PLANS to convert a shed on a farm in the Lake District into holiday accommodation have been turned down.

The Lake District National Park Authority has refused a planning application from BlueSett Ltd to convert a shed on Espford Farm in Crosthwaite into a walkers’ retreat as the authority said the information provided does not provide ‘sufficient evidence that a farm business exists’.

The decision notice says: “The information provided by the applicant does not provide sufficient evidence that a farm business exists. Much of the submission includes aspirations for the property and does not focus on existing farming activities.

“As such, policy would not support the conversion of the outbuilding into holiday letting accommodation.”

Proposals for the ‘sunshine shed’ form part of wider diversification plans for the farm, according to planning documents.

A covering letter says converting the sunshine shed to a walkers’ bunk house ‘supports the wider goal of engagement’ as visitors will be able to stay on site, visit the flood plain, as well as the lavender fields.

It adds: “The farm must become more economically and climate resilient for the future. All small additional incomes such as we would generate from the Sunshine Shed help us to be able to plan better land structure and work towards a healthy resilient farm and protects the traditions of the Lake District.”

Plans say the Sunshine Shed and retreats would create part time work for one local person.

The covering letter adds the farm is working with the national park on a pilot scheme for biodiversity net gain and carbon offsetting.

It states: “This will result in regenerative agriculture and improvement of ecological conditions over our flood plain.”

The Lake District National Park Authority refused the application on March 27.