Posts Tagged ‘barn conversion’

How to Convert Your Barn for Tourism

How to Convert Your Barn for Tourism

With the likes of The Giant’s Causeway, Mourne Mountains, Belfast, and more all on our doorstep here in Northern Ireland it’s no wonder that tourism is fast becoming one of our primary industries. Year on year growth, coupled with Tourism NI plans to generate £1 billion for the economy and 4.5 million visitors by 2020, suggests there will be increasing demand for tourism businesses which is why it might be the perfect time to consider a barn conversion.

If you’re considering entering the world of hospitality or thinking about opening a new tourism activity remember that conversions are closely monitored and follow guidelines set out in the PPS 16: Tourism publication.

The Conversion Process

With all of that in mind a barn conversion to tourism business can become a brilliant asset for both business and the surrounding rural community.
If done in a sustainable way, in accordance with all the required planning and building regulations, the reuse and adaption of existing and derelict farm buildings can be a great boost to the local area.
Due to the large and complex nature of barn conversions for tourism we would recommend following a clear path from start to finish, drawing on expert help if and when you need it. This planning will include the following key elements:

barn conversion in broughshane


As can be seen in the below section, Barn Conversion Regulations, having a clear and well-thought out purpose is crucial when seeking planning permission. If you’re starting with an unused building, and unless your chosen barn has already been converted for residential or business use, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll have to gain planning permission.


Due to Tourism NI’s aims for 2020 there are potential options for receiving grants and funding but this will only ever be achievable if every aspect of the project is planned and accounted for. When considering a potential project it is recommended that you draft in experts, including builders or architects like ourselves, to fully analyse the extent of the work needed.


A rural setting might be perfect for your new tourism business but it’s essential that your new barn conversion is connected to water and electric mains, sewage services and is accessible via public roads and provides adequate parking for guests or customers.
These are just a few of the elements involved in a success barn conversion for tourism project. Each project will be unique in what it requires and the facets within.

Barn Conversion Regulations

All of this planning will obviously have to include the relevant regulations and when considering your potential project you should be aware that planning permission will almost always be required when converting a barn. This is primarily due to the fact that you will be changing the use of the building from non-residential or agricultural to residential, hospitality or business depending on the path you take.

Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering all follow a similar path whilst hotels, even on a small scale, will be placed under more severe scrutiny due to the increased size and impact on the local area.

Tourism activities or businesses, such as food and craft outlets and leisure providers, will also be analysed closely to see if a countryside location is actually required or if the proposed project is needed in the rural area.

We recommend you closely study the PPS 16: Tourism publication which is available here.

Also, if you’re considering applying for funding from Tourism NI and Invest NI more information can be found here.
Finally, if you’re considering a barn conversion simply for personal residential use read our in-depth “how to” by clicking here.

Every day, when driving to client sites or meetings, we see the countryside filled with unused barns and abandoned buildings packed with potential.
If you’ve been considering a new project or just have questions on barn conversions in general get in touch or call in for a chat.





living design magazine

Living Design magazine is published to showcase architects design homes in Northern Ireland.
Spring edition 2016 seen Ballymena Architects Slemish Design Studio showcase our Barn Conversion outside Broughshane, Ballymena.

living design magazine

barn extension in ballyclare

Planning approval for barn extension outside Ballyclare

Slemish Design Studio Architects, have gained planning approval for a sympathetic extension, to a barn outside Ballyclare.
The 2 bed barn conversion, will be extended to provide 3 extra bedrooms & with living accommodation to the first floor.
providing a balcony off the new living room which will give south-westerly views over Ballymena/Glenwherry area for maximum use in the evening.

Materials such as smooth render, western cedar & slate, helps give this barn extension a modern feel, yet respecting the existing barn.
looking forward to seeing this going on site.

barn extension ballyclare architects

should you have a project you’d like us to look at, feel free to get in contact via our website/email or social media

ballymena barn conversion

Planning approval for our ballymena barn conversion

slemish design studio architects have gained planning approval for our barn conversion just outside ballymena, county antrim
We hope to be going onto site with this barn conversion in the next few months.

Ballymena Barn Conversion Architects

Ballymena Barn Conversion Architects



barn conversion glenariffe for ballymena architects

Ballymena architects slemish design studio have been appointed as architects for a barn conversion in Glenariffe.
We’ve been involved in a number of barn conversions throughout Northern Ireland, from broughshane to dromara.
Under the planning laws in NI you can apply for a barn conversion for a domestic house or work premises.

Contact us for more information!

barn conversion Glenariffe architects
barn conversion Glenariffe architects

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SDS appointed as architects for modern barn conversion outside broughshane

Barn conversion in Carnalbanagh

Slemish  Design Studio architects have been appointed as architects for a modern barn conversion outside Broughshane, Ballymena in Carnalbanagh.

barn conversion broughshane ballymena 01
courtyard area to barn conversion

barn conversion broughshane ballymena 01
garden/south/west elevation of barn conversion

barn conversion broughshane ballymena 01
westerly views from barn conversion

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barn conversion & renovation site visit outside ballymena

check out the view from the site we visited yesterday.

The site has everything that someone would want in living in the country.
Large gardens, fruit trees, animal housing, mature trees & hedges…..not to mention a lovely old stone barn which could be converted to living accommodation.

We’ll hopefully hear more about this possible project in the next few months ahead.

Barn conversion renovation Ballymena

Views from the site we visited…..what a view!!!

check out our Facebook page for more information on other projects we’re involved with

broughshane barn update

Just got a few photo’s emailed though for our Broughshane barn conversion.
with the windows in and the roof on, it’s starting to dry out, which gives the stone a real lift.

check out our Facebook page for more images

broughshane barn broughshane barn

Building Control Approval for barn conversion in Dromara, County Down

We’ve received building control approval for our barn conversion in Dromara, County Down.

The projects brief was simple – convert the existing dwelling into a 3 bedroom open plan living space.
images to follow