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Planning for the future

It took over a decade for Peter and Donna Granger to secure planning permission on their green belt plot – but their impressive barn-style, Scandinavianinspired home shows perseverance pays off
PHOTOS LIZZIE ORME

Peter and Donna Granger’s self-build journey began 14 years ago, when the pair spotted a group of dilapidated former farm buildings up for sale near their home. “We hadn’t been looking for a piece of land on which to build our own house, but when I saw that this property was available, I appreciated the potential it had”, says Peter.

Although it’s located in an area of green belt, the plot didn’t seem especially inspiring when viewed from the road, as there’s a small industrial estate situated just opposite. “You wouldn’t know from the outside, but once you drive in, the views from the rear of the site are quite stunning”, says Peter. Factoring in the sense of tranquil seclusion that arose from the heavily wooded surroundings, the Grangers decided that the opportunity was too good to miss – so the couple quickly went ahead with the purchase.

With a long career as a chartered surveyor behind him, Peter knew that the odds of attaining planning permission to build a residential dwelling in green belt would be slim. “We were told by the local council that there was no possibility of obtaining consent to put a replacement dwelling on the site, but thanks to my professional experience I knew that circumstances might change eventually”, he says. “My plan B was to repair all of the rundown buildings on the plot in order to get some sort of income from the property. I hoped that perhaps our children might one day be lucky enough to be able to build something here.”

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About Build It

Build It is the UK's most practical magazine for self builders and renovators looking to create their dream home. Here's a sneak peak at what's inside this issue: - Vote for Britain's best home of 2018 - Energy saving windows - How to build your own home for under £200k - Getting the most from your builder - Smart kitchen tech - Front door cost guide ... and more!