A wellness centre will be developed from old farm buildings on the Wimborne St Giles Estate.

Dorset Council has approved the change of use application for the Home Farm site at St Giles House, Creech Hill for Lord Nicholas Ashley-Cooper.

The listed adjoining buildings are currently used as stabling and storage and are shown as a Cowshed, Middle Barn and The Wood Store in the planning application.

The proposed Wellness Centre will contain swimming pool facilities, a multi-use fitness room and a small bar with kitchen facilities. The estate says the Centre will serve guests staying in existing holiday and event accommodation on the St Giles Estate – largely preserving the external appearance of the buildings and internally only making what are described as “sensitive” changes.

Agents for the estate told Dorset Council: “Although the barns were re-roofed in the 1980’s they are in need of repair and ongoing maintenance which presents a significant financial burden on the Estate.

“The buildings of Cowshed, Wood Store and Middle Barn are currently used for occasional overflow stabling from the main stables (within the southern courtyard) and storage. They do not have any viable use for modern agriculture or farming.

“The Estate currently runs a successful wedding and events programme with several properties having already been sensitively converted to guest accommodation to support the wedding offer or as stand-alone holiday lets.

“It is desirable to find new uses for the Cowshed, Middle Barn and the Wood Store and provide them with a sustainable future, thereby securing a means of financing their ongoing repair and maintenance.

“A new Wellness Centre will complement the existing wedding and events programme provided on the estate and presents a use which lends itself to the size and scale of the existing buildings without the need for major adaptations.”

The agents say that other buildings on the estate, the Riding House and Grooms Cottage, have already been successfully converted to commercial uses, also in a sensitive way to the fabric of the old buildings.

Wimborne St Giles parish council raised no objection to the changes with Dorset Council’s conservation team largely in favour, subject to agreement over some details of the changes.

A council planning case officer report said that although there would be some changes to the grade 2 listed buildings Historic England had concluded that this would be “less than substantial” with the new use making the buildings more viable.