Agenda item

P22/S0903/FUL - Poachers Cottage, Mays Green, RG9 4AL

Conversion of redundant barn to 1 x dwellinghouse (retention of existing portal frame as shown on amended floor plan received 5th August 2022 and additional structural information received 13th October 2022).


The committee considered planning application P22/S0903/FUL for the conversion of redundant barn to 1 x dwellinghouse (retention of existing portal frame as shown on amended floor plan received 5th August 2022 and additional structural information received 13 October 2022), on land at Poachers Cottage, Mays Green.  


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting. 


The planning officer introduced the report and highlighted that the application was brought to the committee due to the objection of the parish council. The application was for the conversion of a barn to a one bed dwelling with the key issues of lighting and biodiversity net gain controlled through the proposed conditions. As the conservation officer believed that the distance between the proposed dwelling and the near grade 2 listed building was sufficient to avoid it detracting for its character, and highways also having no objection, the planning officer recommended that permission for the application be granted.


A statement was read out on behalf of Councillor Kester George of Harpsden Parish Council, objecting to the application, as they were absent from the meeting.

Charles Jamieson spoke objecting to the application.

Paul Chaston, the agent representing the applicant, spoke in support of the


The committee had conducted a site visit prior to the discussion of the application. The committee raised concerns about the plans for the conversion of the rarely used barn into a dwelling. Based on the site visit and the applicants’ submitted plans, members believed that there would need to be very extensive works done to make the barn habitable.

The committee asked the planning officer about the definition of a conversion as they believed that very minimal material would be retained through the development. The officer confirmed that as the proposal would retain the frame of building it was considered a conversion, only if this was demolished would it be considered a new development. When asked, the planning officer also confirmed that if the applicant did need to demolish or remove the frame it would invalidate the planning permission as it would not be a conversion. As only the frame of the barn building was proposed to be retained, the committee still believed that the extent of the work necessary to convert it
to a habitable dwelling would be excessive.

The Neighbourhood Plan was also raised by members as it was believed that the application did not meet several policies in the document, primarily about the proposed development not being in character of the area. As this plan carries significant weight in planning terms, members mentioned this as supporting the case for refusing the application. The access onto the road and turning of the existing field into a garden were also raised as concerns as it was believed that the effect of the change from agricultural to residential would have a substantial effect.

Overall, having regard to extent of works and alteration required, there was a concern about the impact this would have on the character and appearance of the area and that it would negatively effect the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


A motion, moved and seconded, to refuse the application was carried on being put to the vote.

RESOLVED: to refuse planning application P22/S0903/FUL, for the following reasons:

The proposed development, through the extent of the works required to convert the building and the impact of the introduction of a separate residential use onto the site, would detract from the character of this part of the Chilterns AONB. As such, the proposal would fail to provide the landscape enhancement required by Policy H1 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 and would also conflict with Policies DES1, DES2 and ENV1 and Policy SD3 of the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan.

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