Agenda item

WD/D/18/002737 - The Barn House, Main Street, Loders, Bridport, DT6 3SA

Demolition of an outbuilding and the conversion and extension to an outbuilding to form a dwelling together with associated works.


The Chairman withdrew from the meeting during consideration of this item and the Vice-Chairman was in the Chair.


The Senior Planning Officer presented the application for the demolition of an outbuilding, the conversion and extension to an outbuilding to form a dwelling. The stone barn was listed as a curtilage building to the main listed building on the main street and was outside of the settlement boundary.


Members were shown a site location map and the context of other developments in similar locations in relation to the village and the River Asker; and advised that Local Plan Policy SUS3 allowed the conversion of buildings outside of the settlement boundary.


A previous permission for conversation of both barns into holiday accommodation had been approved.  The southern barn was a more modern basic structure whereas the northern barn was used as a stone store and of considerable character.  The proposal sought to retain and extend the stone barn into a 4 bedroom property and remove the other more modern southern barn. It was considered that the stone barn was suitable for conversion with appropriate conditions; including details of the stone work, roof materials, doors and windows. There would be a distance of 60m between Barn Lodge and the proposed new dwelling.


Officers highlighted the key planning points including the principle of development, scale, design and impact on character and appearance, impact on amenity, impact on landscape and heritage assets, access and parking.  An additional planning condition to demolish the southern barn prior to commencement of conversion works had been included in an update sheet circulated to members. The proposal offered the benefit of bringing an historic outbuilding back into use and maintained in years to come.


Philippa Theophanidis, long term resident of Loders and co-owner of a field to the East of Barn House, addressed the committee in objection of the application.  She drew attention to the landscape preserved as a wildlife haven, the scale of the development outside the Defined Development Boundary (DDB), and the increase in volume of the extension that would create a precedent for other developments outside the DDB.


Diane May, a Loders resident, spoke in objection to the proposal, drawing attention to the Loders Neighbourhood Plan; the unsuitability of the location in the flood plain; the impact of pollution on the open backland area; the approval of 4 homes within the DDB; and that the proposal represented a new build that did not provide the type or size of home needed in the village.


Cllr Michelle Warrington addressed the committee on behalf of Loders Parish Council in objection of the application, saying that it was subject to the terms of the Local Plan policy SUS3 in relation to the adaptation and re-use of buildings outside the DDB.  The proposal contravened part 1 of this policy as it required that a building would not be substantially rebuilt or extended, whereas this proposal represented a significant increase in floor area that would not be offset by the removal of the other barn.


Cllr Anthony Alford, Dorset Council Ward Member for Eggardon, stated that the proposition for the reconstruction and extension of the barn did not meet the requirement of Local Plan policy SUS3 which concerned the adaptation and re-use of rural buildings.  The Loders Neighbourhood Plan was more updated than the Local Plan and was clear on the need for smaller 2-3 bed homes.


Paul Dance, representing David Wren and the applicant, spoke in support of the application. 


Referring to the many references to the policies that applied to this proposal, the Development Manager clarified that the application related to a rural building outside the DDB within flood zone 1.  The Local Plan and Loders Neighbourhood Plan sought to restrict new build open market housing in this area, however, this proposal was to convert and extend an existing building that took account of the removal of the southern barn as a compensatory factor.  Officers therefore considered that there were policies in place to support this proposal. 


Members asked for clarification on the line of the DDB and other listed buildings in the area.  They had regard to the Local Plan SUS3 policy and agreed that the new dwelling was substantially larger in size.  The concept of a conversion was therefore questioned, given that the existing walls may not be strong enough to carry the weight of a first floor extension.


Councillor Nick Ireland proposed that the application was refused as it was contrary to Local Plan Policy SUS3 (part1), that the building would be substantially rebuilt and that the amount of extension was also substantial.  This was seconded by Cllr Kate Wheller.


Decision:- That the application be refused for the reason outlined in the appendix to these minutes.

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