A SHOOTING Lodge application for the Up Cerne Estate, near Minterne Magna, has been withdrawn from the planning list.

Both the Dorset Council Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team and the authority’s Landscape Officer said they could not support the conversion of a barn at the remote location, close to a public right of way.

The council landscape officer said: "The site is located within the Dorset National Landscape which is highly sensitive to development. The proposals would result in the extensive re-design of an agricultural building and its immediate environs – that would result in adverse landscape and visual effects.”

The officer, and the Dorset National Landscape team, as it is now known, outlined several environmental policies which the development, as proposed, was likely to breach in addition to the  Dorset National Landscape’s Management Plan.

The estate is managed by a shooting syndicate which had been using the Grade two listed Up Cerne Manor House as a base, but has been told the building will no longer be available.

The barn planning application, submitted last year, said the conversion to a sporting lodge would support the September to February shooting season for partridges, duck and pheasants; two seasons of deer stalking; year-round fishing and year-round clay shooting.

The business said the commercial sporting enterprises supports a full-time gamekeeper and seasonal jobs generating income vital to support the upkeep of estate buildings, including the Manor, church, rented cottages and the general running costs.

The 1,930 acres estate has been owned by the current company since the late 1970s and includes eight let properties, most of which are listed buildings, farm buildings, woodland, farmland and fishing lakes.

Said a report to Dorset Council in support of the application: “The estate provides local housing and supports the employment of ten people and additional seasonal local employment: loaders, picker ups, beaters, Head Keeper and Under Keeper and the catering team.”

The building which was proposed for conversion is in a remote location in the centre of the estate, with no nearby properties. The only external alterations would have been the addition of a covered porch area for dirty boots, although internally a kitchen, fireplace, office, wc and a boot room, together with a table large enough to seat more than twenty people would have been installed.

Said a planning agent in support of the proposal: “The design promotes high levels of sustainability whilst remaining characterful to the area. It maximises the opportunity of natural light and ventilation in the design whilst being sensitive to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Twenty additional car parking spaces were allowed for in the proposed layout.