The farm, overlooking Timsbury, of ‘Britain’s best cheese maker’ has been given the green light to be redeveloped into housing.

Mary Holbrook, who died in 2019, made a variety of goats cheeses with the milk of her flock of goats on Sleight Farm on a hill overlooking Timsbury. In 2018, she won the ‘best producer’ award at the Observer Food Monthly awards.

But the site now has no agricultural tenants and the landowners have been granted prior approval by Bath and North East Somerset Council to convert four barns in the farmyard into five houses.

A statement submitted with the application stated: “The existing buildings are open fronted agricultural buildings and as such the installation and replacement of walls are required along with the installation of doors and windows and partial demolition required to carry out these works in order for the buildings to function as dwellinghouses. The existing roofs are not suitable for residential buildings therefore it is also proposed to replace these.”

Three of the barns will be converted into two detached and two semi-detached two-bedroom bungalows. A larger barn on the western edge of the farmyard will become a two-storey five bed home, with two multiple rooms and an internal garage.

The houses will have associated parking for both bicycles and cars.

Timsbury Parish Council raised concerns about development in the green belt and “a lack of clarity” in the application about the impact of the agricultural land’s continued economic viability. But officers at Bath and North East Somerset Council granted the application for prior approval, subject to conditions.

LDRS, John Wimperis