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Barn conversion ‘truly shocking act of vandalism’

Bainbridge, 16 November, 2018

An enforcement notice is to be served on the owner of Snowdrop Barn in Maulds Meaburn – after Planning Committee Members spoke out in the strongest terms about unauthorised works to an 'extremely widely visible' landmark at a 'key northern gateway into the National Park'.

Planning permission was granted in 2016 to convert the large, detached barn into a home.   However, a series of unauthorised works has been carried out, including sandblasting of the exterior and re-pointing with a pink mortar.  Conditions relating to archaeology and protected species, as well as surface water and landscaping, have not been discharged.

Further applications to vary conditions and change land use were refused at Tuesday’s Planning Committee meeting, while enforcement action was approved.

Maulds Meaburn resident, Judith Fraser, told the committee that everyone in the village had welcomed the sensitive conversion that had got planning permission in 2016, but that the unauthorised works had radically changed the barn’s appearance:  “Every day we are going to be looking at an inappropriate development that is the first thing anyone coming into the National Park from the north will see.”

The Authority’s Member Champion for Cultural Heritage, Julie Martin, said:  “I think it’s fair to describe the way in which this development has taken place as a truly shocking act of vandalism.  Maulds Meaburn is an outstanding village in landscape and historic environment terms.  The barn is on its northern edge and is a key part of the setting of the village and conservation area. It is extremely widely visible.  [The unauthorised works are] affecting this key gateway to the National Park and seriously damaging our historic assets.”

Member Yvonne Peacock said:  “It makes a mockery of the Planning Committee. We’ve got to make sure that everybody realises that this is wrong, absolutely out of order.”

Member John Blackie said:  “The applicant has totally ignored our concerns.  Frankly what they’ve done to that building is nothing short of criminal.  It does seem a very, very dramatic breach of planning regulations.”

The applicant did not attend the meeting.

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