These are the changes to Barnsley's Cannon Hall estate that planners are being asked to approve
It is widely regarded as the jewel in Barnsley’s crown, a classic country pile set in 70 acres of rolling parkland.
But Cannon Hall has been engulfed in controversy over plans for ‘light touch’ modernisation to part of the 18th Century estate, which was sold to Barnsley Council in 1951 after generations of occupation by the Spencer family.
It is now the town’s premier museum.
The house and buildings which surround it are Grade II Listed and sit in the Green Belt, but planners are now being asked – and recommended to approve – changes to a wing of the hall to open up space for a cafe and shops.
Although the town’s conservation officer accepts the changes – which would include creating new doorways – ten objections have been filed, with opposition also from Cawthorne Parish Council, where the hall is located on Bark House Lane.
Proposed changes would affect the Spencer wing, which is part of the coach house and not attached to the main house, allowing a cafe and shops to be created in a two storey building, with a lift to connect the floors and a new porch outside.
The council’s conservation officer has been consulted and accepts the development would involve ‘some minor harm’ but believes it is justified to allow the development.
A report to be considered by councillors on the planning board, who will decide whether to allow the scheme, states: “In terms of the café alterations I was at pains to note the degree of preservation and the need for a very light touch, and the important contribution the external appearance will have to the setting here.
“However there is some obvious impact and a degree of minor harm in altering this very original space. This includes original panelling removal and the loss of wall fabric to punch doorways through etc. It is justified but needs proper explanation.”
Other objections include concerns about the impact of changes on the facade of the Spencer wing.
A decision will be made when Barnsley Council’s planning board meets.