Derelict barn can be turned into home

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Permission has been given to turn a derelict barn into a one-bedroom house against the recommendation of planning officers.

The application passed at yesterday’s planning committee meeting at Babergh District Council was to change the use of the Old Barn in Withindale Lane, Long Melford, which had once been used as an art therapy centre.

Despite its loss of profit as a commercial building, planning regulations force the owner to fully explore the possibility of retaining the property for employment purposes.

However, members decided to go against the officers’ recommendation and instead listened to calls from district councillor Richard Kemp to grant permission.

Mr Kemp, who requested to refer the application to the planning committee, said the village was in need of residential properties like the Old Barn.

The property was also restricted by a legal covenant signed by owners of the access road to the site.

Mary and Ian Russell had told planning officers they had no intention of granting the road commercial access and planned to resist any commercial use.

Applicant Aidan Powlesland hopes to turn the building into a one-bedroom house, which he will make to rent.