ARC News Service reports from the meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s ( YDNPA ) planning committee on May 17 2022, when the following were discussed: use of Colt Park Barn at Chapel le Dale; snack kiosk at Crina Bottom, Ingleton; a new house at Embsay; dormer window on a house at Threshfield; and opening a caravan site at Little Asby during winter.
With Covid restrictions being lifted, this was the first planning committee meeting to be held at the YDNPA’s office at Bainbridge since March 2020. It meant that members of the public could again sit in the same room and listen to the discussions.
Another positive change is that usually all comments and objections to planning applications (including those by members of the public) are now posted on the YDNPA’s Citizens’ Portal.
Pip Pointon reports on the YDNPA planning meetings on a voluntary basis as part of the commitment of the Association of Rural Communities to local democracy.
Chapel le Dale
The Enforcement Closures Quarterly reports usually are approved very quickly and without comment. But not at the May meeting. Craven District councillor Carl Lis was the first to question how the situation at Colt Park Barn at Chapel le Dale could be described as ‘No Breach’ of a planning approval.
‘I am a bit confused, as is the local parish council. Its usage has increased enormously and this has created quite a big problem in terms of safety particularly by the access [to the B6479] . Where are we with this? What’s happening with it?’ he asked.
North Yorkshire County councillor David Ireton agreed. ‘Quite clearly there is a breach,’ he said, pointing out that the original planning application approved in 1992 was for English Heritage to have sole use of the barn.
The situation was reported to enforcement because of ‘multiple use by other organisations’.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, told the meeting that any application needed to be considered ‘without enforcement hanging over it.’ (Ingleborough National Nature Reserve applied for a lawful development certificate on March 23 this year.)
For the application by Ingleborough NNR and comments of residents click here.
Member Mark Corner then asked how it took four and a half years to decide it wasn’t expedient to pursue enforcement action regarding the work carried out to increase the height and re-roof the building to the rear of the Forge at Hawes.
Mr Graham replied that there was a backlog as a result of Covid when enforcement had not been a priority. He reminded the committee that at the Full Authority meeting in September 2021 it had been decided, in view of the real time cuts in the budget, that enforcement would be split from development management (planning). The latter had remained as a priority programme but enforcement hadn’t.
Crina Bottom, Ingleton
The importance of enforcement was emphasised when the committee considered the application for a small, wooden kiosk at Crina Bottom, on the walking route to Ingleborough, which would be used to serve hot and cold drinks and cold food.
The owners, Adam Gough and Moira Domican-Gough, were asked to provide a management plan to show how they would ensure that no litter from the kiosk would end up on top of Ingleborough.
Referring to the piles and piles of litter at the top of Whernside Cllr asked: ‘How on earth are we going to police this to ensure that we don’t add to the problems we have already. It’s just the issue of how they are going to guarantee that nobody takes litter from the [kiosk] up onto Ingleborough. It’s a massive issue. We need to do something about the litter problem.’
And North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock stated: ‘We have a statutory duty to do planning but no statutory duty to enforce. My problem would be the enforcement. This is such an important part of the National Park. Someone needs to keep an eye on this and make sure what it says in the application does actually happen.’
Mrs Domican-Gough told the committee that since they bought Crina Bottom just over a year ago they had moved many skip loads of rubbish off the site. ‘The last was a large digger that had been a landmark for about 30 years,’ Mrs Domican-Gough told the committee. ‘We are very proud of the results.’’
She assured the committee that the plates and cups would be washed and re-used. No plastic bottles would be available and there would be a recycling bin for cans. All the food would be sourced locally with the cakes being made in her kitchen. They would include items for the kiosk with their own shopping so that additional deliveries would not be required. And they would encourage walkers to protect and care for the environment and livestock.
‘We feel it will help make the countryside more accessible for some and prevent an elitist attitude towards the outdoors,’ she said.
Cllr Ireton said: ‘I don’t think there is anywhere on Whernside that serves drinks and food so I don’t think we can hold the applicant responsible for the problems that the general public create.In fact, it may reduce [the problem] as this will give them an opportunity to get a drink and a snack that is controlled.’
The planning officer emphasised that this would be a very low key and modest facility which was very unlikely to have a negative impact upon the highly sensitive open upland landscape. He added: ‘The development would offer walkers an enhanced opportunity to enjoy the landscape with a refreshing drink or slice of homemade cake.’
The majority of the members accepted his recommendation to approve the application.
The creation of a new house in Brackenley Lane, Embsay, was approved with the condition that the access, with adequate visibility splay, must be created first.
Embsay with Eastby parish councillor Vince Smith, told the committee that if that wasn’t done the construction traffic would cause chaos. The parish council accepted the need for more housing, he said, but would prefer one wasn’t built at the western end of Brackenley Lane where there was no footpath and which would exaggerate existing problems on a section of single-carriageway road. The road, he added, was not only used by schoolchildren but also as a back route between Skipton and Grassington.
The planning officer explained that it was due to the access onto a narrow road that the applicant had reduced the number of bedrooms from four to three. This should reduce the number of cars at the property. The plans for the garden had been altered to create parking spaces and the position of the garage had been altered.
Cllr Peacock agreed with the planning officer that this would provide a family home for local occupancy.
Previous enforcement action and a court appearance led to the latest application to retain a dormer window at High Winds, Wharfeside Avenue, Threshfield being unanimously refused.
The planning officer reported that in February 2017 the committee had approved a much smaller dormer window to be built with materials which matched the exterior of the Edwardian-villa style of the semi-detached house. The one constructed was, he said, significantly bigger with two larger windows plus a small central opening plus other changes to the approved plans. This led in 2018 to an enforcement notice being served and an application to retain the dormer being refused. Finally, at a court appearance in November 2020, the applicant, Andy Gould, was found guilty and fined. Mr Gould then applied to retain the dormer with new tile hanging and upvc window frames.
The planning officer recommended refusal on the grounds that, even with the alterations proposed by Mr Gould, the dormer would still harm the character and appearance of the Edwardian building and surrounding area.
North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine said the dormer did blend in with the roof and not easily seen from the Skipton to Kettlewell road. Member Mark Corner, however, commented: ‘I think it is a carbuncle on the roof.’
Permission was granted for Chapel Farm Caravan Park at Little Asby in Cumbria to remain open 364 days a year.
Asby Parish Council had objected to allowing the caravans to be occupied during the winter because of light pollution, concerns about drainage and flooding, and the possibility of them being used as permanent residences.
The planning officer reported that the intention was to use low-level bollard-height solar powered lights along internal roadways which would be motion-sensitive and that would be included in the planning conditions.
He and the many members expected occupancy to be low in winter significantly reducing the possibility of drainage problems and light pollution. He added that one of the planning conditions would be that caravans could be used for holiday occupancy only.
Eden District councillor Sandy Lancaster commented: ‘I can’t see it having an effect upon anybody given that it is a cul-de-sac road – it’s very quiet.’
And then Lancaster City councillor Kevin Frea suggested that maybe, in the future, those working in the area should be allowed to use such caravans as residential accommodation in view of the high price of houses.
Mr Graham replied that residential use led to many changes in the environment around the caravans as compared to holiday use.
There was a ripple of laughter when the chairman, Neil Swain, asked if anyone else wanted to say something controversial!