or once had, a stone roof. In that case, you have probably had difficulty finding suitable slates to repair it. Perhaps you had to buy or re-use second-hand stone-slates taken from another building. 4.4 It’s not always easy to find a potential source suitable for stone-slate production, but the following pointers may help you: - Most types of stone slate are found close to the surface. There may be clearly visible outcrops of fissile stone on hillsides; look out for these in upland areas; - In arable areas, such as parts of the Cotswolds, pieces of fissile stone may be turned up when fields are ploughed; - The material for drystone wall field boundaries will usually have been quarried or even ploughed up in the immediate vicinity. So they give a good indication of where fissile stone may be found; - Your local Council’s Historic Buildings Officer may know places which have (or once had) drystone walls or buildings with stone-slate roofs. These may indicate that stone-slate quarries or sources of fissile stone were once present. Historically, stone-slates were not carried over large distances. - Find out where there are old and existing quarry workings and look at these. If you don’t know where they are, look at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps. These have quarries marked on them. Older maps of your area may be especially useful for showing quarry sites. The David and Charles reprints of the original Ordnance Survey maps dating back to the 1830s can be very helpful. One of the best places to find old maps is your County Archives. Local libraries may be another source. - Finally, if you don’t mind paying for information, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has produced detailed 1:50,000 geological maps of the Countryside Building 17

Technical whole country. These can be ordered through good map shops or directly from the BGS. Geological maps are published in two series Solid and Drift. You need maps from the Solid series that show the rock below the surface. They won’t show quarry sites, but are useful for telling you the type of stone you are dealing with. The BGS also holds unpublished information on the location of old stone-slate delphs, but again you may need to pay for this. Their details can be found in Appendix 5 - ‘Addresses & Further Information’. 4.5 Having done your initial homework, you should have some idea of where to begin searching for fissile stone. The next stage is to get out and start looking at the possible sites or areas you have identified. You may have to examine several sites before you find any promising stone.

permission is required. Even if it is not, it’s best to ensure that they are aware of what you are doing. 7. Other Permissions, Licences and Consents 7.1 There are other permissions, licences and consents that you may need to obtain before you commence extraction. These are not specifically required for stone-slate production, but your operation may affect things that are regulated, for example by creating a discharge to a watercourse, felling trees, and the stopping-up or diverting a public right of way. Your MPA can advise on whom to contact about these.

5. Is the Rock Suitable for Stone Slate Production?

7.2 As well as the permission of the owner of the land or mineral rights, don’t forget that you will also need to get the permission of the owners of any of the land over which you propose to take access to the extraction site. This is likely to include the local Highways Authority - your County Council or Unitary Authority.

5.1 When you think you’ve found a source of fissile stone, the next step will be to investigate its potential for use as a roofing material. For this, you will need expert advice either from a consultant who specialises in building stone or from the Stone Roofing Association (SRA).

7.3 You probably won’t not need any other permissions, licences and consents until after you’ve obtained planning permission. But it’s worth contacting the relevant authorities or agencies to find out their requirements in case these affect your planning application or vice-versa.

5.2 If you don’t own the land and have not already done so, you will need to contact the landowner and start talking to them about your interest in the stone. If you don’t know who they are, ask locally. Failing that, search through the Land Registry (in England and Wales) or the Land Register or Register of Sasines, if you are in Scotland. This will cost you a fee. For contact details see Appendix 5.

In the next issue

5.3 You will almost certainly need to dig a number of small trial pits to find the extent and depth of the material. But unless you have experience, it’s probably worth arranging to do this in conjunction with a visit from your consultant or the SRA.

8. Who should anApplication for Planning Permission be made to 9. Pre-Application Discussions with the Mineral PlanningAuthority 10. Development Plan Policies 11. Pre-Application Consultation with other Agencies 12. Submitting your Planning Application 13. Preparing a Geo-Technical Report 14. Preparing a Market Report 15. Buildings, Plant and Machinery 16. Restoration and Aftercare Proposals © Terry Hughes & Andrew Sierakowski 2001-2

5.4 Your initial trial pits may not contain good quality or suitable fissile stone, or it may not be present in a viable quantity. Reinstate the pits and try again elsewhere. Review your search area if you continue not to find fissile material. 5.5 It should not be assumed that just because a stone is fissile that it will be durable. Seek advice from a geologist or the SRA about how to assess the quality of the rock.

6. Is Planning Permission Required? 6.1 When you identify a viable quantity of fissile material suitable for stone-slate production, approach the Minerals Planning Authority (MPA) for your area. You should ask them whether planning permission is required, the likelihood of obtaining it, and what’s involved in making an application. As a general rule, any proposal to develop a new stone-slate delph will require planning permission. 6.4 The only exception to this will be when extraction is for agricultural purposes. This is known as ‘permitted development’. (If you are a farmer, you may be familiar with the concept of agricultural permitted development.) In this case, planning permission is not required where the stone is to be used on an agricultural building on the farm where it is extracted. This may include use on agricultural dwelling houses. The stone extracted must not be sold for use anywhere else. 6.5 There are some restrictions on what qualifies as agricultural permitted development. Most importantly, all processing must be undertaken on the farm or holding from which the stone is extracted and excavation must not take place within 25m of a classified or trunk road or (in Scotland) within 25m of a railway line. Full details of what constitutes extraction under agricultural permitted development is set out in Appendix 1. 6.6 Trial pits and exploratory work which will takes less than 28 days do not usually need planning permission. However, check with your local MPA before starting these, so that they can tell you definitively whether Countryside Building 18

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Countryside Building 19

Technical Double up on those Valves Before it s too Late! By David Hughes - Building Design Manager ADAS The Environment Agency has recently become concerned about a growing trend in the failure of single sluice valves on aboveground slurry stores that cause major water pollution incidents. Under the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 1991 it is a mandatory requirement to use two lockable valves in series on slurry store outlets. But many systems were installed before the 1991 requirement and it is estimated that there may be around 5,500 ageing valves still in current use. This means that large numbers of these valves may now be wearing out and becoming “time bombs” waiting to spill the entire contents of the store.

The result of the broken valve - slurry running down the road valve manufacturer or local agent should also be carried out about every 5 years. A comprehensive section on valves has now been drafted and approved for BS 5502 part 50. This will give detailed guidance on the installation and maintenance of sluice valves when it is published. In the meantime ADAS has also produced a technical note (Construction Guidance Note number 010) on the subject, which is reprinted here for members in its entirety. This too gives a lot more detail on installing and maintaining the valves.

The broken valve ADAS carried out a detailed survey of 16 farms where problems had occurred with sluice valves. Typically a valve 10 years old or more with limited, if any maintenance, slowly seizes throughout the winter. The lever is lifted on the first dry morning and with luck the failure happens then and the valve remains closed. Inconvenient but not catastrophic! However, this study showed that the more serious incidents occur when the valve opens without too much trouble. A complete failure then occurs when an attempt is made to close the valve. It tends to jam against the flow of slurry or debris in the valve or nearby pipe. Quite naturally the operator perhaps swings hard on the lever to try and close the valve but a component in the lever assembly, pipe joint, valve shaft or blade just breaks up. The lever may well flop about uselessly and there is nothing to stop the escape of the entire contents of the store!

The whole series of ‘CGN’ technical notes, as listed below, are available free from ADAS on 01626 892638 or by E-mailing Alternatively your RDBA secretary has them all in stock too, free to members on 01449 676049 or E-mail The useful general information leaflet on ‘Organising Contracts for Farm Waste Structures’ will be sent out automatically with every request for technical notes. The series now includes technical detailed notes as follows CGN001 Above-ground circular concrete and rectangular weeping-wall slurry stores CGN002 Earth-banked slurry stores CGN003 In-Situ Concrete Slurry Stores CGN004 Above-ground circular steel slurry stores CGN005 Silage clamps and effluent tanks CGN006 Sheep Dip Handling Facilities and Drainage Yards

The study concluded that valve failure could be attributed to several different causes. Poor installations, ageing, corrosion and lack of maintenance can all play their part. The Environment Agency has also reported an increase in suspected acts of deliberate vandalism. But the overwhelming conclusion is that two lockable valves instead of one offers substantially increased protection. Where two valves are installed in series, if one valve fails for whatever reason then the other will prevent a major incident. New valves can cost anything from about £760 for one galvanised valve, for adding to an existing single valve in good condition, up to around £2800 for a pair of stainless steel valves. Plus any labour costs for bolting them on. Regular maintenance should include operating the valves about once a month. Again you need two valves to be able to do this all year round. Fully inspect the valves annually as part of the checking and cleaning of the slurry tank. A full service by the Countryside Building 20

CGN007 Chemical and Pesticide Stores CGN008 Separation of Clean and Dirty Water. Dirty Water Storage. Yard Area Construction. CGN009 Bunds for Agricultural Fuel Oil Tanks CGN010 Sluice Valves on Steel and Concrete Circular AboveGround Slurry Stores CGN100 Organising Contracts for Farm Waste Structures Or visit the ADAS Web site - for details of these and other publications on. OR OR

Countryside Building Magazine

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Countryside Building Magazine

