ARC News Service local democracy reports on YDNPA planning meetings in 2017 provided on a voluntary basis by Pip Pointon. Below are reports on the decisions made regarding applications from the following towns and villages: Appletreewick, Arkengarthdale, Bainbridge, Bolton Abbey Estate, Coverham (Forbidden Corner) , Dent, Embsay, Fremington, Grassington, Hartlington, Hartlington Raikes, Hawes, Hebden, Kettlewell, Long Preston, Malham , Maulds Meaburn, Newbiggin-on-Lune, Oughtershaw, Rylstone, Stalling Busk, Swaledale (telecommunications masts,Thoralby, Threshfield, West Witton.
The issues discussed included telecommunication masts in deeply rural areas (see also Swaledale Telecommunication Masts below), and barn conversions. See also the appeal decision regarding an application to convert Tup Gill Lathe near Kettlewell.
There are no reports from the August meeting (due to my wedding celebrations) nor from that in October (as I was ill).
Quote of the year:
At a meeting of Aysgarth and District Parish Council the chairman of the YDNPA planning committee, Richmondshire District councillor Caroline Thornton Berry was asked about inconsistencies in how applications for garages had been dealt with in a Dales village.
Cllr Thornton Berry replied: “You are dealing with humans and the planning officers are all different. They all have different takes on everything. That’s what you are up against. There is no total consistency.”
Transparency and Accountability:
The Association of Rural Communities was very concerned that the planning department was becoming less transparent and accountable. In June it made the following statement to the planning committee:
“At the Full Authority meeting in September 2017 [YDNPA] Members agreed that the functions of the Authority’s Development Management should be streamlined.
“One of the criteria was that the information should already be readily accessible to Members and the general public. It was argued, therefore, that the monthly list of decisions made by officers under delegated powers was unnecessary because there was a wealth of information about planning applications available on the Authority’s website. It was stated that this data could be searched by date and location in any parish.
“The emphasis there should be on ‘in any parish’. There are now 112 parishes in the National Park. We would estimate that it could take two days to carry out an overview of decisions regarding any one issue such as barn conversions. That is not making information easily accessible to either Members or to the general public.
“In fact, the Association of Rural Communities would argue that information is remaining hidden especially as it can be very difficult even for Members to contact individual officers. The standard auto-reply from one officer urges enquirers to contact him by email, stressing how difficult it is to maintain contact by telephone.
“We do understand that the planning service is under-staffed and under pressure – but surely in the 21st century it is possible to generate lists of decisions by officers and to make those available on the Authority’s website? This would greatly improve the transparency and accountability that the Authority has stated it wishes to achieve.”
This request was refused – and so that lack of transparency continues, as it does in other ways.
When studying planning applications it is frustrating that the YDNPA does not make it possible to view all the comments it receives unlike Richmondshire District Council. Residents in Middleham could read all the arguments for and against a proposed glamping site in a field north of Curlew Barn on East Witton Road, Middleham (17/00892), Middleham, compared to what was available about the Forbidden Corner applications on the YDNPA website. The ARC News Service can – and does – report on what is said during the five minutes allocated to objectors at planning committee meetings. The written objections, however, often give far more detail.
Debate about barn conversions at the June meeting
Even strong legal advice about the consequences did not stop the majority of the members confirming that two barns – at Oughtershaw and Hartlington Raikes – could be converted into dwellings.
Parish council representative Ian McPherson told the meeting: “We [the Authority] went to the trouble to get Counsel’s opinion. It is a very thorough and detailed opinion. If we don’t stick to policy … we will be letting ourselves in for the consequences as Counsel sets out.
He added that those members who agreed to approve the applications after such advice were on a different planet to him.
Julie Martin commented that if they breached their own criteria it would be difficult in the future to adhere to the policies in the Authority’s Local Plan and Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong reminded the committee: “Our policy is basically a conservation based policy – and that is our primary purpose.”
Richard Graham, the head of development management, summed up the Counsel’s advice by stating that consideration had to be given to the impact upon the character and appearance of a traditional barn, its landscape setting and upon the historic significance of the building.
