PLANS to convert two barns into a pair of five-bedroom properties have prompted local outrage – with claims the amount of glass being used will emit so much light it will look like “Blackpool illuminations”.

Buckinghamshire councillors deferred their decision on whether to progress a planning application for Chalk Hill Farm in Hyde Heath, having expressed concerns about the ‘large amount of floor-to-ceiling glazing’ proposed on both properties.

Bucks Free Press:

Cllr Jane MacBean, who called the application in, said the amount of glass is “totally unreasonable”, adding the development would have an “extremely detrimental” effect on the Green Belt and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

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Outline planning permission to convert the two agricultural buildings was granted in 2018.

Each property will have five bedrooms, garage space, gardens, and at least three parking bays.

This recent application seeks approval for the “access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale”.

Although a “considerable” quantity of glazing is proposed on both properties, it is not considered “overly urban”, according to council documents.

Bucks Free Press:

However, Little Missenden Parish Council said: “The vast glass sections do not blend in with the surrounding landscape…they will cause light pollution across the valley.”

Six other letters of objection say the barns are for “agricultural use”, the materials are an “eyesore”, and also fear an increase in congestion on Chalk Lane.

Bucks Free Press:

Concerns have also been raised as to where any machinery, animals and feed stored on site will be relocated, as it is currently unspecified.

Another concern is the proposal is “a precursor for further applications for replacement barns on site,” according to the report.

“A major concern to residents has always been that they would be converted and suddenly we would have new barns appearing and then down the line we’d have yet another conversion plan,” said Cllr MacBean.

Bucks Free Press:

She then alleged “two brand new barns” had been built without permission in an adjacent field and were now in the hands of the council’s enforcement team.

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“You can clearly see how both barns are excessively large in comparison to every other building along Chalk Lane,” she said of the new homes. “They are out of keeping with everything else in the local area.

“This design does nothing to conserve or enhance the natural beauty of this location in any way.

“The proposed alterations will introduce cluttered views of furniture, people, detritus, mess and modern living.

“This conversion is blatantly out of keeping with the natural setting, and the…resulting intensification of the site will have an extremely detrimental effect on the AONB and Green Belt.

“This application should…be soundly refused.”

Cllr John Wertheim said he agreed “100 per cent” with Cllr MacBean.

Bucks Free Press:

Cllr MacBean added the “light spillage” from the site would be like “Blackpool illuminations”.

She requested a deferral of the application so a “more appropriate” glass offering could be sought.

By close of play, members voted unanimously in favour to defer the application pending further scrutiny.

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