 Countryside Building 22

Technical The Harmony Centre A farm diversification project Part 1 Main service providers: Environmental Harmony Tel: 01986 784500 Fax: 784700 East Wood Services Tel/fax: 01502 478165 e-mail Water conservation & alternative sanitation inc. Sun-Mar composting toilets Rainharvesting Systems Tel: 01452 772000 Fax: 770104 Web: WISY and rain water goods; dual flush toilets Solar Energy Alliance Tel: 01502 515532 Fax: 561399 Wind Generators, PVs, Controllers and batteries Hanson Concrete Products Tel 01550 776009 Septic Tanks BMC Contracts Ltd Tel: 01948 665321 Storage/effluent tanks David Gillett, his brother Tony and sister Joan are partners in Walpole Hatch Farm at Walpole in Suffolk, it has been in the family for several generations and is a mix of arable and livestock, having a herd of cows which has been built up since the 1950’s with calves reared on the farm. Situated on a hill overlooking the Blyth valley and located close to the market town of Halesworth, the farm has small fields and good hedgerows over its 240 acres which cover a Northerly facing hillside. As with all smaller, traditional family farms the economics of maintaining and running it as a successful business have worsened in recent years as milk and grain prices have fallen. This national trend has coincided with David developing his

interests in complementary therapies such as Kinesiology and saw him starting his own unique form of environmental health care through the company ‘Environmental Harmony’, founded and run with Jacqui Beacon. This business, now with world wide connections and customers, has largely replaced David’s involvement in the day to day operation of the farm. The Harmony Centre itself is a project that has taken 10 years to come to fruition and has passed through a series of difficult stages on the way. Originally intended as a communal centre for complementary therapies and drawing upon local practitioners, the derelict wooden framed building was available in a favourable location away from the main farm buildings and readily accessible from a road. Early meetings failed to result in sufficient support for this development and so within the last two years David decided to go ahead with the rebuilding to create a centre from which he could research, develop and make his products, which have proved so successful in dealing with environmental stress. The involvement of a national group of designers in order to facilitate the process actually delayed the start of building works as they failed to provide the necessary support in the time required. Although it was necessary to use them in order to facilitate the grant application and planning permission, meetings with the appointed Architect led nowhere. This notably included him applying parts of a standard specification for holiday cottages, completely disregarding David’s very specific requirements for the use of the building. Faced with this lack of commitment he decided instead to use a local surveyor Mick Revens who had worked previously with the chosen builder Roger Ives, both of whom were interested in the objective of the project and keen to undertake the works. The specification for the Centre was very important to David in order to prevent magnetic fields and material resonances interfering with his research. This meant that materials had to be inert and environmentally friendly wherever possible and required careful research to assess their potential. Concrete flooring and foamed insulants could not be used, especially in the workshop and therapy room floors. Of special significance was the electrical system; not only did shielded wiring and special light fittings have to be ordered but radial circuitry was used instead of a normal ring main. The power itself had to be derived from solar sources to provide an autonomous supply. This was not a siting problem due to field space available around the site and the location of a large cattle barn on which to fix solar panels. However, the Photovolatic Panels (PVs) and 10 KW wind generator had still to progress through the planning process as the autumn

Plan of Harmony Centre Countryside Building 23

Technical commencement date drew nearer. My own involvement started in March last year when I was asked to assess the possibility of having an on-site sewage system; the key to it being that it should be simple and self contained. This led me to much research into the best way to treat and infiltrate effluent into the heavy clay soil, which was to prove difficult to work in through the following winter months. Using a 4800 Litre, two chamber, concrete septic tank as the basis of the system, it soon became obvious that there would have to be a 12 volt solar powered pump to lift and distribute the effluent and a very limited number of ways in which it could be leached. We eventually decided upon an imported bio-filter module, offering tertiary treatment, which avoided the problem

drainage and sewer pipe runs from the centre to the septic tank and ditches. As we dug a trench across the building for a pipe to take the wash basin - grey water – from the front facing therapy rooms it was also decided that no rain water should be directed into the nearby pond which was already flooding an area downhill. In order to resolve this problem we decided to lay two additional pipes in the same trench, one for rain water, the other for roadway runoff and collect the former in an underground tank to recycle for use in the toilets. This had

Rain water system with Wisy WFF 100 filter been suggested previously but not progressed due to the fact that the farm has its own bore hole and a supply already piped to the centre and cattle troughs in surrounding fields. Once under the building the runoff pipe joined the tank overflow and allowed just one drain to the ditch partly using the same trench as the septic run.

Hanson / Albion 4800l Septic tank - 2nd day of installation of soil permeability altogether, as we could then discharge direct into a roadside ditch with Environment Agency consent. With planning consent approved and some design details still being resolved works at the site commenced in mid September last year, 3 months later than originally planned. The first jobs were to remove the interlocking clay roof tiles, strip the rotten FE boards from the 4” studs and generally make good the structure. As the building is in a conservation area strict planning rules were applied which included having the original and bare minimum of windows overlooking the hillside; this was to maintain the overall appearance which had changed little since if was built in the 1920s. A brick plinth which supported the timber work had become cracked in places due to settlement and required renewal but then trial holes showed that the footings below were minimal. At this point the Building Inspector decided that the foundations were inadequate and so insisted on underpinning the majority of the building which had originally been a lightweight barn and single storey stables! Three and a half weeks of extra work then ensued which took place in some of the wettest weather imaginable. As the underpinning was going on David and I considered the Countryside Building 24

The rain water system is designed to collect water from the whole of the building, which is 32 meters long and 7 meters wide giving 224 square meters of roof area. To do this standard plastic 6” guttering with 2.5’ down pipes were installed to single collection points in the centre of each side. The front collection point links with the rear under the sub-floor so that it is possible to have all the water feeding into a single WISY filter module prior to the rain water tank. In this way it is possible to collect and filter most of the 100,000 litres of average yearly rainfall. The WISY primary filter used here is a below ground WFF 100 and like all such modules has a cylindrical stainless steel screen over which the water spirals. Most cleaned water is drawn through the screen whilst the leaves, moss. dirt and other foreign items wash down with @10-20% of the remaining flow going into the overflow drain. Filtration is to 0.18mm at a maximum of 1.5 litres/second from roof areas up to 200 square meters; larger units are available. Filtered water stored in the cool and dark will remain fresh provided that the inlet gives sufficient aeration. When collecting rain water it is important to know the average rainfall and roof area in order to correctly size the pipes and storage capacity. To calculate the yield per year the formula to use is: roof area (s/meters) x drainage coefficient (0. 75) x filter efficiency (0. 9) x average rainfall. This can then be matched to the total water requirement which will undoubtedly exceed rain water supply, so it is best to have a dedicated system for certain appliances such as toilets and/or washing machines. Once the yearly demand has been calculated the following formula can be used: rain water demand x 21 days divided by 365 days - to give the storage capacity needed to overcome a drought period of <3 weeks. In this case 68,000 litres of filtered

Technical water are theoretically available for toilet flushing. There are now several manufacturers who make good off-theshelf rain water systems complete with pump, float switches, filters), control and indicator panels but in this case we put together a tailor made system. The storage tank is a 700 gallon/3,150 litre one piece GRC tank which is rigid and self supporting so not needing an additional concrete surround. The relatively lightweight meant that it was off loaded and installed using the farm fork lift but given the availability of surplus concrete from foundation works an 8” slab was put over the top to protect against floatation as it is sunk into a chalk and sand gault.

is designed to be very simple and robust and relies on timed dosing of the light weight media in the biofilter tank with a majority re-circulation of effluent to the pump chamber. Regular dosing achieves a high degree of treatment and develops an active aerobic bacteria colony within the media. The septic tank itself has a patented outlet filter, which holds back organic matter within the second chamber. Such filters typically have 1/16” slots through which the effluent flows and gradually develop a bio-film of anaerobic bacteria, which

With a pumped system there is a choice between a direct feed to the appliances or a feed to a small header or ‘break tank’ in the roof. In either case it is possible to have a mains or other water supply as a secondary, back up, in case the primary supply runs dry. If the secondary supply is from a water main the roof tank must be a break tank in order to conform to the new Water Regulations In the Harmony Centre the header tank is about 80 litres with a ¾ “ ball valve fitted in the normal way but having an extended float arm to delay operation until the water level falls to a preset, secondary supply level. A Stuart Turner MK2 electrical float switch is also fitted in series with the submersible pump to supply rainwater on demand. When there is no rainwater available from the storage tank the system defaults to the secondary (farm) supply, simply due to the float differential in the header tank. To make the most of the rain water it was originally intended to install dual flush valve toilets which have been available in the UK for many years but until January this year were illegal under the Water Bylaws. This was partly because poorly designed dual flush siphonic toilets had been allowed prior to 1987 perversely leading to increased water usage. So the old Water Bylaws prevented this aspect of water conservation, which is now possible under the new Regulations, offering direct economic benefits to metered users. In this instance, single 6 litre toilets were installed, due to some concern about public usage and carrying distance, allowing a potential of up to 25 flushes using stored rain water per day. Dual flush valve toilets have two distinctly marked buttons giving 3 and 6 litre flush volumes. The trap is smaller than on traditional WCs ensuring a forceful and effective flush, with the smaller volume used for urination. An internal (pan discharging) overflow is usual, as now allowed on siphonic WCs. This brings me back to the septic tank and biofilter. The system

The Harmony centre - rafter fixing in progress contribute to the filtration. During evaluation tests they have achieved from 40 to 90% reduction in Total Suspended Solids. Excess bacteria are able to slough back into the chamber and are periodically washed off when the septic tank is serviced. Commercial sized filters are also used very effectively in grease traps. The two cubic meter biofilter stands within a storage shed built in the same style and feather edged board as the Harmony Centre itself. At the present time the system is working well under a light loading as the Centre is not yet in regular use but is designed to treat up to 1,700 litres per day. A manual override switch increases the dosage and discharge rate as needed and an independent alarm warns of system failure. The 42 Watt Photo Voltaic Panel and 110 A/h battery have worked well through the long summer days of excess daylight, showing that such applications are feasible where no mains supply is available and an economic option on remote sites (less than a similarly sized 230 volt sewage treatment plant). In conclusion it must be said that some interesting aspects of the project have yet to be completed such as the main solar system using a wind generator and PVs, due to be completed this year. Other aspects of the building including the heating system will be considered in a subsequent article which will also deal with the other unusual products and systems used in this building. Meanwhile, David has started to move in and is glad that he rebuilt this redundant building when he did even though it has been a heavy personal financial commitment. He hopes that it will meet the needs of a permanent home for Environmental Harmony and generate some new and regular employment on the farm he loves. In part II to be published in the next issue I will explain the use of green construction materials and systems and provide details of the insulation products, the levelling of the uneven floors, under ground pipe work, non toxic paints and the heating and power systems.

Old shed and grain silo prior to demolition and installation of the septic tank

Adam East Eastwood Services Kitty Mill, Wash Lane, Wenhaston, Halesworth Countryside Building 25

Technical Introduction to the INSULATION OF FARM BUILDINGS Introduction Insulation can save the farmer money, either directly or indirectly, and it often receives little or no publicity on new build or existing farm buildings. The heat retention of a building is simply expected to happen, and much more efficiently than it used to do. Owners simply cannot afford to put more heat into a building just to compensate for an inordinate amount of heat loss; the days when a few more kilowatts pumped in ‘don’t really matter’ have all but disappeared. The profits are not there to waste these days, that is, if they ever were. I expect this to be the start of a series of articles on insulation. In future articles I will look at the implications of the increase in insulation values given in the revision to Part ‘L’ of the building regulations on barn conversions, the implications of the low air permeability requirements and the different ratings for different fuels used for power and heating.

heated, and so rise setting up circulation. · Radiation. This phenomenon occurs when heat is transmitted without raising the temperature of whatever it travels through. Radiation is usually important at high temperatures or when conduction and convection are negligible. In practice, all three occur in a building, since heat will be conducted through the fabric, and then dissipated on the outside surface by convection and/or radiation. The amount of heat transfer really depends on the temperature difference, the thickness of the material, time, the total area and the insulation value – see later.

