Norwegian Log Buildings goes the 'whole log'

Residential - 01/03/16

Stephen And Anneli Cowper

And becomes home of choice on new Stratford-upon-Avon pig farm

Norwegian Log Buildings has enabled Stephen and Anneli Cowper to realise their dream home with the completion of a new log building on their new pig rearing venture near Stratford-upon-Avon.

The land was originally bought in 1967 by Stephen's father, where they have since farmed a mixture of arable and livestock. Stephen contracts another 250 acres plus runs a successful electrical contracting business whilst Anneli is an interior and exterior decorating. The new venture involves rearing Duroc Landrace, Large White cross pigs producing pork for British Quality Pig (BQP) on a commercial scale at approximately 2,000 animals at a time.

Stephen first had talks with BQP in 2010 regarding the new pig rearing venture and they had already invested in rearing sheds, infrastructure and livestock. A business plan was submitted, via an agricultural planning consultant, making a case for a permanent domestic dwelling under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 55 for rural development which covers the installation of an agricultural building on a farm or small holding to accommodate rural workers.

Having initially gained planning permission for a temporary structure whilst waiting to be granted permission to build a permanent home, the Cowper's didn't want to live in a freezing mobile home for the three year period. The Cowper's looked for a more aesthetically appealing alternative and discovered that a transportable Norwegian Log Building would meet all their requirements for a permanent home from day one.

'While our family home was only three miles away, the scale of our new pig rearing venture required around-the-clock, on-site support and supervision and I was finding the commute more than a little arduous,' explained Stephen. 'Anneli searched the internet for alternative forms of accommodation, using terms like 'log buildings' and was pleasantly surprised to find Norwegian Log on Google. We were also pleased to learn that the log homes, because they are transportable (meeting specification BS3632 for the construction of a Park Home) fully comply with the Caravan Act as a mobile home so they are exempt from VAT and Building Regulations.'

Being constructed from solid log throughout, including all internal walls, the Norwegian Log building created a warm and spacious dwelling. The internal configurations can also be designed and specified to meet personal living requirements - another important factor for the Cowper's and their three young daughters. It had to have ample open space - something they were used to in their existing country home; it had to have a kitchen with a farmhouse feel; and it had to have an Aga. The plans were drawn up with the help of Nick Forrester of Norwegian Log Buildings and construction started on site in May 2012, with Stephen digging and preparing the concrete and brick pillar foundations as well as installing all the electrical and utility services. The kitchen was sourced from Romania and Anneli painted the entire kitchen by hand. The project was complete at the end of the summer, with the family moving in during October; and Anneli got her Aga.

'We have already enabled a number of people working on agricultural small holdings get the home of their dreams without having to spend three years living in a tin box while they wait for the planning permission process to take place,' explained Nick Forrester of Norwegian Log Buildings. 'What's more our buildings not only meet the regulations; but are extremely flexible when it comes to internal layout; provide all the stylish living accommodation they desire; and are also excellent value for money.'

The Cowper's new log farm house sits well in the landscape and offers them excellent views over the rolling countryside. At 18.6m long by 6.8m wide, including an overhang at the end where a raised deck is positioned, the building is just under the maximum 20m x 6.8m allowed. It provides the family with a vast family room and kitchen with Aga and log burner, three ample bedrooms, a bathroom, a cloak room, as well as a farm office.

'Norwegian Log was extremely easy to deal with and as they have a solid history of providing log buildings in rural locations and provided a number of actual case studies for us to view. The team were really helpful and knew exactly what to do at each stage of the project. As the Aga is an incredibly heavy item, the timber floors and joists were strengthened to take the weight; nothing was too much trouble. I would highly recommend Norwegian Log.' continued Stephen.

'We are delighted with the end result and our stylish, warm, comfortable and totally functioning Norwegian Log home meets all our accommodation needs. In addition, we are always on hand to instantly deal with any livestock problems should they occur. Going the Norwegian Log Buildings route made sound financial sense as we got the home we wanted from the outset without any of the uncertainty of having to apply for further planning permission or incur the additional turmoil or cost further down the line.'

So, rather than going the 'whole hog', the Cowper's actually went the 'whole log' in finding their perfect farm house for their new pig rearing venture.

It's warm and it's cosy; it's solid and it's quiet. The fragrance of pine reminds you of Scandinavian forests and summer evenings. Your imagination starts to take you places. You imagine a wood burner, perhaps a desk or why not just some space to think?

Our show home is 29 years old, yet customers still say it looks and feels brand new. That's the quality of our workmanship and the materials. When you step into a Norwegian Log building you're stepping into a feeling and just like our buildings it's one that will last.

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