BARN conversion plans refused by Maldon Council will be under the spotlight again at an appeal hearing.

Proposals to convert a barn into a home at Old Mill House Vineyard in Woodham Mortimer were first submitted in March 2023.

Planning permission had been sought to transform the barn into a house to accommodate the vineyard manager.

The barn’s front and rear loading doors were proposed to be removed and replaced with glazed screens containing doors.

The rear door loading screen would have been extended to create windows to two central bedrooms.

Internal alterations were also planned to create a kitchen, utility room, living room and WC, family bathroom and four bedrooms, and a large farm manager’s office. 

The council rejected the plans.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Maldon Council previously rejected the plansMaldon Council previously rejected the plans (Image: N/A)

The decision said: “The proposed development would result in the creation of a dwelling outside of a defined settlement boundary in an unsustainable location, remote from community services and essential support services/facilities and inaccessible by a range of means of transport. 

“The proposed conversion of the existing agricultural building would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside. 

“Inadequate evidence has been provided to demonstrate that an essential functional need exists for an essential worker's dwelling, of this scale, at the site or that the business is viable.

“Therefore, it is considered that the harm identified is not outweighed by other material planning considerations.”

Almost a year after plans were first sent to Maldon District Council, an appeal has been made to the Secretary of State against the council’s decision to refuse planning permission.

A date for the appeal hearing is yet to be announced.

In 2020, two applications were submitted for planning permission to convert the building into a home for the vineyard manager, but both were refused.

A further application in 2022 sought to use the building as self-catering holiday accommodation, which was also rejected.