A DECISION by Wiltshire councillors to allow a controversial barn to be built in a village has left protestors fuming.

At a meeting of the Eastern Area Planning Committee in Devizes councillors gave the green light to the plan by their chairman Cllr James Sheppard for the large agricultural building on his land in Church Hill in Lockeridge.

It was the issue of road safety and the size of the agricultural machinery that most exercised the locals and in particular a giant baler which they said could not pass through the narrow lanes.

Planning officers went through the objections point by point and dismissed them as none in their opinion broke planning regulations or would cause issues with highways.

Hugh Roberts of West Overton contested the claims of highways that the baler could pass through the village. He said: “The discrepancy is over the width of the baler. The agent told the parish council it is 2.7m wide but New Holland said there was no such thing. 1290 balers are between 2.78 and 2.98m wide depending on tyres. We proved all 1290s would over run the carriageway trying to pass cars parked there.”

He said parking restrictions were raised but this caused “outrage in the village and was quickly dropped.”

It was the idea the farm vehicles would only use the road early and late in the day that concerned Professor David Snowden who reminded councillors there had been a fatal accident of a pedestrian in the early morning in the past. And he questioned future plans for the building. He said: “The importance of casual parking hasn’t been mentioned, in the 2013 traffic report which was chaired by the applicant stated casual parking was critical in Lockeridge around the school.”

While John Kirkman of the council for the Protection of Rural England said the building would “stand out starkly.”