Out you go! Norfolk couple must rip apart dream home in a pig barn

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk - Credit: Archant

A couple who converted a pig barn into their dream home have been forced to rip it apart after they failed to apply for planning permission.

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk - Credit: Archant

Heath Acre Barn, located down a track in Chedgrave, near Loddon, will now go under the hammer at a guide price of £20,000 to £40,000, although prospective buyers have been warned it cannot be used for residential purposes.

The couple, who did not wish to be named, moved into the barn in 2008 but did not apply for planning permission to turn it into a home.

After the Broads Authority became aware of the situation, they asked the couple to remove the kitchens and bathrooms they had installed and move out.

Desperate to stay in a home they adored, the couple appealed the decision and took the case to a public inquiry, although they were unable to prove to the planning inspector that they had been living there for more than four years.

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk

4 bedroom barn conversion for saleHeath Acre Barn, The Common, Chedgrave, Norfolk - Credit: Archant


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Now, faced with no choice, the couple have put their barn up for auction, and have been ordered to leave by Friday at midnight.

They said: 'We absolutely adore it here. We are 90 metres from the river so it is a gorgeous setting.

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'But now we have got to move out of our barn we decided the best thing to do is to sell it.

'We are not trying to sell it as a house but we feel like someone else might stand a better chance with it. It can still be used for plenty of things.'

The couple own a second barn on the site and previously owned the nearby house which they split into two properties and sold on.

Until they find a more permanent home they will be renting a room from the neighbours they sold their property to.

A spokesman from the Broads Authority said: 'The couple converted the barn without planning permission.

'We asked them to remove everything and move out and they appealed against it so the case went to an independent planning inspector who supported us.

'They have to be out by Saturday and we will be inspecting the building to make sure they have removed the kitchen, bathroom and everything else they put inside.

'It can only be used as an agricultural building, which is why it is only £20,000.'

The four-bedroom barn conversion will go under the hammer with Auction House at Dunston Hall Hotel in Norwich, on February 18 at 11am.

Robert Hurst from Auction House said: 'It is an agricultural building that has been converted into a house without planning permission.

'But it has just been converted on the inside so from the outside it still looks like an agricultural building.

'It is quite an unusual case.'

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