Definition of Terms Used Photo 1, A well insulated agricultural roof

Advantages of Insulation Older buildings were made from a single skin of traditional material such as stone, admittedly quite thick, whereas newer structures generally have a lighter and thinner construction. There are many direct advantages of insulation and some of these may be listed: · Internal temperature more stable and easier to control · Lower fuel costs · Lower livestock feed costs · Less expensive heating or cooling equipment · Less maintenance and replacement costs associated with heating equipment · Protection from frost · Less condensation and draughts improving comfort · Less solar heat build up

What is Insulation? Insulation can be defined as a ‘barrier to the natural flow of heat from an area of high temperature to an area of low temperature’. (Chudley, 1999). Usually this flow of heat is from the inside to the outside, but it could easily be the other way round when the building is a cold store for example. The transfer of heat may occur in three ways: · Conduction. This relies on closely packed molecules in a body. Solids are the best at this, with metals being a good example. Gases are a poor conductor, and still air can be used as an insulator eg the thermos flask. · Convection. This is the transport of heat by the movement of material. Eg a flowing liquid or a current of air. This is set up when particles become less dense as they are Countryside Building 26

The following are some definitions that might be useful when thinking about whether or not to insulate a farm building: · Dew point. This is the temperature to which moist air must be cooled for condensation of water vapour to occur. · Interstitial condensation. When condensation occurs unseen within the structure or material. This obviously needs to be avoided since it could lead to serious degradation of the building’s material through dampness, damage and reduction in the effect of insulation properties. · Surface condensation. This is the deposition of moisture when humid air meets a cold surface. It can normally be prevented if the U-value is 0.5W/m2K or less. We can eliminate condensation by having a ‘vapour check’ on the warm side of the insulation. Vapour is turned back into the building where ventilation will remove it. Some insulation materials resist moisture and can therefore be used without a vapour check. It will be appreciated that if an insulating material becomes wet, it rapidly loses its insulation properties. See figure 1. · Temperature lift. This refers to the difference between the internal temperature of an environment, and the outside air temperature. · Thermal conductivity. This can be represented by the symbol λ, and it measures the insulation properties of a particular material. The lower the λ value of a material, the less heat it will conduct, and the better the insulation. The units of λ are W/mK. · Thermal resistance. This is given the symbol R, ‘as representative of a material’s thermal resistance achieved by dividing its thickness in metres by its thermal conductivity, ie R = m/λ or m2K/W.’ (Chudley, 1999). The larger this value, the better.

Technical · Thermal transmittance. This is called the U-value, and is one with which many people will be familiar. It is a measure of the amount of heat that will pass through one square metre of the structure when the temperature difference from inside to outside is one K. Its units are W/m2K. There are minimum standards applicable to U-values, and consideration can always be given to improving them eg when the site is particularly exposed, the building is kept warmer than usual, or where fuel is especially expensive. Note that to improve the insulation value, means lowering the U-value. The most recent edition of the Building Regulations (part L) is particularly concerned with the conservation of fuel and power. · Surface or standard resistance. These are values given for surfaces and airspaces. They may vary with building elevation, the direction of energy flow, surface emissivity and the degree of exposure. They are given in the same units as thermal resistance, R. For example, Rsi = surface resistance inside. · The Building Regulations do not impose any requirement for the thermal performance of agricultural buildings. Table 1 shows the recommended U-values for walls and roofs of agricultural buildings as given in BS5502.

the lower the density, the higher the insulating value. Examples of insulating materials in common use are: · Insulating concrete · Loose fills, including exfoliated vermiculite fine glass fibrewool, mineral wool and cork granules. · Boards. Types include metallised polyester lined plyboard, woodwool slabs, expanded polystyrene boards, thermal backed (expanded polystyrene/extruded polystyrene) plasterboard and fibreboard, polyurethane, polyisocyanurate and phenolic. · Quilts. Made from glass fibre or mineral wool bonded or stitched between outer paper coverings for easy handling. · Insulating plasters. Factory produced premixed plasters, which have lightweight perlite, and vermiculite expanded minerals as aggregates, and requires only the addition of clean water before application. · Spray on polyurethane foam. · Composite panels – usually metal faced filled with polyurethane/polyisocyanurate foam or polystyrene foam. · Foamed cavity fill. The cavity is filled with ureaformaldehyde resin foamed on site. (from Chudley, 1999).

Example Calculation of U-value Imagine a potato store constructed of brick (215 mm thick), λ = 0.84W/mK, with 50 mm of spray-on polyurethane foam, λ = 0.023W/mK. Take Rin = 0.120m2K/W, and Rout = 0.060 m2K/W. The values may be set out in a table that allows for ease of computation.

Brick Foam Rout Rin Total R

λ 0.84 0.023

Thickness, m (in metres) 0.215 0.050

R(m/λ) 0.256 2.174 0.060 0.120 2.610

Now U = 1/R (which can be verified if one looks at the units for R) Thus U = 1/ 2.610 U = 0.38 W/m2K This is only a simple example, but it is relatively easy to work out further exercises where for instance the number of ‘layers’ of the building is increased, or where the U-value is given and it is required to find the thickness of insulating material.

Insulation Materials Insulation materials are made from a wide range of materials, and they are available in many forms. You only have to take a trip down to your local builders merchants to verify this. There is usually a direct relationship between density and insulating value ie

Photo 2, A well insulated piggery

Selection of Materials As well as the insulation value of the material that has been chosen, consideration must be given to factors such as: · Physical strength · Cost · Fire and flame spread · Resistance to pests · Condensation and moisture resistance · Low λ value · Non-toxic material · Water application · Ease of cleaning · Ease of installation and repair

Conclusions Insulation is one of those subjects that receives very little consideration, that is, until something goes wrong, or appears to go wrong. By understanding what is meant to happen when all is installed correctly, one can go about choosing the best insulation material for your application. At the end of the day, it will most definitely be money very well spent.

References 1. Chudley, R (1999) Construction Technology. 3rd edition. Longman. 2. Barnes and Mander (1991) Farm Building Construction. Farming Press. 3. DOW Construction Products. Commercial leaflets and personal communication.

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You could be advertising in this space 17000 of your potential customers could be reading this. Contact Jason to discuss your requirements on 028 975 19178

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Low Cost Simple Installation Quick Build Maintenance Free High Quality Materials Used Throughout Supplied In Kit Form Range Of Colours :- White Blue Biscuit Green Silver Translucent Manufactured To Withstand Extreme Weather Conditions

Contact: David Anderson Tel: 01888 551666 Fax: 01888 551376 Reader enq 014

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Technical Robotic milking â&#x20AC;ş The future today? B y I a n O h n s ta d â&#x20AC;&#x201C; M i l k i n g Te c h n o l o g y Sp e c i a l i s t , A D A S Automatic milking systems (AMS) have been i n s ta l l e d o n c o m m e r c i a l d a i r y f a r m s a t a n increasing rate in recent years. Claims for reduced labour demand, improved social life, improved milk q u a l i t y, i n c r e a s e d y i e l d s a n d i m p r o v e d a n i m a l welfare have combined to arouse both interest and e x p e c ta t i o n s w i t h i n t h e d a i r y i n d u s t r y. The idea of automating the complete milking p r o c e s s h a s b e e n a r o u n d f o r t h e pa s t 2 5 y e a r s . H o w e v e r, i t h a s o n l y b e e n i n t h e l a s t 1 0 y e a r s t h a t m a c h i n e s c a pa b l e o f c o m m e r c i a l e x p l o i ta t i o n h a v e been available. There were around 300 systems operating on commercial dairy farms in Europe in 1999 and it is estimated that this number will have increased to at least 1000 by the end of 2001. The c o u n t r i e s s h o w i n g t h e g r e a t e s t u p ta k e o f t h e t e c h n o l o g y a r e c h a r a c t e r i s e d b y h i g h l a b o u r c o s ts , high yielding cows and a predominance of small to medium sized family run farms. Unlike conventional milking, where cows are herded to be milked, the AMS relies on the motivation of the cow to present herself for milking a number of t i m e s e a c h d a y. T h e i d e a t h a t c o w s l i k e b e i n g milked and move freely to the AMS is very a t t r a c t i v e . H o w e v e r, s t u d i e s h a v e d e m o n s t r a t e d t h a t when cows are given a choice between feeding and being milked, they will always choose feeding. In studies where cows were given free access to an AMS, which did not include automatic dispensing of concentrate, they quickly stop attending. As soon a s f e e d w a s i n t r o d u c e d , e i t h e r i n t h e m i l k i n g s ta t i o n or in an area, which could only be accessed t h r o u g h t h e A M S , t h e f r e q u e n c y o f v i s i ts r a p i d l y increased.

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Therefore, when planning and designing successful l a y o u ts f o r A M S m i l k i n g , i t i s i m p o r ta n t t o u t i l i s e t h e c o w â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s d e s i r e t o e a t . I t h a s b e e n s u g g e s t e d t h a t cows could be motivated to move by restricting w a t e r i n ta k e s a l t h o u g h i t h a s n o w b e e n demonstrated that this motivation is not strong and any attempt to limit water raises serious welfare considerations. E c o n o m i c e ff i c i e n c y d i c ta t e s t h a t e a c h m i l k i n g s ta l l is used as intensively as possible. Initially it was f e l t t h a t t h e m o s t e ff e c t i v e w a y t o a c h i e v e h i g h utilisation was to employ a system of one-way cow t r a ff i c . M o s t c o w s a r e f e d a f o r a g e b a s e d r a t i o n with additional concentrates fed in the AMS. The desire to eat either forage or concentrate can be used to draw cows through the system. Using a system of one-way gates, for a cow lying in cubicles to eat forage, she is required to enter a pre-selection area where depending on the interval since her last visit to the AMS, she is either allowed to enter the AMS and be milked or given a c c e s s t o t h e f e e d b a r r i e r. A typical cow will achieve her daily dry matter i n ta k e i n a r o u n d s e v e n f e e d s . T h i s i s l i k e l y t o e q u a t e t o a r o u n d t h r e e v i s i ts t o t h e A M S e a c h d a y. Recent research now favours free access to bulk forage, with concentrates dispensed by the AMS. The transition from conventional milking to an AMS involves comprehensive changes for both cows and operator and usually leads to a period of stress for both. The length of the transition period varies from farm to farm but can be


a n y t h i n g u p t o 1 2 m o n t h s . T h i s p e r i o d i s o ft e n under-estimated by new users of AMS. T h e A M S i s n o t s u i ta b l e f o r a l l c o w s . U n s u i ta b l e temperament, udder confirmation, teat placement or size can mean in many cases up to 10% of the herd will require culling to make the system a success.

