Project Mill Farm, Malton

This beautiful new natural stone farmhouse replaced a cramped Victorian brick house in need of complete upgrading and extending. Our clients decided that a new building was the best way forward with the new house linking to the existing farm buildings on the site, including two brick and stone barns – to literally build on the deeply rooted connection the family had with the farm over many generations.

The farm is located in a sensitive agricultural landscape between the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Woodland cover is provided by semi natural broadleaf woodland, fox coverts and plantation shelter belts adjacent to a number of farms and small holdings. Habitat connectivity is provided by hedgerows that bound the arable, pastureland the woodland cover and small watercourses. The River Derwent is to the west of the farm and provides habitat connectivity to the wider countryside.

As a result of this sensitive location the ecology and wildlife conservation considerations had a significant impact on the design and construction of the project. The planning application identified regulated wildlife species such as bats and an ecological enhancement scheme was put in place for the nearby river to improve the riverbed management. At the outset consultation with the North Yorkshire Bat Group identified all the bat roosts within 2km of our site in the local farm buildings, including Pipistrelle species and Brown Long-eared bats. A bat survey was required prior to planning permission being granted for a development such as the new farmhouse in order to prevent the potential disturbance, injury and /or death of bats and the disturbance, obstruction and/or destruction of their roosting places during the construction work. This is in compliance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Bat roosts are protected throughout the year, whether or not bats are occupying a roost site. In addition, the local authority has a duty to have regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity in the exercise of their functions (Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006). Following the visual inspection of the original farm buildings, an assessment was made of the buildings potential to support roosting bats and a mitigation strategy, after the survey data was collected, temporary mitigation was put in place for the construction period and permanent features for the future when the buildings were to be occupied by our clients.