Plans to convert barns at a Herefordshire farm into five houses have been refused permission.

So-called permitted development rights allow farm buildings to be turned into homes without full planning permission under certain conditions.

Previously used for livestock and storage, the five barns in two facing ranges at Shirley Farm near the village of Kinsham, between Wigmore and Presteigne, were  suitable for conversion according to a structural report accompanying Nick Barrow’s planning application.

But the council’s highways officer said that future residents at the isolated spot would be solely reliant on their cars.

And though the narrow rural lanes leading to the farm have “some limited informal passing opportunities”, vehicles “have to reverse potentially long distances to allow passing”.

This appeared to sway planning officer Matthew Neilson, who concluded that the proposal meant “an unacceptable level of harm to highways safety”.

“The concerns raised cannot be addressed by the applicant as the lane in question is not within their ownership,” he said. “Therefore, there is no obvious scope to address the issue [of road safety].”