PLANS have been lodged to convert a barn into a wedding venue in the Lake District in a bid ‘to secure the long term future’ of a farm.

The Hodgsons have submitted a planning application to the Lake District National Park Authority to transform a barn at Rydal Farm in Ambleside into a wedding venue.

According to planning documents the building is not suitable for modern agriculture as it neither provides adequate housing for animals under current standards, nor does it have suitable access for modern farm machinery.

There are more suitable agricultural buildings on the farm and the building has not been in use for agricultural purposes for many years, planning documents add.

The planning and heritage statement says: “As with most farming operations, particularly in the Lake District, there is a need to generate additional income to support the ongoing farming operations.

“The Hodgsons are keen to ensure that any scheme to provide additional income would not comprise the ongoing operation of the farm.”

The Hodgsons farm sheep and beef, both of which systems remain under pressure with the continuing reduction in Government subsidy since the UK withdrew from the EU, the planning statement adds.

Plans show the proposed development involves no significant alterations being made to the building which has already hosted weddings with up to 160 guests in attendance.

The planning statement concludes: “The proposed development will help to the secure the long term future of an existing farming business, which is responsible for managing a substantial area of the land within the Lake District.”

This planning application is currently under consideration by the Lake District National Park Authority.