A developer who began work to revamp an agricultural building near Ellesmere has been told he may have received planning permission had he waited for the go-ahead.

Ben Pocock had initially been granted permission to convert The Dutch Barn in Lee, into a home, but a later application was refused to convert the land at into residential space.

However, between then and his latest submission, planning officers found the barn had been removed.

Cllr Paul Wynn, chairman of the North Shropshire Planning Committee that met on Tuesday to discuss the latest application, said: “You had planning for the work and you abused the planning laws.

“If you had just converted it we wouldn’t be here.”

Cllr Joyce Barrow added that by allowing Mr Pocock to “flout” planning law it would set a precedent.

However, Cllr Roy Aldcroft said he “couldn’t understand what all the fuss is about”.

Previously, the meeting heard from Cllr Kay Egerton, from Ellesmere Rural Parish Council, who said they and many residents want to see the site revamped.

Shropshire councillor Brian Williams added: “The parish council knows better than anyone where the community of Lee is and the fact is that its view has been rejected.

“This refusal would result in an eyesore as it would be a derelict site.

“What do we want for our communities if we don’t support proposals to see derelict sites converted into houses?”

Members voted to refuse the plan.