Plans to create nine homes at Crumps Farm in Birchington through conversion, new build and demolition have been lodged with Thanet council.
The land, owned by St John’s College Cambridge, was formerly a livery yard, but at present is an unoccupied farm site. The site is adjacent to the Grade I Listed Church of St Nicholas.
Crumps Farm consists of a Listed Threshing Barn, an unlisted, smaller Threshing Barn, single storey store buildings and a later Dutch Barn and semidetached Cottage. The 18th century unlisted Threshing Barn is considered to be curtilage listed.
The site also contains several modern buildings and outbuildings alongside the historic buildings. The application proposes to demolish the modern buildings and two later extensions to the semi-detached cottage.
Planning documents say: “The proposals offer an opportunity to preserve the historic farmstead at Crumps Farm for future generations.
“The proposals seek the conversion of the existing dilapidated Grade II Listed and unlisted Threshing Barns, Dutch Barn, Cottages and store buildings to the south. The scheme also proposes two new dwellings on the sites of modern farm buildings to be removed, to be of complementary style to the farmstead.
“A new build Dutch Barn and farmstead style cottage on the footprints of the modern outbuildings aid the viability of the scheme and build on the architectural language across Crumps Farm.”
The existing Dutch Barn
Conversion into two 3 bedroom houses. Application documents say: “The design approach is to repair and retain as much of the existing steelwork frame as possible; to retain the character of the barn. The concrete footings to the steel columns are also to be retained as a feature.
“The timber restraints and steel cross beams at the ceiling level of a new first floor insertion are to be exposed to make a substantial feature.”
The unlisted cottages are at present split into two smaller, semi-detached properties. The proposal is to convert the cottage into one 3 bedroom unit.
The two later extensions are to be removed.
The unlisted, 5-bay Threshing Barn is one of the primary buildings on the site with a high hertiage value. The barn is proposed to be converted into two units (one 3 bedroom and one 4 bedroom unit), retaining an existing partition wall between two adjacent bays. The two end bays of the barn previously served as an oast;
The Grade II Listed Threshing Barn (8-bay) is the largest of all the existing buildings in length. It is to be converted into two generous dwellings split along a bay division; one 4 bedroom and one 5 bedroom dwelling.
Splitting the barn into two units will provide each with its own midstrey.
Several Store Buildings (formerly stables) that are along the southern boundary of the site, are proposed to be converted into flexible spaces for Plots 7-9. The existing buildings will form a part of their private gardens and serve as extra living/storage spaces; such as for a home office or cycle storage
New ‘Farmstead Style’ Cottage: A new 4 bedroom dwelling is proposed adjacent to the site entrance in a similar position to the Stable & Barn St (which is proposed to be removed). The house is designed in a farmstead style and follows the same building line as the adjacent Dutch Barn. It therefore takes consideration of the historic farmstead plan.
New Build Dutch Barn: A new, detached dwelling built to reflect the existing Dutch Barn on the site is proposed. The house is to be a 4 bedroom property.
St John’s College Cambridge
The proposal is one of several developments on land in Thanet owned by St John’s College Cambridge which since 1511 has specialised in theology and the arts. Over the last 4 centuries it has grown its base of investment to support its educational endeavours. The college is likely to have owned the Crump Farm site since the 16th Century.
It also owns Gore End Farm in Birchington which has gained approval for seven homes in a mix of conversion and extension of a threshing barn, converted cow shed and new builds. There is also a planning application submitted with adjoining landowner for up to 1,650 homes.
Land at Nash Court Farm in Margate is allocated up to 1,461 residential units and associated facilities.
St John’s College Cambridge also owns:
- Cleve Court Farm in Monkton, 310 Hectares.
- Shuart Farm, St Nicholas At Wade, Kent, 192 Hectares
- Docker Hill Farm, Monkton, 137 Hectares.
- Land adjacent to Shuart Farm, St. Nicholas At Wade, 15.7 Hectares
- Further land at Nash Court Farm, 4.86 Hectares
- Garden rear of Acol Cottage 0.14 Hectares
In 2016 St John’s College was reported as owning approximately 18,000 acres of agricultural land around England as well as a large and diverse property portfolio encompassing shops, offices, leisure facilities, industrial units, residential properties and ground rents. It is reported as having £780.1m consolidated assets.
A decision on the Crumps Farm application is yet to be made.