Rat-infested Dorset barn to become art gallery

Rat-infested Dorset barn to become art gallery

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 26th October 2019.

An artists has been given permission to convert a “rat-infested” barn in Winterborne Stickland into a gallery.

Despite opposition from neighbours, Mr Wells was unanimously given the go-ahead to redevelop two outbuildings at his home in West Street on Tuesday.

“I see here a nice use for the former buildings and I’m all for their reuse,” Dorset councillor Belinda Ridout said. “It will conserve their future.

Submitted in January, the application sought permission for the conversion of two disused barns at Stickland Farmhouse.

It proposed the creation of two holiday lets alongside the new gallery which would be used by Mr Wells and for county-wide arts events.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s northern area planning committee, his agent, Stefan Pitman, said work needed to be done to the two buildings.

“The two buildings are the last remnants of the old farm which have not been refurbished,” he said. “They are rat-infested and only have a negative impact on the area as it stands.

“Winterborne Stickland is considered to be a creative area and this will be a great boost to the community.”


But the proposals had attracted criticism from neighbours who said the village did not need this type of development.

“The need for a gallery and bed and breakfast accommodation is questionable,” David Godden said. “Art galleries can already be held at the village hall.

“It will be double the height of the current structure and this will have an unacceptable, overbearing impact.”

The application was also opposed by Winterborne Stickland Parish Council.

Despite the concerns, council planning officer Chris Poad had recommended that planning permission be granted.

His report said the buildings had been “sensitively designed” and that there would be no adverse impact on people living nearby.


Councillor Belinda Ridout said:

“I see here a good use for the former buildings and I’m all for their reuse. It will conserve their future.

“I think this is quite a nice proposal and it’s going to add to the character of that area.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to grant planning permission for the barns to be converted.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democract Reporter