Couple turn £200,000 derelict farm building into £50,000-a-year eco-friendly holiday retreat

A carpenter and his wife have turned a derelict farm building into a £50,000-a-year holiday cottage after rebuilding the property using wood from their own farm and turning it into an eco-friendly retreat.

Art technician Danielle Coates and husband Ben spent £200,000 to buy six acres of farmland, including the tumbledown outhouse on the plot.

After their transformation the two-bedroom property is now worth £350,000 and the couple rent it out as a holiday let, which brings in an annual turnover of £50,000.

When art technician Danielle Coates and husband Ben bought the land from Ben’s father, with £200,000 inherited form Ben’s mother, an ancient stone outhouse stood on the plot

The couple initially applied for planning permission to build a house on the plot but were refused permission by the council

The couple initially applied for planning permission to build a house on the plot but were refused permission by the council

But with the council keen to build up tourism in their rural corner of Lancashire they were granted permission to build a holiday cottage. Pictured: the property taking shape

But with the council keen to build up tourism in their rural corner of Lancashire they were granted permission to build a holiday cottage. Pictured: the property taking shape

Carpenter Ben Coates, pictured, used some of the original stones in creating The Rookery, pictured here under construction

Carpenter Ben Coates, pictured, used some of the original stones in creating The Rookery, pictured here under construction

Original stones from the demolished farm building have been incorporated into the new structure.

Solar panels have been fitted to generate enough energy to run the entire house and Ben has also used recycled timber from the farm to fashion shelves and handles.

One of the property’s stand out features is an outdoor hot tub providing stunning views of the unspoilt countryside.

Now the property is worth £350,000, the couple say experts have estimated, and pulls in £50,000 a year in rental income

Now the property is worth £350,000, the couple say experts have estimated, and pulls in £50,000 a year in rental income

Electrcity for the two-bedroom detached home isprovided by solar panbels incorporated into the roof of the building

Electrcity for the two-bedroom detached home isprovided by solar panbels incorporated into the roof of the building

Recycled timber from the farm was used by Ben to fashion shelves and handles in the cottage, although not its many beams

Recycled timber from the farm was used by Ben to fashion shelves and handles in the cottage, although not its many beams

The popular hot tub has to be run off mains electricity but enjoyes commanding views of the scenery of the local area

The popular hot tub has to be run off mains electricity but enjoyes commanding views of the scenery of the local area

The Rookery: An eco-friendly retreat

  • Solar panels have been fitted to generate enough energy to run the entire house 
  • Ben has also used recycled timber from the farm to fashion shelves and handles 
  • The cottage is built from the stone from the building which stood before it

Mrs Coates, a 33-year-old mother of two, said: ‘My husband Ben used his inheritance from his mother’s death to buy six acres of land from his father’s farm.

‘There was an old farm building on it which must have been there for hundreds of years.

‘We initially tried to get permission to build a house but this was rejected, however the council were keen to promote tourism so they approved a holiday cottage.

‘We had never taken on a project like this before – when we started I was working as a fine art lecturer.

‘My husband who is a carpenter built the cottage and we are environmentally conscious so we incorporated that into the design.

Mrs Coates, 33, said: ''We had never taken on a project like this before - when we started I was working as a fine art lecturer'

Mrs Coates, 33, said: ”We had never taken on a project like this before – when we started I was working as a fine art lecturer’

The couple said they were naturally environmentally conscious so they incorporated that into the design of the building

The couple said they were naturally environmentally conscious so they incorporated that into the design of the building

Danielle said: 'We spent £200,000 on the land and build and the cottage was recently valued at £350,000 as a home, although we have been told it is worth more than that as a business'

Danielle said: ‘We spent £200,000 on the land and build and the cottage was recently valued at £350,000 as a home, although we have been told it is worth more than that as a business’

‘The solar panels provide all the electricity for the cottage – only the hot tub requires an external electricity supply.

‘My husband has used wood from the farm to build shelves and handles, and the cottage is built from the stone from the building which stood before it.

‘It has been a challenging, but exciting project.

‘We spent £200,000 on the land and build and the cottage was recently valued at £350,000 as a home, although we have been told it is worth more than that as a business.

The first floor of the two bedroom holiday cottage has rustic features on door handles and a modern colour palette

The first floor of the two bedroom holiday cottage has rustic features on door handles and a modern colour palette

The wash basin and stand in the bathroom, complemented by copper fittings and a clawfoot bath, are popular features

The wash basin and stand in the bathroom, complemented by copper fittings and a clawfoot bath, are popular features

Spectacular views: The Rookery overlooks the rolling hills outside the scenic village of Roughlee, East Lancashire

Spectacular views: The Rookery overlooks the rolling hills outside the scenic village of Roughlee, East Lancashire

Danielle Coates, 33, and her husband Ben with children Frankie (left) and Daphne

Danielle Coates, 33, and her husband Ben with children Frankie (left) and Daphne

‘We’re fully booked up until next April and I think this is because people like the decor which is different to a traditional country cottage, and of course the hot tub with its stunning views!’

The Rookery, in Roughlee, Lancs, is close to the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – an area famous for its witches.

The trials of The Pendle Witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and the statue of Alice Nutter can be seen in the village.

The property is available to rent on cottages.com, with a three night stay from £495.

Liz Minshull, business development manager for cottages.com, said ‘The Rookery really is unique, combining bespoke craftsmanship with elements of rustic living, the industrial history of Lancashire and steampunk influences – all set amidst the breathtaking backdrop of unspoilt countryside.’