Thorpe Salvin: Barn-house owner seeks modifications

The Stables, Common Road, Thorpe Salvin.
The Stables, Common Road, Thorpe Salvin.

A man who was told to strip out the ‘clandestine’ luxury home he created inside a Thorpe Salvin barn wants to develop the site further.

David Bonsall, who built the breeze block barn adjacent to The Stables on Common Road, has submitted a planning application to Rotherham Council for ‘retention of a dwelling unit (converted barn)’.

Last year an appeal hearing before a Government appointed planning inspector heard Mr Bonsall had renovated and kept the building in a ‘clandestine manner’ to disguise its use as a home.

The building is screened from public view behind a shroud of woodland, hedging and high gates.

But inside the windowless barn is a luxury home with three bedrooms and four bathrooms, the hearing heard.

Mr Bonsall first applied to Rotherham Council to build a dwelling on the land in 1988. It was refused but a subsequent appeal decision granted permission for a barn.

A complex web of planning applications and refusals followed. And in 2012 his application for ‘existing use as a dwelling’ was refused.

The inspector at the appeal hearing upheld Rotherham Council’s notice that Mr Bonsall must cease residential use and remove all domestic fixtures and fittings within 26 weeks.

At the time a council spokesman said: “Planning regulations are there for a reason.”

“We believe this was an underhand way of obtaining residential accommodation within the green belt.”

The latest application states it is ‘essential’ for Mr Bonsall’s daughter to live in the property so she can run her equestrian business next door.

Proposals to ‘significantly enhance the appearance of the site’ include installing windows, natural stone cladding, clay roof tiles.

A garden would be created and overgrown vegetation cleared and landscaped. And the existing entrance on Common Road would be closed, with a new access drive created from the stables site.

Rotherham Council’s planning committee will consider the matter at a future meeting.

Mr Bonsall was unavailable for comment.