c l a i m e d a d v a n ta g e s a n d f u r t h e r w o r k i s n e e d e d t o identify areas of weakness to ensure future i n s ta l l a t i o n s p r o v e s u c c e s s f u l . W i t h t h a n k s t o F u l l w o o d L td , f o r t h e u s e o f t h e i r

If there is a problem with an AMS, it is usually associated with either poor cow attendance o r p o o r c l u s t e r a t ta c h m e n t . I n m a n y c a s e s , i n s u ffi c i e n t thought is given to the design and layout of the system and the daily management to keep cows motivated to attend. Poor a t t e n d a n c e i s o ft e n l i n k e d t o and can give an early indication of other problems such as l a m e n e s s o r m e ta b o l i c disorders. P o o r c l u s t e r a t ta c h m e n t i s o ft e n found in conjunction with poor attendance. If 20% of the herd has not attended for 12 hours, they should be manually brought to the system. In an attempt to milk this group of c o w s m o r e q u i c k l y, t h e o p e r a t o r w i l l o ft e n o v e r - r i d e t h e A M S a n d a t ta c h t h e c l u s t e r m a n u a l l y. H o w e v e r, s u c c e s s f u l a t ta c h m e n t relies on the AMS locating t e a ts , f i x i n g t h e c o - o r d i n a t e s and remembering the location. I f t h e u n i t i s a t ta c h e d m a n u a l l y, this memory cannot develop a n d a t ta c h m e n t w i l l d e t e r i o r a t e . Automatic milking is a c o m m e r c i a l r e a l i t y. T h e r e a r e many good examples of farms applying the technology successfully and reaping the b e n e f i ts o f i n c r e a s e d y i e l d s , improved herd health and improved quality of life. There are however also examples of farms who have yet to see the Reader enq 024

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Since 1995, the LELY group has sold in excess of 1,200 ASTRONAUT速 robotic milking systems around the world, including most European countries, Canada, Japan and Australia. With this number of users, they claim that they are today the world leader for robotic milking. They put this success down to their dedication to market a reliable product, which they continuously strive to improve by adding new features that meet the demand of their customers. Above all, however, they firstly put great value into supplying a reliable 24hour service backed up by qualified personnel. Secondly, they knew through experience that changing from conventional milking towards robotic milking means a totally different approach of the farm management -as was the case when farmers changed from milking manually to parlours. They are always working pro-actively to provide information and support for their customers to get the most out of the system they have purchased from them. For this they monitor cow yields, milk quality figures and udder health. Today, they are able to claim a high level of user satisfaction because of this approach that goes far beyond just supplying a product. At LELY, they stimulate and initiate visits to customers, and organise so called user group meetings in which they discuss with their customers ways and ideas to improve our system. They are happy to invite anyone who has questions to visit sites subject to Foot & Mouth restrictions -and to talk with current users. They are convinced that robotic milking will become the method generally accepted as the norm, as it reduces the need for manual labour and improves the well being of the cows. In combination with ever-improving sensor techniques which will control and improve the quality of the work, it is a matter of time and experience gained.

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Opinion When is Consultation not Consultation When it is carried out by Government Departments We all know that the rural economy has got to be re-organised, it is not working. The first thing that needs to change is DEFRA, the Government say that they understand this and so have started a consultation process. Let us hope that they take the correct decisions. Trying to set policies, which everyone will agree with, which encompass bio- diversity, organic food, improved efficiency, lower cost food, sustainability, free access to the countryside, GM crops, etc, etc, is obviously impossible, but policies need to be set.

knowledgeable parties working in that area and ask them to join a committee chaired by DEFRA to write the policy or advice. In that way the best policy can be evolved and those involved in the policy making can then have ownership of it and can go out and promote it. If you write the policy or advice and then send it out for comment those that do comment will still see it as DEFRA’s advice or policy and it will therefore be far easier for them to criticise it than if they were involved in its formulation. What ever you do, do not trying to impose DEFRA’s view as the HSE is so keen on doing.

My experience of past consultations by Government Departments such as the HSE and MAFF is that they are not as effective as they should be, I hope that DEFRA will be different. The HSE decided some time ago that the old advice on working at height was out of date. They therefore decided to rewrite the advice as HSG33 and gave it to a well meaning Health and Safety professional to write the draft. Once the draft was written it was sent out for comment, when the comments came back they were considered by the Health and Safety experts and some amendments made and the advice issued. Although overall the advice is good, because the Healthy and Safety experts had rejected the advice from the roofing experts, there are some areas where the advice is wrong.

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This meant that a number of trade associations in the roofing industry have spent the last three years fighting against some of the advice, when what was really needed was for all Trade Associations in the industry to go out and promote the advice. This problem occurred because the Health and Safety experts did not know enough about the subject they were providing advice about. A typical problem was advice concerning translucent rooflights. A number of deaths and serious injuries are caused each year by people falling through them, so the HSE took the decision that it would be best if they were designed out of roofs. This obviously ignored the many good reasons why it is often necessary to have translucent lights in a roof. If the HSE had known their subject better or had followed the advice given at the consultation stage by the industry experts they would have known that only certain types of rooflight are dangerous. Other rooflights are on the market that are stronger than the surrounding roofing materials and certainly strong enough to stop a person falling through them. So the HSE would have been far better to advise against the ‘unsafe’ roof lights rather than trying to stop all roof lights being used. They would then have the support of the industry associations who would have been delighted to support the HSE in promoting HSG33. As it was they were forced to argue against some of the advice.

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So, DEFRA, do not fall into the same trap. I know that you will not be able to satisfy everyone all the time, but it is important that with any policy you set you bring on side as much of the rural community as possible, if not we will all end up in a worse mess than we are now. I suggest that you communicate closely with the experts and so when new policy or advice is needed in a particular area, you contact the associations, unions and other interested and

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Countryside Building 33

Technical applications for farm diversification. The Implementation of National should develop a clear vision for the integrated rural development Planning Policy Guidance 4:of LPAs their rural areas, based on a rigorous understanding of local social and as well as environmental, needs. This may require further (PPG7) in relation to theeconomic, emphasis in PPG7. Diversification of Farm Business. 5: LPAs should have clear criteria-based policies for farm diversification We have recently been sent the executive summary of the research carried out by Land Use Consultants in association with the University of the West of England, Bristol and the Royal Agricultural College Enterprise on behalf of the DETR now DTLR. The research on the diversification categories found that the planning applications were in the following proportions: l l l l l

31% - Tourism 17% - Equestrian 10% - Storage/haulage 10% - Offices 8% - Manufacturing

which reflect local needs and which differentiate, where appropriate, between the types of diversification activity appropriate in different types of rural area. This information might be better provided as Supplementary Planning Guidance. 6: Subject to any clearer national definition of sustainable farm diversification, development plans should address the scale of development appropriate to their rural area and how (if at all) farm diversification activities should relate to a working farm. 7: The value of pre-application advice should be fully taken into account in any Best Value review of LPA services. 8: Within LPAs there should be consistent linking of pre- and postapplication advice.

It also found that remote rural areas have over six times the number of applications for farm diversification per head of population, compared to the urban fringe, highlighting the importance of farm diversification to the economy of remote areas.

9: LPAs should consider training for development control officers in farm diversification, or the identification of a specialist officer to deal with inquiries and applications.

On average farm diversification makes up 1.5% of all planning applications but this varies from area to area going up to 5.1% in National Parks. It is concerning to note that a number of local plans have not taken on board all the advice on diversification in PPG7 (1997).

10: LPAs should establish clear coordination with other bodies offering assistance and advice on farm diversification, such as DEFRA, local Economic Development Departments, the Farm Business Advisory Service and the Rural Enterprise Scheme.

The research found that 90 to 95% of applicants for diversification had received some form of advice (other than from the LPA) before submitting a planning application. 60% of applications are made on behalf of clients by professional advisors.

11: Local authorities, the Regional Development Agencies, DEFRA and other relevant bodies should consider establishing first stop shops where applicants can gain planning and economic development advice under one roof.

The average approval rate for farm diversification applications is 83%, with the national average for all planning applications 88%. The highest approval rates relate to tourism (85%) and equestrian activities (84%) and the lowest approval rates were for storage and haulage (71%). There are some marked differences of approval rates if the age of the building is considered, with 28% of applications for diversification activities involving modern farm buildings being refused, compared to 13.5% for traditional farm buildings. This difference is even greater in accessible rural areas.

12: LPAs should develop closer partnerships with the farming community through agricultural or farming fora, or regular liaison meetings between planners and the farming community.

They advise that: “The over-riding message that emerges from this research is the need for greater clarity of purpose for farm diversification and its role in wider rural diversification. This clarity of purpose is required at all levels, in defining the parameters under which farm diversification should operate; what it should deliver at the local level and for whose benefit; and clarity and consistency in the communication between LPAs and the farming community”.

14: LPAs should take planning advice out to the farming community, perhaps through planning clinics, or the work of agricultural liaison officers, or by working with those who are already in close liaison with the farming community, for example, planning advisors operating under the Rural Enterprise Scheme.

They recommended that: 1: The Government should consider the feasibility of providing a clearer, but flexible, definition of sustainable farm diversification, which, amongst other things, addresses issues of scale of development and the differences between farm diversification which is and is not attached to a working farm. 2: National policy guidance should clearly acknowledge that different approaches to farm diversification may be required to achieve sustainability objectives in different areas – responding to the different needs and pressures of different areas. 3: DEFRA/DTLR and the Countryside Agency at the national level, and local authorities at the more local level, should consider how the range of farm plans now being produced in support of farm business development and environmental protection might be used in support of planning Countryside Building 34

13: LPAs should consider producing written advice (a leaflet or similar) that explains how farm diversification applications will be dealt with and the issues that will be taken into account in their determination reflecting local circumstances.

They go on to say that: “In making these recommendations it is realised that it would not be appropriate or practical for all LPAs to follow all the recommendations directed at them to the same degree. It will be for individual local authorities to decide the actions which are most appropriate for them depending on local circumstances. Under the ERDP, the Action Plan for Farming, the Rural White Paper and the response to Foot and Mouth Disease there are a broad range of activities being undertaken by a wide range of organisations. In many cases the actions identified above could and should be shared as part of these initiatives, rather than falling to local authorities alone”. The above look to me to be a sound set of recommendations, I only hope that they are acted upon and the final paragraph does not give too many LAs a loophole to avoid doing any thing. Copies of the full report may be purchased (price £24) from the DTLR Publications Sales Centre, Cambertown House, Goldthorpe Industrial Estate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham S63 9BL (phone 01709 891318).

