One of Badshot Lea’s oldest buildings is under threat following Waverley Borough Council’s decision to grant prior approval to an application to demolish one of the buildings at Old Barn, Crown Lane.

The building, currently used for storage, is one of two barns at a detached property in Crown Lane and is locally listed by Waverley, meaning it is viewed as being of architectural or historical importance in the local area.

Its listing derives from its significance as an ancient agricultural building, believed to be the last such building in Badshot Lea and dating from at least the first half of the 19th century.

The decision does not constitute planning permission for the whole site, but confirms that the barn can be demolished, a decision likely to be opposed by Badshot Lea residents. The original application received 20 letters of opposition. 

Cliff Watts from the Badshot Lea Community Association said: “One of the objectives in the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan sets out to  ‘conserve and enhance the distinctive built heritage assets of the area’ and to ‘protect the identity and distinctive character of the different areas of Farnham’.”

He added that the Farnham Design Statement requires new developments should preserve ‘the original rural character of Badshot Lea’, but said: “There is little hope of this if parts of the rural character are allowed to be destroyed.”

Local historian and life-long Badshot Lea resident Maurice Hewins called for the barn to be converted rather than demolished, with original materials retained.