ARC News Service – reports on the YDNPA planning committee on September 7 when the following were discussed: a shepherd’s hut at Starbotton; change of use of an agricultural building at Stirton; and a laundry at Sedbergh.
Once again I was unable to attend a planning committee meeting at the Grassington Devonshire Institute and I am, therefore, very grateful to the YDNPA’s Committee Officer, Clare Tamea, and to its technical team for making it possible to write these reports. The audio recording this time was somewhat better but it is very obvious that it is not easy to record meetings in that institute especially when social distancing is being observed. The meeting only lasted 45 minutes.
Kettlewell with Starbotton Parish Council had originally objected to permission being granted for a shepherd’s hut to be placed in the southern toft beside the recently converted barn ( Toft Gate) as it would be upon part of an important green space within a conservation area.
The planning officer, however, pointed out that the plans had been amended and the shepherd’s hut and seating area would be sited within a walled part of the barn’s residential curtilage. He added that the change of use of the site had been approved when permission was granted for the barn conversion.
He said: “Taking account of the enclosed curtilage siting of the hut, its positioning approximately 40 metres away from the highway and public right of way together with the modest scale, it is considered that the proposal would have only a minor impact which would not adversely affect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.”
Members were also told that the hut will be screened by trees that were planted south of the site about three years ago.
The committee voted unanimously to approve the application.
The committee also unanimously approved the application for change of use of an agricultural building at Skyrakes Farm, Stirton, to create a workshop and commercial storage space.
Stirton with Thorlby Parish Council’s reasons for objecting included that the proposal could lead to the need for alternative storage for the agricultural materials and equipment currently in the building; additional traffic to the site, and that the farm was not completely “set away from public view”. It also pointed out that there were caravans stored on the site without planning permission.
The planning officer said the agricultural materials and equipment could be stored in three other agricultural buildings. He added that the applicant had agreed to reduce the height of the building so that it would be less visible from Grassington Road. Two adjoining buildings would be demolished and so considerably reducing the visual impact of the northern part of the farmstead. With native trees to be planted to the north the appearance of the site would be improved.
North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine expressed regret at a gradual loss of agricultural buildings and a reduction of the farming in favour of other commercial ventures.
Enforcement action against the owner of a laundry at the rear of Main Street in Sedbergh was deferred because a new planning application had been received on Friday September 3.
The committee was told by the enforcement officer that the owner had indicated that he would look at introducing a noise reduction scheme.
The enforcement officer explained that in late 2020 a complaint was received that storage buildings were being converted into a public laundry. The owner was advised that planning permission was required and an application was received in November 2020. This was refused a month later on the grounds that a commercial laundry business in that location would have an adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours due to noise, odours and disturbance.
The committee heard that the owner did not appeal but continued with setting up the business. During a site visit by a National Park officer in July this year a dehumidifier was being installed and two of the three washing machines were in use. The other equipment included two dryers, a sink, washing baskets, an ironing board and a linen press.
In August there had been a complaint about noise and this was being investigated by Environmental Health. The head of development management, Richard Graham, told the committee that a statutory nuisance did not have to be proven for noise issues to be considered by the committee when considering an application.