Technical Timber Industry Awards 2001

Back Issues

I was luck enough to be invited to the presentation of the above awards at the Carpenters Hall. The range of projects from the hi-tech roof of the courtyard roof of Portcullis House to the repair of a 15th century lychgate, via bridges and a new dais and alter for St. Paul’s Cathedral was

We normally sell back copies for £5.00 each, but unfortunately we have run out of copies of all issues in Volume 1 except for a few of Issue 4.

Listed below are the previous Issues of Countryside Building and the main articles they contain.

Volume 1 Issue 4 This was the Journal that was – The foundation and development of the Association Fragility Calf Housing Update New Farm House in the Scottish Borders Convert to Survive Part 11 Conversion of Traditional Farm Buildings to B1 Business use – Part 111, Costs & Grants The Price of Good Design: The Cost of Bad design That was the Year that was – Cow Cubicles How and Where did they Originate Slurry Separation and the Organic farmer The Greenbelt isn’t Working

inspirational and showed the vast range of uses for timber. The photograph of some of the hundreds of entries shows the range of projects that were on display. Possibly the most interesting and thought provoking part of the displays was the vast differences of design and construction that can be accommodated by using wood in different ways. The bridges highlighted this for me; from the very tightly designed, wide span, Glulam arch in the bridge at Black dog Hill, Wiltshire, designed by Mark Lovell Design Engineers, for North Wiltshire District Council, to the use of natural timber logs in the footbridge, conkers, the National Forest, Leicester, designed by Faulks Perry Cully Rech Architects, for Heart of the National Forest Foundation. The winners of the various categories are listed below. All should be congratulated on the very high quality of their design and outstanding craftsmanship.

Volume 2 Issue 1 That was the Year that was – Farm Buildings and Cattle Slurry National Dairy Farm Assured scheme (Edition 2) – Interpretation on Building Design Stone Slate National Briefing Housing in the Countryside – a 21st Century View Sheep Housing Traditional Farm Buildings: An Investigation into the Lack of Support to Retain them in agricultural Use. Pig Housing in Somerset The History and Repair of Steel Windows

Major Projects – Winner – Canterbury Cathedral Education Centre Assessors Special Award – Winner – Lodge Park, Sherebourne, Gloucestershire Smaller Projects – Winner – The Khoan & Sullivan Gallery of Chinese Painting, The Ashmolean Museum Oxford English Heritage Awards – The Lychgate, St Leonards Church, Heston Softwood in use Out of Doors – Leighton Redwood Chalet, Welshpool, Powys There were 140 entries on display in what was fairly cramped conditions and so I could not give as much time to each display as I would have liked, which was a shame. If I am invited again next year I will have to make a point of arriving early or leaving the rest of the day free. I did not see an entry from a typical farm building, possible because none of the categories really covered this type of building and there is a feeling that design and aesthetics are probably more highly marked than functionality. May be a new sponsor is required for a new category of ‘Working Farm Building’, where function, layout and cost are

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Technical New Concrete mixes for farmers RMC Readymix has produced a complete range of concrete mixes for farmers, backed up by the latest expert guidance in a specially prepared collection of best practice guides. The range includes products designed to provide farmers with a mix that is both economical and which is guaranteed to meet or exceed the British Standards for concrete mixes in Agriculture and all relevant quality assurance standards. Each concrete mix has been given a brand name, reflecting the growing emphasis on statutory regulation and farm assurance schemes and this will help farmers identify the appropriate product for common concrete applications such as dairy parlours, livestock housing, slurry stores and silage clamps. The best practice leaflets have been prepared in consultation with independent specialists from leading colleges and other centres throughout the UK, as well as experts from the supply industry and provide the sort of practical guidance that is needed for fast, easy and efficient completion of the job. Readymix Stockfloor is a durable, hardwearing concrete suitable for use in livestock units. Readymix Stockfloor can be finished to provide a non-abrasive and slip resistant surface, which can be readily cleaned. The high quality concrete is designed to satisfy the standards of hygiene in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s livestock housing including the Food Safety Act and Quality Assurance Schemes. Durable, Strong, Safe, Easy to place, Hygienic Readymix Liquitite is a dense, durable concrete designed to meet the very aggressive environment found in an agricultural liquid storage facility both above and below ground. Readymix Liquitite aids in the provision of an impermeable structure that complies with the current pollution control guidelines set out by the Environmental Agency. Durable, Strong, Dense, Easy to place, Readymix Multistore is a durable and load bearing concrete floor designed for both general and specific storage needs. With a good structural design and the use of Readymix Multistore, a hygienic storage facility can be created providing a barrier between ground water and the stored material. Strong, Durable, Hygienic, Practical Readymix Farmpave is a high strength, durable concrete for use on external paved areas subject to the constant loading and scraping imposed by farm vehicles and machinery. Readymix Farmpave is designed to resist damage from frost and the aggressive conditions found in an agricultural environment. Strong, Durable, Attractive, Practical For information and technical advice on agricultural concrete applications, freephone RMC Readymix on 0800667 827, or e-mail

RMC Readymix is proud to support its partners in agricultural construction . The RMC Group is the world's leading supplier of ready mixed concrete. RMC Readymix offers a total service for agricultural construction, where customer service, technical performance, logistical support and quality compliance is critical. For Information on Agricultural Concrete Solutions call us on Freephone 0800 667 827 Or E-mail us at Or visit our website WWW.RMC.CO.UK Reader enq 031

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THE COMPLETE SLURRY SYSTEM Mixer Pumps, Stirrers, Seperators, Aerators, Flushing Systems, Umbilical Equipment, Spreaders, Tanks, Pipe work, Spears and Service.

Whatever your slurry problems JPS can design a system to give you an effective, efficient and reliable solution. For further information please contact our sales office. Tel:01522 519800 Mobile:07836 665704 E-Mail /

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Technical Policy Guidance. PPG.7. (Annexe Setting the Planning Scene F), and two lines in the latest Rural White Paper. (Our Countryside: the Future - A fair deal for RuralEngland.). for those considering On 30th March 2000 the Prime Minister held a Farming Summit at 10, Downing Street at which he announced the Action Plan for diversification in to horse Farming. Annexe A of the Plan includes two important paragraphs.... keeping! David J Wood, Managing Director of AGRIQUESTRIAN CONSULTANTS Little more than a hundred and eighty years ago the horse and horse related modes of transport was the only way of travelling from one place to another or to deliver bulk materials and manufactured goods from the manufacturer to the consumer (other than canal and river transport). In addition the bulk of agricultural cultivations and the harvesting of crops was carried out using horse drawn ploughs, cultivators, mowing and harvesting machinery. The horse was in fact the prime mover with a larger proportion of heavy breeds, i.e. Shires, Clydesdales, Clevelands, Percherons, Suffolks, etc., in use. The advent of steam power and subsequently the internal combustion engine has seen the demise of horse related transport which brought about a rapid decline in all horse numbers up to the end of the Second World War, but mostly at the expense of the working horse. The last fifty years however has seen a steady increase in riding horse numbers, particularly in the last twenty years, and an accompanying increase in horse riding and horse related sports and events of one sort or another. Three recent surveys of independent origin and radically different methodologies suggest that the horse population of Great Britain is close to 600,000. A large proportion of these, some 300,000, can be identified through the records of various equine organisations, although this estimate may include some element of double counting ! A further survey found that 3.3m people rode regularly, (more than twice per month), whilst 600,000 of these rode three or more times per week. In addition certain equine sports attract a substantial nonmounted participation. Hunting with 390,000 followers a year. Horse Race meetings which attracts over four million spectators. The trend in both riding and non-riding participation over the last ten years has been generally upwards, particularly in the case of the former. Based on BHS & MAFF/DEFRA estimates of the feeding and welfare requirements of horses and ponies suggests a conservative estimate of land area used by equines is that about 500,000 ha is devoted directly to horse maintaining and breeding and a further 300,000 ha to the production of feedstuffs. A TBA, (Thoroughbred Breeders Association), study estimates that land use devoted to stud farms amounts to 117,000 ha, by comparison equine land use is therefore almost twice the area devoted to horticultural crops. The primary equine industry employs around 50,000 individuals with the ancillary industries accounting for a further 15,000. Students studying courses devoted to a career in equine related employment number at least 11,000. These figures exclude much of the voluntary work and the labour of individuals looking after their own horses. Identifiable turnover of primary equine activities is estimated at more than £ 350 million whilst a further £ 450 million is generated by ancillary industries. In financial terms this makes the equine industry broadly equivalent to the office machinery sector. Against this background of continual growth of horse numbers, of horse riding and participation in horse events, horse owners, those wishing to own horses, those wishing to ride together with their Equestrian Consultants/Advisors are confronted by a Planning system, which relies greatly upon criteria, standards and definitions some of which were laid down over fifty years ago. At present there seems to be no overall National policy guidance related specifically to horses and horse riding other than a miserable pair of half columns in Planning Countryside Building 38

One significant rural-based industry centres upon horses; it provides important opportunities for the diversification of farm-based activities. The Government has assigned MAFF/DEFRA the responsibility for working with the horse industry to help develop its potential for rural-based employment. The Government will revise planning guidance to give clear encouragement to diversification, for example to reuse redundant farm buildings and to encourage smallscale horse enterprises on working farms. This will be taken forward in the first instance by a special Planning Conference hosted by Nick Raynsford, (the then Minister for the Environment), which will look at a range of diversification issues. I attended this conference as the RDBA representative and took the opportuunity to raise the question of the definition of ‘Agriculture’ and its relationship to the ridden horse. (See below). Whilst sympathetic to my views the Minister indicated that such revisions would require primary legislation in relation to the Agriculture Act which was not on the Governments timetable at present. However, as a direct result of this Seminar and as announced in the House of Commons Hansard in March 2001, revisions were to be made to PPG.7. These revisions were published in fall in a previous edition of Countryside Building and are also available on the DofE’s website at: Although we had assurances from the then Minister that his department were writing to every LPA to inform them of the clarification of certain parts of PPG.7., these do not appear to have been incorporated, as yet, in to changes in Local Plan Policies. We all know and appreciate the policies which relate to the protection of the rural scene, the Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and of High Landscape Value, but where horse related developments are concerned we have widespread inconsistencies in the application of these policies even to a certain Local Planning Authority, in refusing a planning permission for a livery yard, suggesting that a horse related development was inappropriate development in the countryside! The problem appears to start with the legal position of what horse keeping is. The definition of Agriculture is set out in Section 336(1) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990., and states...... ‘horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins and fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes.’ In the planners’ eyes, under present laws, the keeping of horses is not an agricultural activity except where that horse is a grazing animal, is a working horse or is destined for the horse meat market. If you consider this definition as being old fashioned it is not surprising since it was taken from the Agriculture Act 1947 (Section 109), which in turn was based upon

