PLANS to set up a light industrial park alongside a medieval barn in Winterbourne have been thrown out by council planning chiefs.

The Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust looked to build seven units for businesses at Court Barn Farm to bring in much needed cash for the transformation of the a 14th century barn, on site, into a community heritage centre.

But hopes were dashed last Thursday when the plans were rejected at a Development Control Committee.

The disapproval came following concerns raised by Winterbourne Parish Council over the building of new units on the green belt and the effect it could have on the medieval walls.

The tithe barn, built in 1342, is one of only a few examples in the country where it was built and owned by the local landowner, and not the church.

Before falling into disrepair South Gloucestershire Council brought it and spent thousands of pounds restoring the ancient stone walls.

Now, in the trust's hands, it was hoped the letting of built light industrial units would fund a second phase to turn the barn into a local education centre to highlight the area's heritage.

But despite a planning officer's recommendation to accept the plans, South Gloucestershire's planning committee turned it down.

Trust Secretary Richard Spalding told the Gazette he was naturally disappointed with the decision.

"Following a meeting on Monday with trust members we have decided to not appeal but to look at putting forward a altered planning application," he added.

"What we are now doing is asking planning officers to take a look at our plan B and tell us if that is workable.

"It is vitally important we continue our work towards looking for ways of funding the restoration of the barn and its upkeep.

"Although disappointed with Thursday's decision we will now work towards putting forward a second application which we hope to be successful."