A Herefordshire couple are fighting moves to force them to knock down a half-built barn that has spent two years in planning limbo.

Permission was given in 2019 to convert an earlier Dutch barn at Orchard House Farm near Leysters in the north of the county into a holiday let. But the barn then blew down in a storm.

Alison Bufton set about building a replacement, but with timber rather than metal cladding, in 2022, then made a part-retrospective planning application to confirm this was permitted.


But Herefordshire Council refused this, saying the loss of the “eyesore” old barn “represented a betterment to the landscape”, and that a replacement would likewise cause visual harm.

Effectively a newbuild in open country, it was not in a sustainable location, and there were further concerns about sewage, the council said.

Hereford Times: The half-built barn seen from the eastThe half-built barn seen from the east (Image: LDRS)

With the half-built barn still standing a year and a half later, the council then served an enforcement notice last month, requiring the couple to remove it completely within six months.


The Buftons are now appealing against this, claiming that the building is “of a similar size and in a similar location” to the previous barn, and that advice commissioned from a landscape architect backs their claim it causes no harm in planning terms.

No residential use for the building “is proposed or suggested”, but rather, it would remain in agricultural use as part of the farm, their appeal form says.

A planning inspector will hold a hearing on the case at a date yet to be set.