Technical the description, which has varied very little, in previous Agricultural Acts of 1875., 1883., 1906 & 1920. The status of the horse in agriculture was established by a Judicial decision nearly forty years ago Rutherford-v’s-Maurer -Queens Bench 1962. However a contradictory decision was also made in the same year — Belmont Farms-v’s-Minister of Housing & Local Government, when it was held that the breeding and keeping of horses was not an agricultural activity because the ridden horse was not included in the.. ..”creatures kept for the production of food”.... (Working horses were exempt since they were included in the “use in the farming of land”). The B.H.S. held that the grazing of horses was an agricultural activity and supported two Oxfordshire farmers in an Appeal to the High Court - this decision being referred to as The South Oxfordshire District Council, (S.O.D.C.)-v’s- Secretary of State for the Environment, T.B. Underwood & P.B. Lance Queens Bench Dec. 1980. The S.O.D.C. had required them to apply for planning permission to graze horses and then had refused the application. This was then followed by an Enforcement Notice to cease this activity. Lord Justice Donaldson & Mr Justice Kilner Brown vindicated the B.H.S. interpretation. These definitions are summarised in Planning Policy Guidance. PPG. 7.,Annexe F: Para. F.3., Development involving horses. In addition the General Development Order 1995, Schedule 2., Pt.6.(3). states..... When it comes to animals, the Order has no regard to the nature of the creature but only to its function. Take the horse. Planning law recognises six types of horse..... 1. The working horse. Keeping and breeding them is an agricultural use (livestock bred or kept for the purpose of its use in the farming of land.). 2. The racehorse. Keeping and breeding them is not an agricultural use of land because they are not livestock kept for agricultural production (though he may graze). 3. The recreational horse. Keeping them, as opposed to grazing them, (See 4 below), is not an agricultural use of the land, so that there may be a material change in the use of agricultural land when it is sub-divided in to pony paddocks, when shelters are provided or when farm buildings are converted to livery use. The keeping of a recreational horse on agricultural land may mean that the land use has changed to a recreational use; or it may result in a mixed agricultural/recreational use. 4. The grazing horse. The use of land as grazing land is an agricultural use, so that the use of the land for grazing any of the above horses is agricultural; but not the use of the land for keeping them. 5. The residentially incidental horse. The keeping of a horse within the curtilage of a dwelling house may, though not an agricultural use, be incidental to the enjoyment of a dwelling house and thus permitted by Section 55.(2).(d). 6. Horsemeat. Human consumption of horsemeat is common in other European countries, and the breeding and keeping of horses for food production would clearly constitute an agricultural use of land. Confused? So was I at first! There is a wide disparity in the amount of supplementary planning advice on equestrian based developments given by LPA’s. These vary from literally nothing in the Local Plan Policy of a North West England LPA, (this is very surprising since this LPA has a substantial slab of Metropolitan Green Belt under its control), through to a detailed booklet, entitled Horse Related Development, published by a South Midlands LPA.

Many farmers are diversifying in to equestrian based enterprises or expanding upon small established units, many of which have been set up without Planning consents for changes of use of both existing buildings and land. One particular area where planning problems exist relates to the provision of residential accommodation for equestrian/agricultural workers, in a mixed farming/equestrian scenario it is often the case that turnover generated by the equestrian enterprise and the needs of horse welfare may not be taken in to account when meeting the ‘Functional’ and ‘Financial’ tests set out in PPG.7. Annexe I. Some LPA’s, I am pleased to say, do not take this view and apply the policies equally to both agricultural and equestrian developments and dwellings, but the same ‘Tests’ will be applied. Except in Green Belt areas there is hopefully a presumption in favour of the applicant. PPG.7., remains the central guidance, in spite of its many shortcomings. In particular, where equestrian developments are concerned,..... PPG.7.Annexe F. Para. F.5., states........... Within the framework set out in PPG. 7, the Government wishes to see a positive approach towards planning applications for horse-based development which respects the rural environment. It is perhaps ironic that the fundamental changes which have emerged in central government agricultural policy, particularly the recent revision, though small, to PPG.7. has occurred within a general planning policy which largely depends on the predominant use made of land, particularly in the Green Belts, being agricultural, a consideration which has remained virtually unchanged since the first circular on Green Belts was issued in 1955. The latest edition of PPG.2., re-affirms the policy and makes particular mention of PPG.7. , and to its likely influence on the rural economy. To this end therefore it must follow that in a difficult and uncertain agricultural climate proposals in sensitive locations which have the effect of both maintaining land for farming, or related, purposes ought to be afforded the highest priority in terms of assistance if the countryside is not simply to become neglected and, as a consequence, take on a derelict and unkempt appearance. Without apology I quote Mr John Gummer, one time Environment Secretary, who urged planners to....” help develop the countryside as a place where people could work as well as live... Planners have an enabling role to play, not a restrictive one.” New jobs and opportunities are needed in the countryside just as much as in towns and urban areas. Just as towns wither away physically, economically and socially when deprived of investment and development, so too does the countryside. It is to the Local Planning Authorities that the government looks to breath fresh life in to the countryside through their development plans, their policies and planning decisions and not to stifle enterprise. The New White Paper examines the economic, social and environmental changes that are taking place in the countryside today and builds upon the principles set out in the Governments’ Sustainable Development Strategy. It covers all aspects of living, working in and enjoying the countryside, promotes economic development whilst protecting what makes our countryside unique. The nature of the countryside is changing though, its inhabitants are more mobile and rural economic activity is becoming increasingly diverse. Recent population flow statistics show a steady increase in many rural populations. Increasingly more and more people from towns and cities are visiting and enjoying the countryside and taking part in country pursuits including horse riding. This reflects in increasing development and other pressures on the countryside which has wide implications for Local Government, housing services, the planning system and conservation policies, all of which must adapt to the changing nature of Rural England.. A diversified agriculture will remain the dominating influence on the appearance of the countryside as it has in the past. The countryside as we see it today has been created mostly by farmers and land owners. Undoubtedly the DEFRA will play an increasing role in the Countryside Building 39

Technical development of the new policies but it must be done without muffling the voice of British Farming and horse owners. The replacement of County and District Councils by single Unitary Authorities will continue to dilute farming’s political influence, even in the Shire counties. MAFF has been swallowed up in to a new department, yet further diluting farmers’ influence on National policies affecting both their land and livelyhoods. There will be little support for the farming lobby from the CLA who seem to favour such a policy, whilst the NFU will sit on the fence as usual wringing their hands but taking very little positive action, consensus politics being their usual approach. We really need an opportunity to indicate what we will have to deal with in the future and for DEFRA in conjunction with ADAS, the NFU and other professional organisations, together with farmers to be considering how restructive policies can be maintained yet have the flexibility to meet future needs, not only of the UK but the wider EC. David J Wood is the Managing Director of AGRIQUESTRIAN CONSULTANTS, who specialise in the design and construction of agricultural and equestrian building and act as Town & Country Planning consultants and expert witnessing. Member of FBA/RDBA since 1959. Past Chairman of RDBA Retained by British Horse Society as Architectural, design and planning consultant. Author of a number of BHS Advisory booklets. David has agreed to supply a number of articles for future issues of Countryside Building, in which he will deal with the design, layout and construction of equestrian building facilities, both new build and conversion. He hopes with the approval of his clients to include case studies, which will continue the ‘planning’ theme. References. The economic contribution of the British Equine Industry. BHS. Planning Policy Guidance PPG.7.( 1997.) The Department of the Environment/DEFRA.

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National News The RDBA 2001 Winter Conference Sustainable Development in the Countryside Implications on Design Thursday 15th November 2001 The Royal Hotel Ross on Wye

not fully comprehensive and should only be thought of as a basis for discussion. Sustainable Development is...” development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Brundtland Commission 1987 Sustainable Development is not just another name for environmental protection. It is concerned with issues, which are long term, and the effects which are irreversible. A new approach to policy making is required which does not trade off short-term costs and benefits but regards some aspects of the environment as absolute constraints. LGMB 2996 In practical terms it must be consciously & deliberately planned for at the feasibility stage:          

The conference commenced on the Wednesday evening at 7.30 with 26 of us sitting down to dinner, our thanks to Eternit UK Ltd for sponsoring much of the Wine for the evening. This was a great start to the conference with good food, wine, company and a marvellous speaker. Our thanks also to A J Lowther & Son Ltd, who sponsored the speaker, Dick Brice, who regaled us with stories and songs about the local personalities and people of the Forest of Dean. Following the meal we adjourned to the bar, where typical of an English hotel we found that although it was only 11.00pm, it was closed! So we had to move to the lounge and purchase our drink via the night porter, which did not seem to slow the flow too much. All in all a great evening, with some of the fitter members, I am told, finally calling it a day and retiring at 4.00am. An early start in the morning to organise the room and set up for the AGM at 9.00am. Minutes of the AGM can be seen elsewhere in Countryside Building. During the AGM those that had not joined us for the night before began arriving until at the start of the conference there were approximately 45 delegates.

The Conference Welcome and Introduction by the RDBA Chairman Dick Coates FRICS Dick welcomed all the delegates and advised that there were a number of trade stands at the back of the hall that the delegates should visit during the breaks. He thanked the Exhibitors for taking space and helping to defray the costs of the Conference. He thanked the speakers in advance for what he was sure was going to be an interesting, informative and enjoyable day. He then introduced the following bullet points on sustainability, which were in the delegates pack but stressed that they were Countryside Building 42


Efficient functional use for present requirements Flexible design to allow for future change Durable design to give long life with min. maintenance Effective design to minimise running costs esp. energy Respect welfare of both occupants and operatives Create an attractive working environment Reduce consumption of natural resources esp. energy Substitute renewable resources for non renewable Utilise any recycled materials/resources available Select materials/construction techniques that are ‘green’ - low energy to make or transport, reusable, & zero pollutants. Minimise production of wastes Reuse & recycle wastes in environmentally friendly way Ensure zero pollution in operation Preserve/enhance wildlife & ecosystem diversity & variety Protect our archaeological, built, & natural heritage. Safeguard all physical assets that once damaged would be impossible or very difficult to restore or recreate.

