COTSWOLD District Council (CDC) has permitted plans to develop a listed barn into a home, despite concerns raised about the impact on the building's heritage assets.

An application by Peter Rippin to develop the vacant Bee Furlong Barn in Southrop, near Lechlade, received a recommendation for refusal by CDC officers but was supported by residents, the parish council and ward member.

The barn had previously been granted permission to be converted into a residential building, but those plans, according to an officer's report, would "preserve the agricultural character of the building", whereas the latest application was "unsympathetic" to the agricultural character of the building.

The concerns revolved around a set of columns which would be enclosed in the new plans.

In spite of these concerns, members of CDC's planning committee on Wednesday, October 11 voted to approve the application, with eight councillors in favour and three against.

Councillors said the barn would be better off if it was used and occupied as it has been a target of theft over the last, with one as recent as July. 

They thought if the barn was left as it is, its condition could get worse.  Councillor Ray Theodoulou backed the proposal to help preserve the natural heritage of the barn.

He said: “There is no benefit to not redoing this barn.

“It is morally corrupt to leave it like it is with the structure falling down with the barn being at risk of losing it’s historical remains.

“The columns will be preserved and we want it transformed into a lovely residence.”

Cllr Sue Coakley said: “The application is perfect, they are local people, they own a local business. There’s a compromise to be had with the extended hallway but the bedroom extension is acceptable."

Cllr Patrick Coleman added: “It has a peculiar layout, and it has an eyewatering cost.

“Although ambitious it can save the building and can help enlist the building and protect it.”