Most of the committee, however, did not agree with the planning officer that the conversion of both of the barns should be refused because the proposed alterations would detract from their heritage significance and the landscape. The planning officer also argued that the proposed extension to that at Oughtershaw was significantly too large.
North Yorkshire County Councillor John Blackie pointed out that Counsel had stated it was possible to have a large extension or alteration that did not have a significant effect on a building, just as it was possible for a small extension or alteration to have a significant impact. So just measuring an extension did not reveal if it’s size was significant or not.
He added that the converted barn without the extension to house a utility room would not suit the needs of a young farmer with a family living in such a remote place as Oughtershaw.
Parish council representative Chris Clark said: “If that barn is not converted it will fall down. It is already deteriorating and there are holes in the roof. I would rather see a family in a roadside barn with the extension than have a barn which falls down.Its only a few yards away from Oughtershaw hamlet.”
The planning officer had also argued that the barn at Hartlington Raikes was too far away from the road to be described as a roadside barn.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Robert Heseltine reminded the members that an appeal inspector had overturned the Authority’s decision to refuse a barn conversion at Tug Gill Lathe near Starbotton which was a similar distance from a road.
He did, however, want the Authority to reconsider its policy of allowing dual use of such barn conversions, removing the permission for holiday lets and retaining just that for local occupancy. And he did not like the use of telescopic lenses on cameras when officers were seeking to illustrate what they believed would be the impact upon the landscape.
“It is important to take care of the landscape but also to care for the people who live here,” said Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock. She added that it was proving very hard to get new affordable homes built in the National Park and so barn conversions were very important.
Appletreewick – February
A planning officer’s recommendation to approve a retrospective application to retain an area of hard-standing near the New Inn in Appletreewick was accepted. This was on condition that there was an approved Management Plan and that only pre-organised groups will have the right to camp at the site.
The Management Plan would include the provision that the field gate should remain shut and locked at all times with only authorised key holders able to have access. This would be in accordance with the requests made by Appletreewick Parish Council. Residents are also concerned about how the security of the site is monitored and the control of litter and noise.
The hard standing was created by Yorkshire Water when it was carrying out work at the sewage works. It was reported that the owner does plan to cover it with earth from the site and then to seed it with grass.
Some residents had questioned the size of the hard standing but the planning officer believed that it was needed to accommodate up to six cars and three larger vehicles carrying equipment when Scout groups were camping at the site.
Arkengarthdale – November
There was unanimous approval for the application by the Upper Dales Community Land Trust Ltd to build four affordable homes for rent in perpetuity on land adjacent to the Methodist Church in Langthwaite, Arkengarthdale.
Arkengarthdale Parish councillor John Watkins told the members that when he bought his home in Arkengarthdale 20 years ago it cost him less than £70,000. Today it would sell for around £270,000. ‘For me that is simply not affordable. Home ownership in Arkengarthdale and indeed the rest of the Dales is now the privilege of the older and the fairly well off. And that’s why our communities are dying off in my opinion. What is badly needed are nice affordable homes to rent such as the ones under consideration here’.
The chairman of Arkengarthdale Parish Council, Stephen Stubbs, said: ‘Arkengarthdale Parish Council is very excited abut the prospect of four affordable homes being built for rent for perpetuity in Arkengarthdale. They’ll be primarily for young people to live in, and will encourage them to bring up their families here and so keep the future bright for our deeply rural communities, because a Dale without the presence of young families does not have a future at all.’
Mr Stubbs and Mr Watkins are both directors of the Upper Dales Community Land Trust. Another director, North Yorkshire County councillor John Blackie, told the planning committee how important the development was to Arkengarthdale and then went and sat with the public and took no further part in the meeting.
The planning officer commented: ‘This is an encouraging proposal for community-led housing made by a community land trust that would help increase the supply of local housing for the local community. The proposal would address a proven local need that is supported by the Housing Authority and there are no alternative sites within the housing development boundary that could deliver affordable housing.’
Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock said that such community-led housing schemes were an excellent way to solve the problem of providing affordable homes.
The YDNPA’s member champion for development management, Jim Munday, said after the meeting: ‘It is very encouraging to see this community-led housing scheme being proposed. The Upper Dales Community Land Trust, led by John Blackie, deserves considerable credit for making it happen.