Dick then introduced the first Presentation:

Sustainability in Rural Development David Eager, The Countryside Council for Wales, Fford Penros, Bangor, LL57 2LQ, Phone: 01248 385500, Fax: 01248 355782 David is a geographer-planner with extensive experience in central and local government countryside planning and management. Presentation David presented the award-winning LANDMAP landscape qualities information system, national design guidance on rural place-making, and sustainable rural design. He explained that the land map is made up of 8 different ‘layers’, which are listed below:        

Landscape Character Areas History & Archaeology Culture Earth Science Biodiversity Visual & sensory Aspects Landscape Function Landscape form

National News He explained how the information was obtained, evaluated, managed and used. He also explained that more information could be obtained from the booklets published by The Countryside Council for Wales.

role in overseeing implementation of the Rural White Paper (RWP) and the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) in partnership with the Countryside Agency and the SW RDA. More specific areas of work covered by the team include land-use planning, the “food chain” and rural stress. Presentation

The Role of Historic Building Conservation Dr. Judi Loach, Welsh School of Architecture, Bute Building, King Edward VII Ave., Cardiff, CF10 3NB, Phone: 029 208 76189 Judi Loach studied architecture at the Architectural Association, where she was encouraged to follow her interests in building conservation; in particular she became involved in the recording of traditional rural buildings, and won a scholarship to support research into conservation of traditional rural buildings, comparing practices in Britain and Holland. She then took her doctorate in architectural history at the University of Cambridge, for which she spent a year researching in France, where she took a certificate in building conservation. After holding posts as Research Associate and Research Fellow at Cambridge she took up the lectureship in architectural history at the school of architecture in Oxford Brookes University. She is currently Senior Lecturer in the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. She sits on the steering committees of several amenity groups concerned with historic buildings and serves as a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for Llandaff Diocese.

“No-one made a greater mistake than (s)he who did nothing because (s)he could only do a little.” Edmund Burke 1.

Sustainable Development


What is “Sustainable Development” – looking at various definitions Landmark developments in policy and theory Examples of sustainable and non-sustainable development in various sectors United Kingdom strategy and progress Government machinery The use of indicators to monitor development


The Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES)


The Rural Development Regulation The England Rural Development Regulation Gains and losses The Rural Enterprise Scheme Help with Planning Advice


Design Advice Towards Greener Buildings

Presentation This presentation began from the premise that conserving existing buildings is inherently more sustainable than building new ones, but some of the lessons arising - value of local character, use of local materials - are equally applicable to new build in rural areas. The presentation addressed the issue of criteria for selecting buildings for conservation or conversion, within the specific context of sustainable rural development, and defines the key criterion as local specificity. Rural development which reuses historic building stock (including for business uses) in such an appropriate way may entail higher capital costs, and constrain choices. Yet it is likely to result in lower revenue costs, and prove more sustainable.

Sustainability and the Rural Enterprise Scheme – Opportunity & Conflicts Huw Lloyd-Jones, Food Farming and Rural Development Directorate Government Office for the South West, 4th Floor, The Pithay, Bristol, BS1 2PB Phone: 0117 9001841, Fax: 0117 9001905 Huw is a Senior Rural Development Advisor on Food Farming and Rural Development The Food, Farming and Rural Development Team of the Government Office for the South West (GOSW) was created by the re-organisation of MAFF on 1st April 2001. Within the region we have a central role in promoting the Government’s Agriculture Strategy and taking forward debate on CAP reform and the future of agriculture post-FMD. We also have a key

Martin Cook RIBA, Energy Technical Centre, BRE, Garston, Watford, WD2 7JR Phone: 01923 664000, Fax: 01923 664010 Martin Cook is a Project Manager in BRE’s Energy Technology Centre. He has specialised in energy efficiency at BRE for several years. During this time he has dealt with virtually all building types and most aspects of energy and environmental consultancy. He was a principal architect and project manager in private practice before joining BRE. This involved him in the inception, conception, and execution of most building types Presentation Martin told us about the new initiative – Part of the Government Sponsored Energy Best Practice Programme, which will give:  

One day of free energy and environmental consultancy Additional 30% grant support for specialist consultancy on larger contracts

He answered the question why do we need design advice: He provided details of a number of projects that had been sustainably designed and looked at alternative energy sources: Solar Power – Photovoltaics, Passive Solar Heating, Harnessing the power of the wind, Thermal Energy Storage, as well as discussing greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting. Countryside Building 43

National News Internationally, working at all levels up to importership General Manager. Expertise in special application vehicles, diesel power systems and low volume production methods. Founded Froben Ltd in 1991, and diversified into hardwoods sector in 1998. Froben continues to do work in the vehicle sector but increasingly the company’s activities are focused on the development of native hardwoods and their downstream value addition. Froben also offers an administration analysis service to SME’s Carey Lewis is active with the federation of Small Business, Britain’s largest business representation organisation, as Chair of the Industrial South Wales and Powys Branch, Vice Chair of FSB Welsh Policy and is heavily involved in all levels of Objective One in Wales, also a Member of the Entrepreneurship Action Panel for Wales Trade International Presentation 

Sustainability in Action - A Practical Approach to Innovative Construction Jonathan Hines BSc BArch, Architype Ltd, The Studio, Bell Vue Centre Cinderford, Gloucestershire, GL14 2AB Phone: 01626 32 5648, Fax: 01626 32 5605 Jonathan is the Managing Director of Architype Ltd – an Architectural practice with an urban (London) office and a rural (Gloucestershire) office, working through out the country, Architype is one of the UK’s leading experts in ecological and sustainable design. Architype has particular practical expertise in low energy design, natural ventilation and in environmentally sustainable materials. Projects range from £150k to £15m and are mainly in the social sector, including community and village halls, school buildings, health centres, arts and leisure buildings and housing. Jonathan Hines is involved in a number of national initiatives and research projects in sustainability and the use of timber in construction. Presentation What sustainability actually means? He believes that there are two key issues – social sustainability and ecological sustainability which should be addressed in building projects:  Social sustainability: Involving users and local communities in the development of building projects, developing ‘ownership’ and shared solutions  Ecological sustainability: Designing buildings which reduce their negative impact and enhance their positive environmental impact Practical Examples The techniques for user involvement and the model for sustainable design was illustrated through a number of practical examples of successfully complete projects around the UK, for a wide range of uses including community buildings, village halls, schools, offices and housing.

British Timber: A Natural Choice


Introduction and lessons that can be learned from the low volume manufacture of vehicles. The Price, Quality, Availability, Factor Lack of suitable premises for quality value addition in the hardwoods sector Business birth and incubation Business development potential The development of the physical cluster The structure of the Cluster Concept of buildings Conclusion

Farm Buildings: Implications on Design Dick Coates FRICS, University of Plymouth, Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ, Phone: 01626 32 5648, Fax: 01626 32 5605 Dick is the Associate Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Buildings at Seal Hayne University of Plymouth and an Agricultural Buildings Consultant. As a Designer he has won four CLA Farm Buildings Awards. He regularly has articles published in agricultural publications, is the Technical Editor of New Farm Buildings in Devon – A Design Guide (in preparation), has commenced the updating and rewriting of the Rural Buildings Pocket Book, with the aim of publication in late 2002 and is the author of Chapter 25 of the Agriculture Notebook (20th Edition with publishers now). He has been a Council Member of the RDBA for many years and its Chairman for the past year.


Demand: Agricultural Holdings: Otter Valley Example Building Types: with/without environment control: Building Design is the skill : in choosing the attributes to suit the function, siting & appearance with/for specific materials & type of construction. Design Influence: Polite/ National not vernacular Designers: What do you want? Design Focus Sustainability

Carey Lewis Federation of Small Business Carey Lewis, Educated at Neath Grammar School and Loughborough College. Twenty-five years in the truck industry both in the UK and Countryside Building 44

Environmental Assessments and Rural Buildings David Pollard, Landmark Environmental Ltd, 101 Ashleigh

National News House Harris Knowledge Park, Garstang Road, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 9AB Phone: 01772 713555, Fax: 01772 713444

barn owl to nest. In many areas this is one of the reasons why it is in decline. The remedy is relatively simple and not very expensive. During the conversion a hole should be left in the gable end of the building to allow entry to a nesting area. Details of the size of the hole and the nesting area required were given, they can also be obtained from the literature supplied by the Barn Owl Trust, at their address above.

As Technical Manager for Landmark Environmental Ltd. David Pollard is responsible for project management and developing opportunities in the UK and overseas. An ecologist at heart he also represents the company with a commercial awareness, giving whenever possible a broad based approach, such as seminars and providing expert witness. Landmark Environmental Ltd. is an Ecological and Environmental Management Consultancy specialising in Protected Species Survey and Mitigation, Ecological Surveys, Habitat Creation and Management, Impact Assessments and Environmental Education through seminars and training. Presentation David discussed the current issues surrounding development in the rural sector  Direct habitat loss  Severance  Disruption to local hydrology  Pollution into local watercourses Monitoring Impacts Legislation Regarding Development Protected Species Legislation Species Concerned

Environmental Harmony: Including the Barn Owl David Ramsden, The Barn Owl Trust, Waterleat, Ashburton, Devon, TQ13 7HU Phone: 01364 653026 David is the Senior Conservation Officer for the Barn Owl Trust, which he co-founded in 1988 and has been employed by it since 1990. He has been a trustee of the Devon Wildlife Trust since 1995. Author / co-author of various reports, government guidelines, one (published) scientific paper, Booklets and leaflets. The Barn Owl Trust is a registered Charity and is the primary source of information on barn owls nationally. It has a grass-roots origin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Involved in major projects involving practical, advisory and population monitoring work across Devon and Cornwall. Research project subjects include; barn conversions, reintroduction, major roads, diet and foraging behavior. Provision of educational resources including; lectures, talks, videos, packs, leaflets etc. Presentation David discussed Barn owl; introduction, habitat, decline, site loss, planning issues and gave recommendations. His talk included tapes of the calls of all British owls and so we now know what a barn owl sounds like, he also showed a number of photographs of the different owls. One of his main points is that in this clean and well-ordered countryside that we are creating, with many of the old barns being converted and upgraded, there are few places left for the

