AMBITIOUS plans to convert a 17th century barn have been dealt a setback after councillors refused to allow a fisherman’s hut to be turned into a house.
The Grade-II listed building at Carron Row Farm, in Segensworth Road, Titchfield, has been an unfinished project since it was bought by the current owner’s father in 1986.
It was previously used as a museum and it was badly damaged in the 1987 storm.
It was placed on the heritage at risk register in 1998, prompting an architect to be hired and work to start, although it was never finished due to financial constraints.
Current owner Jo Hammond applied to turn the barn into a five-bedroom house, and to knock down existing buildings in the ground – currently used as a fisherman’s hut, toilet and dog daycare centre – to build a three-bedroom house.
She needed permission for both parts of the plan to make the scheme viable.
She said: ‘This is precisely the kind of development opportunity that many people would love to undertake.’
Mrs Hammond’s father died in 2006, and then her mother died in 2011, leaving the land, which is next to the conservation site the fishponds in Titchfield, to her and her brother.
She added: ‘It is the kind of development that the government is trying to encourage especially as it is brownfield land.’
Titchfield ward councillor Connie Hockley gave a deputation at the Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee meeting in support of the plans.
She said: ‘It is a beautiful area of Titchfield. Whatever goes there needs to be totally right. At the moment it is a bit of a mismatch and it needs to be sorted out.’
On the committee David Swanbrow said: ‘What is there looks pretty awful. It would be an improvement.’
But not everybody agreed and Cllr Peter Davies, also on the committee, warned: ‘We have to be very sure that we are not just doing it as a knee-jerk reaction to avoid the present mess.’
Councillors debated the plan as it would see an extra 16sq m of development built on land designated as countryside. The committee then unanimously rejected permission for the fisherman’s hut conversion, but agreed to a change of use on the main barn building.