‘The Authority has been pleased to be able work closely with the Trust, the local community and the housing authority, Richmondshire District Council.’
Bainbridge – February
The committee also approved the application to construct five affordable dwellings on land to the rear of the Rose and Crown.
Bainbridge Parish Council supported this and had pointed out that the real incomes of farmers and those employed in agriculture had substantially declined in the last few years to a point that open market housing was no longer affordable.
“Above all councillors felt that they wanted to be able to keep local people in the place where they want to be.”
But some residents are not sure the proposed development could be described as affordable housing and so set up the Holmbrae 2016 Residents Group. The planning committee deferred a decision in December because this group threatened legal action.
The Authority reported that In a letter from its solicitors this month the Holmbrae 2016 Residents Group reaffirmed its position that it would seek to quash any decision to approve the application by way of judicial review. The letter, it said, reiterated previous objections based around the lack of evidence that the dwellings would be affordable and attached a report that they have had prepared by a consultant. The report disagreed with the need for five affordable dwellings within Bainbridge Parish, argued that alternative infill sites have not been fully considered, questioned the support for discount for sale properties rather than requiring affordable rented accommodation, and disputed the affordability of the proposed dwellings to those in housing need.
The planning officer has recommended that the application should be approved. He reported that even though the area behind the Rose and Crown was outside the housing development boundary it could be considered as an exception site as long as it was a small scale development where all the houses were all restricted by legal agreements to be “affordable” to local residents who were in housing need “on a cascade basis”. There was, he said, a considerable backlog in the provision of affordable homes in the Upper Dales.
He believed the new houses would reflect the character and appearance of other dwellings nearby and would have no negative impact upon the conservation area or on the amenity of other residents.
He stated: “The National Park has a static (potentially declining) and ageing population – a serious demographic problem identified in the Local Plan. The Authority’s Housing Strategy aims to release more land for housing to address this problem and support the social and economic well-being of local communities. The provision of more housing for sale to local people at a price below the market price in Bainbridge will contribute to the strategy and support the sustainability of the community.
Cllr Peacock said that such community-led housing schemes were an excellent way to solve the problem of providing affordable homes.
The YDNPA’s member champion for development management, Jim Munday, said after the meeting: ‘It is very encouraging to see this community-led housing scheme being proposed. The Upper Dales Community Land Trust, led by John Blackie, deserves considerable credit for making it happen.
‘The Authority has been pleased to be able work closely with the Trust, the local community and the housing authority, Richmondshire District Council.’
Bainbridge – November
The committee unanimously approved the application to build five ‘affordable dwellings’ on land at the rear of the Rose and Crown.
Cllr Peacock stated that the term “affordable housing” did not just mean to rent but also to buy. She explained:
“There are many, many local people who want to live and work in the Yorkshire Dales National Park who would not be eligible for property and they cannot afford to rent on the open market, which is now evidently higher than any mortgage. And they cannot afford to buy open market houses. They are in housing need. In the last six months a huge amount of work has gone into making sure that these are affordable houses.”
She was supported by Cllr Blackie who said that unless there was a 30 per cent discount on the new houses many local people would not be able to afford them because of the price increases caused by properties being bought for second homes and holiday accommodation. The committee was told that 30 per cent of the housing in the National Park was now holiday accommodation.
“Bainbridge is thriving but it still needs young families. Without young families your community does not have a future.” he added.
The six month delay in approving this application was due to a review being commissioned by the YDNPA following the threat by the Holmbrae Residents Group (HRG) that legal action might be taken. The HRG questioned that the development at Bainbridge would be in accordance with Local Plan policy in respect of assessing the need for such affordable housing. It added: ‘The Authority has adopted a flawed approach to the question of whether the development can be described as affordable housing taking into account local incomes.’
In his report to the November meeting the head of development management, Richard Graham, stated that, even with the discount, two of the houses would only be affordable to those with the highest earnings available in National Park. With the discount the cost of the three-bedroom houses has been estimated at £185,000, £196,00 and £182,000, and the two-bedroom houses at £147,000 each.
