PLANS have gone in to regularise work that has been done to turn a Grade II listed barn into a successful wedding and function venue at Mamhead.

The application has been made for Mr and Mrs Szczepura at Brickhouse Vineyard at Mamhead by Avalon Planning and Heritage.

The design and access statement says: ‘Planning permission and listed building consent were first granted for the conversion of the horse gin under refs: 16/01299/FUL and 16/01300/LBC and have been lawfully implemented.

‘The conversion of the barn and horse gin for use as a wedding venue was later approved under refs: 17/02727/FUL and 17/02759/LBC but due to errors in the discharge of conditions it is now necessary to reapply for this conversion.

‘The works to the barn are complete and the as-built design includes a number of minor changes to the previously approved scheme which are to be regularised through the current application.’

The historic site includes a former threshing barn and horse engine set to the north of the farmhouse with a walled yard to the west.

The statement adds: ‘The farm was bought by the current owners in 2015.

‘They chose not to implement an earlier scheme for conversion of the barn to holiday lets but set it up for use as a wedding venue.

‘They have restored the barn and horse gin and operated the venue successfully since 2018, including under extremely challenging trading conditions during the COVID19 pandemic. ‘

‘Prior to conversion the barns were redundant and need of repair as well as a new viable use.

‘The conversion and associated repair works have secured an optimum viable use for the barns as well as sympathetic repair.

‘The works have restored the barn and horse gin, using sympathetic materials – a concrete floor, robust metal windows, and a matching corrugated metal roof – which preserve its aesthetic value as an agricultural structure.

‘The reduction of the mezzanine has revealed the impressive internal volume of the barn, while the new use opens the structure and the site up to members of the public through its commercial use as a wedding venue. The daisy wheels have been preserved and recorded.’

‘There are a few minor variations between the conversion as previously approved and the as built design; existing sections of mezzanine have been retained at the north and south ends of the building and the modern spaces and partitioning above and below them reconfigured.

Two trusses have been modified to enable retention of the mezzanine, and the door and steps at the southern elevation have been built to a slightly different configuration on safety grounds.

‘The minor revisions to the previously approved scheme do not affect historic fabric and have a neutral impact, says the statement.

‘The only element of minor (‘less than substantial’) harm is the alteration to the trusses. This work was carried out following receipt of advice from a structural engineer and has avoided the potentially more intrusive structural work to the building that might have been required to enable full removal of the mezzanines.’

The statement concludes that: ‘The wedding venue has been operational since 2018 and this use represents an optimum viable use for the listed barn and horse gin.

‘It has enabled the sympathetic restoration of the site as well as opened the barn up to the public (revealing its historic and aesthetic value).

‘Approval of the regularisation applications would help secure the optimum viable use of the asset, a significant benefit which would outweigh any harm associated with the as-built scheme.

‘On this basis we consider that the statutory requirements under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the NPPF and policies set out in the adopted and emerging Local Plans would be met.’

A decision on this will be made by Teignbridge Council. You can view this proposal on the council’s planning portal.