Our Yorkshire Farm: Clive and Amanda Owen get permission to convert 18th-century Dales mapmaker's cottage into two-bedroom home

Our Yorkshire Farm stars Clive and Amanda Owen have been given planning permission to convert a derelict Dales cottage into a new home.

The Owens bought High Smithy Holme, also known as Anty Johns, a remote farmhouse in the Swaledale parish of Muker, in 2020 and it is a short distance from their sheep farm, Ravenseat.

Anty Johns, which has an attached barn, dates back to the early 18th century and has been empty for around 60 years. It was Grade II listed in 1986.

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It was once the home of Anthony Clarkson, a Georgian-era land surveyor and commissioner who designed all of the tithe maps of Swaledale. His documents are still held in the National Archives.

High Smithy Holme in a Historic England image taken in 2003High Smithy Holme in a Historic England image taken in 2003
High Smithy Holme in a Historic England image taken in 2003

The property is in a semi-derelict state and has suffered from roof collapses.

The Owens submitted plans for a conversion into a two-bedroom dwelling. The floor plan includes a living room, hall/stairs and cupboard in the former parlour and dairy service room. a lounge in what was once a stable, kitchen/diner, utility and shower rooms to the rear, and two upstairs bedrooms.

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No objections to the scheme were received either from official consultees or members of the public.

The remote farmhouse has been uninhabited for around 60 yearsThe remote farmhouse has been uninhabited for around 60 years
The remote farmhouse has been uninhabited for around 60 years
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The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's planning officers recommended the application for approval, commenting that the plans 'struck a good balance' between conserving the building's historic character and the requirements of modern habitation. They added that they were supportive of the farm being brought back into use.

Some conditions were imposed, including the installation of bat boxes on a sycamore tree in the grounds.

The Owens originally told the media that their purchase of High Smithy Holme was to provide themselves with a permanent home near their livestock, as Ravenseat is a tenanted property. Duty Free Shops billionaire businessman Robert Warren Miller owns the land.

The Owens also own a 17th-century cottage called The Firs, which is rented as a holiday let.

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However, the fact that High Smithy Holme will only include two bedrooms suggests it is unlikely to be large enough for the couple's nine children, most of whom are still of school age.

Last year it was revealed that the couple, who have been married since 2000, had separated and Mrs Owen had moved out of the family home. It is not clear whether they have reconciled or what their current living arrangements are.

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