An ARC News Service report on the meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority ‘s (YDNPA) planning committee on October 8 2019. Items discussed were: the new garden at The Burgoyne Hotel, Reeth; extensions and a bathroom window on a barn conversion at Keld; a barn conversion at Halfway House, Hawes; a new shed at Threshfield ; and three new houses at Maulds Meaburn. Pip Pointon reports on the YDNPA meetings on a voluntary basis as part of the Association of Rural Communities commitment to local democracy in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
This week the impact of tourism upon residents was on the agenda of the planning committee, Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council, and Aysgarth and District Parish Council.
At least members of the planning committee did discuss how the new garden behind the Burgoyne Hotel in Reeth will affect neighbours and steps were taken to alleviate the problem. But some residents in Aysgarth are having considerable problems convincing the YDNPA that their amenity is being severely affected by a ten-bed holiday let in the middle of the village. In Hawes some residents reported that their privacy had disappeared due to being completely surrounded by second homes and holiday lets (see below). Surely it is time that the YDNPA re-evaluated its policy of increasing the number of overnight stays by tourists.
It was very difficult to report on this month’s planning meeting because the sound amplification system wasn’t working most of the time. My digital recorder did just about pick up most of the debates but it was hard work transcribing the recordings – just to find out what happened!
Reeth – Burgoyne Hotel
Two committee members put forward a very common sense solution to how to protect the amenity of neighbours once a new garden has been developed behind the Burgoyne Hotel: create a deep cultivated bed along the boundary wall.
Some residents of Hill Close had objected to the development of the garden because it would be so easy for hotel guests to look down on them over a wall which is only 1.3m high. The planning officer told the committee that the material consideration was the severity of the impact on the amenity of neighbours. He had, therefore, suggested imposing conditions to mitigate the impact.
One of these was that a screen wall or fence should be erected two metres from the boundary. The hotel owner, Ian Hewitt, explained that this and a condition excluding the public from the chef’s garden were overly onerous. He wanted the chef’s garden to be part of the hotel experience for their guests.
Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley was the first to suggest a flower bed and then Jim Munday said: “The simple thing is to have a cultivated bed along the wall of an appropriate depth to prevent anybody from looking over the wall.”
The committee agreed and also felt that there wasn’t a good reason to exclude the public from the chef’s vegetable garden. They were told by the planning officer that the vegetable plots would enable the hotel to grow its own food which would assist in the viability of the business.
Residents were also concerned about the possibility of large events being held in the garden accompanied by loud amplified music. Mr Hewitt told the committee that the grass area of the new garden would not be suitable for marquees and added: “We don’t intend to have events there.”
The conditions, however, included that there should be no formal functions or events in the new garden; no tents, marquees or other temporary shelters; no playing or broadcasting of amplified music or speech; and guests not being allowed to be in it after 10pm.
Once the amendments to the conditions had been agreed the majority of the members voted to approve the application for change of use of the land.
Permission was also granted for the demolition of a single storey detached outbuilding at the rear of the hotel. The planning officer explained This narrow brick building with rusty corrugated metal roof was built as a shower block during World War II when the hotel had been requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence. The space created by its demolition would be used for guest car parking Mr Hewitt said. As it is one of the few structures built for military purposes in the National Park during that war there must be a full archaeological recording of it before it is demolished.
A young farmer, Chris Rukin, explained to the committee the problems he and his family would have with condensation if the bathroom window in the converted barn they were living in was removed and blocked up.
The planning officer stated that the modern window, which was installed without permission, was at odds with the traditional agricultural character of the building. When this was combined with the proposed extension [on that gable end], the result would be a complicated and unbalanced appearance detrimental to the significance of the Barns and Walls Conservation Area,” he said.
He told the meeting that officers had worked with the Rukins to create an acceptable proposal for the single-storey extensions and removal of the bathroom window. That proposal was approved in July this year – but then the Rukins applied to keep the bathroom window.
Mr Rukin explained that the problems with condensation had become severe once he and his wife were living there permanently. As he was working on the farm there was a lot of washing. “The condensation was getting into the walls and starting to smell. When it was used as a holiday cottage there wasn’t the same level of showers and baths. Since the window has been installed we have had no problems. We don’t want to go back to that situation.”