Mr Graham pointed out that the number of private lettings in the Upper Dales has fallen dramatically from a high of 92 lettings in 2012 to just nine in 2017. In the same period the median rent had increased from £477 a month to £594pcm. He reported that most of the cheaper houses which those on low incomes could buy were small stone built cottages that were more expensive to heat and were often in remote areas and had no gardens. He added that insufficient affordable houses were being built each year to fulfil the estimated need.
The new houses at Bainbridge would, he said, be built to modern building regulations and would have adequate parking and garden space for families. In addition to each house being subject to legal agreements which will apply the 30 per cent discount with a local occupancy restriction there will also be a clause restricting purchasers to those in housing need. This would be vetted by Richmondshire District Council as the housing authority.
Mr Graham stated: “The Authority’s Housing Strategy seeks to widen the range of affordable housing to meet the needs of local families and first time buyers and attract younger working households to live in the National Park.” He added that there were no suitable sites within the housing development boundaries of the Upper Dales villages. That at Bainbridge is outside the housing development boundary and so comes under the policy for rural exception sites.
Bolton Abbey – September
It would be a sacrilege to change a 200-year-old barn at Bolton Abbey in any substantial way, Cllr Heseltine, told the committee – and the majority of the members agreed with him.
Lancashire County Council councillor Cosima Towneley, however, reminded the committee that the agent, John Steel, had warned that if permission was refused the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees of the Bolton Abbey Estate would not appeal. “Why should anyone pour any more effort into a building which is absolutely no use?” she asked.
At present all that the public can see of it is the corrugated roof Mr Steel said. He explained that the Estate expected the cost of converting the barn into a two-bedroom holiday let, including using insulated dry lining for most of the interior, to cost just under half a million pounds.
The planning officer commented: “The internal finish …would have the appearance of a modern property. The proposed dry lining of this building would harm its heritage significance and could put the long-term survival of its fabric and features at risk of accelerated decay.” He stated that insulated lime plaster would be better as it was a breathable material.
The Estate, however, believed that if lime plaster was used the barn would not be fit for use as a holiday home, said Mr Steel. He added that the Estate had submitted seven sets of amended plans during its discussions with the Authority and Historic England. One of the biggest changes had been to agree to thatch the roof with ling (heather). “This will be sourced from the Estate as it would have been when the barn was originally built,” he explained.
The planning officer reported that the large threshing barn and adjacent walled-off cow house dated from the 17th Century or early 18th Century and was one of the largest surviving example of its type in the northern English uplands. It has partly reset cruck trusses, low eaves and remnants of heather thatching under the sheeting on the roof. The cow house, he said, had a particularly wide doorway which, it was believed, was widened in the late 18th C to accommodate the famous 1,132kg (312 stone) Craven Heifer.
Historic England assessed the barn and cow shed as a listed building in November 2017 about four months after the Estate applied to convert it. Some of the committee members agreed with the Authority’s listed building officer that conversion to any domestic use, including holiday accommodation, would have a detrimental effect on the high heritage significance of the building.
The planning officer told the members that until a few weeks prior to the meeting the officers had hoped to come to an agreement with the Estate but then there were problems concerning what type of interior wall covering to use and the proposed car parking and curtilage area. He said that an alternative parking area had been suggested which the Authority and Historic England believed would have a less damaging impact upon the historic layout beside the barn.
“Because the applicants are not prepared to change [these] we reluctantly recommend refusal,” he stated.
Cllr Allen Kirkbride, the parish member for the Upper Dales, commented: “I am very disappointed there hasn’t been agreement between the two parties. It is a historic building [and] what has been done to the roof is criminal.”
He voted in line with Bolton Abbey Parish Council which had not objected to the proposal but the majority of the members accepted the officer’s recommendation.
Middleham Town Council did not object to Bell Barn being re-developed to provide catering facilities beside the Saddle Rooms but pointed out that this was yet another retrospective application, requested more conditions and suggested that the owner should be asked to pay towards the cost of repairing the road to this tourist attraction.
It stated: “Council notes that this is a further retrospective application and is unhappy that this appears to be an established practice by this applicant [Colin Armstrong]. The important contribution of the site to the local economy is fully recognised by the council, indeed we include the Forbidden Corner within our Middleham business forum and wish to support them as we do all other local businesses and enterprise.
