Plans to convert a barn into a home have been thrown out because the building is not of significant heritage importance.

Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee refused Matthew Dunn permission to turn a Dutch barn into a home at Ivy Farm Cottage in Broughall, near Whitchurch.

Not only did the committee say it was unhappy with the heritage importance of the barn, but members also hit out at the lack of a newt survey or bat report.

Councillor Vince Hunt, deputy chairman, moved the officer’s recommendation for refusal, saying that without the necessary environmental reports he could not pass it.

Councillor Pauline Dee agreed, saying it was a “great concern” to her.

Mr Dunn said he was not in a position to speak after the meeting, but would be deciding on his next move in the coming days.

Jane Preece, planning officer, said: “It is considered that the application building as it presently exists is not of sufficient or significant heritage or landscape importance to be recognised as a local non-designated heritage asset to justify conversion to residential use in principle in this countryside location. 

“The original building has been unsympathetically modified in the recent past, with alterations that are considered to appear as contrived and domestic and, as such detrimental to the simple character of the original structure. 

“Further, in the absence of any substantive evidence to demonstrate otherwise, it is considered that the proposals are above and beyond the realm of conversion normally allowed under adopted policy and also do not meet the higher sustainable design criteria for open market conversions in the countryside.”

She added: “In the absence of a great crested newt survey and a bat method statement in relation to the removal of ivy from the building, it is considered that the proposal is unacceptable in that inadequate ecological information has been submitted with the application to allow the impact of the development on statutorily protected species to be fully assessed.”

Holly Walker, speaking on behalf of Mr Dunn at the meeting, said the work was considered acceptable.

She added: “It is to be turned into a home for Mr Dunn’s family to live in. It has been part of the farmstead for more than 100 years now and a similar application was approved for a similar barn on a farm in Bishop’s Castle earlier this year.

“If permission would be granted a further method statement could be provided but this is a historic building in the countryside on a farm and would provide housing for a family which wants it.”

She added that the newt survey and bat report had not been ignored, but were not able to be completed at this time of year.

Councillor Hunt said: “I understand the reports can’t be carried out until April, but the information is not here in front of us today and therefore I cannot do anything but move the officer’s recommendation.”