Allen Kirkbride, North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine and Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden agreed that such a young farming family deserved their support.
And Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong said: “In my opinion this would be seen as unreasonable and disproportionate to refuse permission for this very specific reason when there is a legitimate basis for requiring it [the window].”
The chairman of the committee, Julie Martin disagreed and stated: “As the cultural heritage champion I believe we should take a strong line and refuse it.” She said that she appreciated the damp issues but the officers had been exceptionally helpful and accommodating. Part of the deal struck earlier in the year, she explained, had included the removal of the unauthorised window. “Its a bit like reneging on the deal to come back to retain the window,” she added.
The deal was for a single-storey extension on the east elevation to provide additional ground floor living accommodation, and a single storey lean-to extension on the south elevation to provide toilet and wash facilities for the campsite on the farm.
Eleven out of 16 of the members voted to grant permission for the extensions and retaining the bathroom window. The reasons they gave were that the window didn’t materially harm the appearance of the building and that it was necessary .
As this was against officer recommendation the decision was referred back to the November meeting.
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council asked the committee to hold a site meeting at Halfway House so that the members could see for themselves how dangerous the access was.
In February the committee had approved an application to convert the barn next to Halfway House into a local occupancy dwelling. The owner then applied for it to be used for short stay holiday lets as well.
Allen Kirkbride agreed with the parish council that, as the access was by a corner on the A684, it would be far more dangerous for short stay visitors who didn’t know the area well than for anyone living there permanently. It was also pointed out that the Highways Authority had objected each time to the application because of the access.
Like the parish council Mr Kirkbride also wanted to see the barn converted solely for local occupancy. “This was specifically for local occupancy. [The owner] could have said in February that it would be dual purpose. Now he comes along and changes his mind. “
The majority of the committee, however, disagreed with him and the new application was approved.
Permission was granted for a shed to be replaced in a garden at Park Grange Cottage.
Threshfield Parish Council had objected to the application because, it said, the new shed would be bigger than the existing one and so too big for the area. It would also be higher than the existing shed.
The planning officer told the meeting that the footprint of the new shed was smaller than the existing one and the ridge height would be 20cm higher. He stated that the new one would fit in the same space which was bounded by three walls. “The proposed development will result in an improvement to the appearance of the site,” he said.
A large number of the issues raised by Crosby Ravensworth Parish Council about the application to build three terraced houses on land adjacent to the village institute in Maulds Meaburn had been dealt with before the meeting said the chairman, Mrs Martin.
The planning officer reported that outline permission had been granted by Eden District Council in September 2016. He said that in accordance with some of the points made by the parish council the present application stated that the window and door frames must be made of timber and not white UPVC; porous surfacing material should be used on the access road and car parking area so that surface water will be retained on the site and not contribute to any flooding along the road; and the front gardens should be enclosed by a traditional dry stone wall.
The parish council had argued that six parking spaces was inadequate and that could lead to parking congestion by the village institute. The planning officer’s report stated that one more parking space has been added and that the houses should be built to a high quality design that reflected the local character.
The planning office reported that some of the other issues raised by the parish council had already been dealt with by the District Council when outline planning permission was given.
The planning committee approved the application.
From Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council report:
Methodist chapel. – The councillors and others at the meeting agreed that strong representation should be made to the planning appeal hearing concerning the former Methodist chapel. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) refused an application to convert the chapel and hall into five holiday lets.
It was agreed that the key issues were the lack of parking, severe congestion caused by bad parking, and the increase in the number of holiday lets rather than affordable housing.
One man who lives near the chapel stated: “We are completely surrounded by holiday lets. We have lost all our privacy.”
He and the parish council also emphasised that the lane behind the chapel was a public highway.
Affordable homes. – The meeting was told that three out of ten dwellings in Hawes were now holiday homes or second homes. Andrew Fagg said: “In four years’ time it is conceivable that there will be fewer than 50 pupils at [Hawes Primary] School.