Plans to turn Grade II*-listed barn at St Osyth Priory into visitor centre agreed

St Osyth Priory.

St Osyth Priory. - Credit: Archant

Plans to convert a Grade II*-listed barn at St Osyth Priory (pictured) into a visitor centre, wedding and function venue have been given the green light.

The Sargeant family, which owns the Grade I-listed 11th Century priory, want to alter the tithe barn, dairy and stables for the new use, plus a shop, cafe and offices.

Tendring District Council’s (TDC) planning committee approved the scheme during a meeting on Tuesday evening, with six votes for and three abstainers.

The proposals had been backed by council planners and English Heritage as it meant keeping the building, rather than demolishing it and constructing something new.

A planning inquiry is set to hear plans for a new build visitor centre from next week, but the owners said they are now likely to withdraw this.

Carlo Guglielmi, councillor for planning at TDC, said the scheme will safeguard a very important building.

“On balance it is acceptable and the barn will be properly looked after and maintained,” he said.

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“The benefits outweigh any harm caused but I hope the owners will take heed of the committee’s requests.”