UNITED KINGDOM – District planners fear the new alterations on a farmer’ s barn are too luxurious for pigs, and that the domestic appearance will ruin the natural beauty of Cotswold. The farmer’s reply: the barn was falling down, and the pigs needed some light. Is this a ridiculous complaint, or a sensible worry? Tell us what you think. – Global Animal

This Is Gloucestershire

A COTSWOLDS farmer whose pig pen was deemed too posh for his porkers says the decision is “absurd”.

Julian Davies caused a bit of a stink when Cotswold District Council planning officers implied his Gloucestershire Old Spots were living in too much luxury.

The 68-year-old had installed double-glazed windows and rooflights in a former barn at Lyncroft Farm, Clapton Row, Bourton-on-the-Water.

Officers said its “domestic appearance” was “harmful” to a prominent site in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But Mr Davies said he had repaired the 200-year-old decrepit building to make it safe for his pregnant pigs at the 44-acre holding.

“They’re hardly living in luxury, they’re living like normal pigs in a barn with concrete walls, a concrete floor and straw,” he said.

The application was due to be decided yesterday, but the planning committee deferred the case for officers to further investigate.

Planning officer Joanna Lishman had urged the district council planning committee to take enforcement action to tear out the alterations and reinstate the original open-fronted barn.

She said: “It’s not necessary to meet the functional needs of providing shelter for livestock.

“The retention of the building in its current domestic appearance, including rooflights and enclosed outer block walling, would harm the natural beauty of the landscape, by way of its agricultural purpose being unrelated to its design.” Mr Davies, who has run his farm for 15 years, bricked up the former open front with breeze blocks, and installed old velux windows in the roof and redundant double-glazed windows from his own house.

But neighbours feared the building could become a holiday home, prompting officers to visit.

Mr Davies 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 barn was not suitable to keep pigs in before we had the work done.

“Piglets would have died.”

“There is no way the building could be used as a house – it has no electricity, no running water and no access.”