Conclusion Dick then summarised the conference by saying that it was in our own best interests and the best interests of generations to come that we build sustainably but the one message that came across from the conference was that this was not too difficult nor too expensive if we planned for it, at an early stage. We needed to take sustainability on board and check the implications, whether it was to renovate an old building rather than build new, take advantage of the local topography, ensure that as many of the materials used were from locally renewable resources or decide on the source of the energy required to run the building, etc. This planning was the key; sustainability is not a bolt on option. He thanked all the presenters and the delegates for making it such an interesting, informative and enjoyable conference and brought the Conference to a close. We still have a few delegate packs available at a cost of ÂŁ20.00, please contact the National Secretary for details. With thanks to the Exhibitors who helped to defray the costs of the Conference: ATSS (east Anglia) Ltd ATSS House, Station Road East, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1RQ Phone 01449 674944 Fax 01449 678678 Web site For all your office needs from, computers to printers, from paper to paper clips Farmplus Construction Ltd Shay Lane, Longridge, PRESTON, Lancashire, PR3 3BT Phone 01772 785252, Fax 01772 782944 Web site Timber framed buildings, cattle and sheet housing, kennels, feed stores, implement sheds, designed, built and erected to you requirements. Landmark Environmental Ltd 101 Ashleigh House, Harris Knowledge Park, Garstang Road, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 9AB Phone 01772 713555 Fax 01772 713444, Web site An Ecological and Environmental Management Consultancy

Countryside Building 45

Technical Traditional Farm Buildings: An  Investigation into the Lack of Support to Retain Them in Agricultural Use. Part II: Historic Building Grants


Dick Coates FRICS: Associate Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Buildings James Sims Williams & Adrian Matthews: BSc Hons. graduates in Rural Estate Management. Seale Hayne Faculty, University of Plymouth. Situation Summary from Part I The situation in the survey of National Park farm buildings only revealed the tip of the iceberg. Only two thirds of such buildings were retained in agricultural use. Table 2 showed the breakdown of the origin and current use. Table 3 indicated the small proportion that had been adapted for new agricultural use. The farmstead age range in Table 4 showed an astonishing over 50% were pre 1800, and included some more expected answers to associated problems. The last figures however were very revealing: 21% were listed, 64% not listed, but the farmers concerned were unsure about the remaining 15%!



to reintroduce. 19% of the above had previously offered such grants. Only 3% had plans to reintroduce – funds permitting. 75% of all participating authorities have a budget of less than £30,001 (average budget £23,462) – see chart. All such authorities offered grants for the structural repair of listed buildings. A few added any historic fabric. Two thirds also included buildings in a conservation area and a few added other designated areas or other schemes (i.e. ESA or CSS). None appeared to honour the choice given under Section 57 (1) (b) to contribute to ‘a building in their area which is not listed, but appears to them to be of architectural or historic interest’. Although we have since found Dartmoor National Park uses this option. The amount of grant varied from 10% to 75% (2 councils). Some vary the amount according to the work. E.g. 40% thatching or 60% structural. The total amount per award varied from a maximum

Sources of Fund Support in England

English Heritage Grants In 1992 English Heritage found that of England’s 500,000 Listed Buildings, 29,250 were agricultural buildings of which only 644 were Grade 1 or II*. Only Grade I and outstanding examples of grade II* are eligible for English Heritage grants. So this might be of interest to less than 2% of owners! The amount of grant is substantial, around 40% – but the quality of the work must be the very best. English Heritage “Town Scheme”/Conservation Areas Partnership Grants In the excellent Brunskill RW 1999 Traditional Farm Buildings of Britain there is an example of best practice in the Barns & Walls Conservation Scheme begun in 1989 in partnership between English Heritage and the Yorkshire Dales National Park under the “Town Scheme”, quoting 250 barn renovations already completed, and work in progress on the remaining 470 field barns in the target area – to remain in agricultural use. Such schemes apply to selected buildings, both listed & unlisted within a specified conservation area. Ideal for farm buildings. Historic Building Act Grants This is the usual title denoting its origin under the Local Authorities (Historic Buildings) Act 1962 although the powers have since been incorporated into the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Area) Act 1990. It is also sometimes known as a ‘thatching grant’ in thatch areas as that became its main use in some authority areas. 180 ‘rural’ local planning authorities were surveyed resulting in 99 usable responses (our thanks as always for their time). The findings could be summarised as follows: 31% have ceased to offer the grants & had no plans Countryside Building 46

Maximum % repair grants available from local authorities of £500 to no limit (12 councils). Some totals varied according to the work or building use e.g. agricultural £1,300, or commercial £800. They might also be varied according to status; listed or not.  The variation in favour of uneconomic use was rare, and is not addressed by the Act.  Offers are withdrawn once the majority uses up funds. 16% deferred payments.  Some allowed for a staged scheme to reapply in next financial year.  No evidence was found of the interest free loan option in the Act under Section 77. · Any eligibility criteria did not include means testing of the applicant. Countryside Stewardship: Optional provision is made within a scheme for the structural repair of traditional farm buildings for an up to 50% grant. Unfortunately with such limiting funds and low priority very few grants were awarded. However with the launch of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) in October 2000 the funding situation has improved especially for the regional target areas - If these include the restoration of traditional farm buildings as one of the key stewardship objectives. Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA): up to 80% grant may be available under MAFF Work Code 10 for eligible buildings. The maintenance of traditional buildings is conditional on any one entering into an ESA scheme using traditional materials and styles. Any new construction work on the holding will also require specific consent. This is the highest level of grant of any scheme, but is only applicable to those in an ESA, and is subject to local criteria including competing for available funds. Landfill Tax: Although targeted at the natural, built and social

Technical (c) Can the conversion of traditional buildings lead to sustainable improvements to the local economy? From this you will gather that Dartmoor is trying to grasp the nettle posed by conflicting policy guidance to preserve its best agricultural vernacular heritage in its existing agricultural use. 2. Grants: It is relatively easy to get a much more substantial grant to convert: see Countryside Building Vol. 1 Issue 4: “Conversion of Traditional Farm Buildings to B1 Business Use: Part 3: Costs & Grants”. Areas of greater landscape merit are also likely to be in less favoured economic areas and therefore more likely to get a grant to convert! 3. VAT: The continuing failure of the government to redress the anomaly that taxes repair and preservation, but not alteration of listed or new/replacement residential buildings smells only of votes - without a whiff of sustainability!

Conclusion environments and included under Category E there is a problem with application criteria. It might be possible for a local charitable conservation body to apply and administer funds for a particular area, providing there was no individual gain (not so difficult to prove with a redundant building with no conversion value) That still leaves a further difficulty of access – unless the public gain was accepted as solely landscape value. The government are also trying to steer 65% of the funding towards waste recycling Education, R & D. Opportunities may be restricted to locations within a 10? mile radius of a landfill site. Onyx Environment Trust is a distributive Environmental Body (see Local Heritage Initiative: (Heritage Lottery Fund through the Countryside Agency) Not suitable for grant funding but would help a local body investigate the rural built heritage of their area. Your Heritage: (also Heritage Lottery Fund) should be more applicable, but is also geared to more public projects. A local approach might reveal an opportunity. Other Sources: Let us hope that SPAB or another such organisation will pick up the quite excellent publication: “Sources of Grant for Building Conservation.” published until recently by Cathedral Communications. It lists the many worthy charitable organisations that may be interested in helping especially those that target certain regions. Local Authorities are also becoming much more active. Teignbridge District held a funding awareness seminar recently, and had 150 people attending!

Conflict of Encouragement to Change of Use 1. Planning Policy: Some of the issues are discussed in: Jan 2000 Dartmoor National Park: Local Plan First Alteration 19952011: Issues Papers. See also: (Note that PPG 7 encourages conversion to B1 use in preference to residential (see Countryside Building as above) & does not insist on proven redundancy.)  What if the business use presumption can not be applied- not being currently part of the Park policy?  Attempts to control the residential conversion have not been supported on appeal (losing 7 out 11).  Attempts to define traditional Dartmoor buildings are not being recognised.  Sporadic & isolated residential development is prejudicing the special qualities of the Park.  On the other hand substantial buildings are an economic asset & should be put to the most beneficial use compatible with their surroundings. The question Dartmoor therefore asks is:(a) Is the underlying principle of policy clear enough? Should the prime question be: Does the structure need to be conserved? If the answer is affirmative, then a sequence of preferred uses could be applied: 1) Agricultural use 2) Employment generating uses 3) Farm diversification uses inc. holiday use 4) Full residential use (b) How can it be ensured that these conversions preserve or enhance local character & amenity?

It is clear from Part I that we still possess a substantial remnant of our rural vernacular heritage, and that these buildings can and will have an agricultural role to play in a proportion of surviving holdings. However since writing Part 1 the RDBA has had a conference on the meaning of sustainability in building design (reported elsewhere in this edition). It became clear that we decision-makers have a duty of careful audit before embarking on any development. That includes the reuse/sympathetic repair/conversion of existing buildings for agriculture as the most sustainable option. The conference also touched on the speed and effect of the changing farming patterns that is going to abandon smaller family holdings. In the English Heritage 1992 report on listed structures; ‘Building at Risk’ there are many relevant remarks:‘If no action is taken those at risk will gradually disappear: demolition by decay.’ ‘The survey also shows that a buildings chance of survival is likely to relate to its location.’ In a draft paper for discussion on historic farmsteads English Heritage included the following:‘The threat so clearly posed to the traditional buildings of the countryside presents a seemingly impossible dilemma, for whist on one hand farmers can not be expected to shoulder the burden of maintaining buildings which have little or no use, the countryside is losing a vital and irreplaceable asset, Furthermore, only a very small proportion of these buildings can be protected through legislation’ ‘ buildings survive as repositories of the crafts and skills of local building materials & techniques.’ ‘..Because there are so many farm buildings surviving their exposure to the ongoing rate of demolition or obliteration provokes little reaction.’

Action Plan? An action plan needs to be developed, and the RDBA is the ideal forum for discussion on the options: Nation wide Survey of Farmsteads (organised by SPAB? funded by the Heritage Fund?)  Planning Problems addressed as highlighted by Dartmoor NP.( CA, RTPI, CLA, & others)  VAT levels altered to favour the sustainable option.  Historical Building Grants biased (& increase!) in favour of vernacular farm buildings.  Substantial increase in education in repair of traditional buildings (by SPAB?) and scope for sympathetic agricultural reuse opportunities (by RDBA?) - both backed by research into best practice. In the meantime we must bid adieu to many characters of our countryside that have seen so much change over two or more centuries. The remaining field barns (with some notable exceptions in the Parks) will be the first to go:-

Goodbye old friends! Countryside Building 47

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