A Herefordshire woman has been told she doesn’t have permission for a half-built holiday cottage.

It stands on the site of what had been a Dutch lead-to barn at Orchard House Farm, Middleton-on-the-Hill north of Leominster.

Alison Bufton was given approval in November 2019, under so-called Class Q permitted development rights, to convert the barn to residential use without the need for full planning permission. But the barn then blew down in the storms of late 2021.

Mrs Bufton made an application in March this year for full planning permission for a new house on the site, having already begun work on it.

The new building was to be similar in size and appearance to the previous barn, but would be clad in timber rather than metal. Inside, the single-storey home would have had an open-plan layout.

The plinth, frame, and roof of the building are already in place, her application said.


But planning officer Emily Brookes concluded that as a holiday home without public transport connections it would lack access to local services and facilities, meaning it didn’t count as “sustainable tourism”.

The previous barn had been “an eyesore, and its loss was a betterment to the landscape”, she wrote.

But the new building “would be in a prominent position adjacent to the highway in what technically is an open field… a new building of this scale and permanence within this setting would be considered disruptive to the existing landscape”.

She also considered that it would “not enhance the setting” of the thatched and half-timbered Hundred Cottage opposite. Its owner Nicole Scammell submitted a detailed objection of her own.

Miss Brookes also found the submitted strategy for drainage of foul and surface water “unacceptable”.

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