A Cotswold farmer yesterday slammed ”ridiculous” council planners – after they ruled that his pig shelter was too POSH for his porkers.
Stunned Julian Davies, 68, carried out urgent repairs on the 200-year-old building as his Gloucester Old Spots prepared to give birth.
He installed concrete blocks to hold up the ”falling down” structure, replaced the roof and installed old double-glazed windows from his home.
But the building is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and planners say the modifications are out of character with the landscape.
They insist the adjustments are ”unnecessary” and are considering enforcement action to get the barn back to its former state.
Farmer Julian, who runs 44-acre Lyncroft Farm farm with wife Susan, 53, and son William, 23, slammed the measures as ”absurd”.
He said: ”The barn was falling down and we had to do something, so we put up concrete blocks and some old double glazed windows from the house in for light.
”The pigs would not have survived the winter if we had left the barn as it was.
”They are hardly living in luxury, they are living like normal pigs in a barn with concrete walls, a concrete floor and straw.
”The barn was not suitable to keep pigs in before we had the work done, piglets would have died.”
Julian – who has run Lyncroft Farm near Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos., for 15 years – renovated the 40ft x 15ft barn last winter to provide a warm, dry shelter for his pigs and their piglets.
He bricked up the open front with breeze blocks, used old doubled-glazed windows which had recently been replaced at his house, and rebuilt the roof complete with old velux windows.
But Cotswold District Council received complaints from neighbours who feared he may be converting the building into a holiday home.
Julian insists the former chicken barn can has only been changed to allow the pigs to move in and would never be suitable for a domestic dwelling.
”There is no way the building could be used as a house,” he said. ”It has no electricity, no running water and no access.”
The barn has concrete stys inside the building, which house the two sows and a small number of fattening weaners.
Julian was contacted by planning officials, who are meeting tonight (Weds) in Cirencester to discuss whether to take enforcement action.
Joanna Lishman, planning officer at the council, said the new features ”undermined” the building’s traditional simplicity and were out of place in the picturesque setting.
She said: ”It’s not necessary to meet the functional needs of providing shelter for livestock.”