“It is disappointing always only to be able to comment in retrospect, when construction has been undertaken without any permission. Planning rules apply equally to all businesses and residents.”
The council is also concerned about the road conditions around Forbidden Corner. It pointed out that there would be an inevitable increase in traffic levels along the narrow roads through Middleham and past the Low Moor racehorse training gallops. These, it said, were not maintained for heavy use and the surfaces deteriorated rapidly.
It added: “The council wishes the planning authority to consider placing a condition that the applicant should contribute towards the additional costs of retexturing the road, particularly from West End, Middleham to Tupgill Park entrance, including taking account of the surfacing needs for use by ridden, shod horses.”
It also asked for a condition which will protect racehorses on Low Moor. It stated: “Council asks the planning authority to take account that there is no vehicular right of access … across Low Moor to the northerly entrance to Tupgill Park. The Moors are held in trust by the council and leased to Middleham Trainers’ Association. The route is clearly signed as a private road and Public Bridleway only.”
It was now, however, being frequently used by large goods vehicles and delivery vans going to and from the Forbidden Corner. As a result it was very worn and damaged causing considerable risks to valuable racehorses and their riders.
It continued: “Council objects strongly to extending opening hours for the altered structure: business hours for the Forbidden Corner have been restricted on grounds of the potential danger to ridden horses and disturbance created by vehicles moving through Middleham at night and during the morning training hours from dawn to 1pm.”
The opening hours considered acceptable for Bell Barn by the planning officer are 12am to 11pm Monday to Saturday, and 12am to 9pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
While the YDNPA’s visitor services manager commented that the re-development of Bell Barn was positive in terms of local employment, local services and produce, and the wider tourism economy, the senior listed building officer was less impressed.
The latter stated: “The application has failed to adequately take into account or conserve the heritage significance of the site or of the recently demolished stable block. The replacement building includes details which imitate traditional features, but without any demonstrable historic context, and is likely to give a false impression of the site and its historic development.”
The planning officer’s recommendation to approve was accepted by the committee.
He reported: “The re-development of the courtyard building which has occurred has created an additional indoor visitor facility at an existing visitor attraction and has potential benefits for the local community.
“Although the development has resulted in loss of part of an undesignated heritage asset the former stables are not considered as having been worth of retention for their own sake.
“The siting, design and appearance of the redeveloped courtyard building is considered to be acceptable and has not caused significant harm to the landscape, residential amenity or highways safety.”
Coverham – June
Yet another retrospective planning application for a site connected to Forbidden Corner at Tupgill Park, Coverdale drew an exasperated sigh from Cllr McPherson.
But a planning officer said that as most of the application site was hidden from view the work which had been carried out would have little impact upon the landscape. The committee, therefore, accepted his recommendation to approve the application for permission for grading and drainage channels on land to the rear of the Ashgill buildings, the provision of rear access, parking areas, construction of an oil tank compound, planting, landscaping an ancillary works. The application was described as part retrospective as not all the work had been completed.
Cllr McPherson commented: “Whenever I see an application with Tupgill Park on it my heart sinks, simply because I know it’s going to be retrospective. I would like them to know we really have had enough.”
The planning officer explained that there had been a significant development in the working relationship between the owner of Tupgill Park and the YDNPA. The Authority had received one application (for the demolition of Ashgill Cottage) prior to work starting, and another for an extension to Ghyll Cottage where work had only just started. The application to demolish Ashgill Cottage and replace it with a building containing four self-catering holiday units had been withdrawn, he added.
The Ashgill complex, he reported, was on the hillside above the Forbidden Corner and consisted of the main house, several cottages, stable buildings, yards and a horse walker. It was, he said, a commercial race horse training and equestrian centre.
Middleham Town Council informed the Authority that it had several concerns about the application. These included the “piecemeal development on a large site with no coherent design strategy”, the consistent pattern of retrospective applications and the use of the private road to the north of the site.
The Council stated: “There is ongoing vehicle traffic from the site across Middleham Low Moor owned by this Council and leased to Middleham Trainers’ Associaition. It causes undue wear on a private road and affects the horses under training and crosses a bridleway. The operators of the Forbidden Corner make no attempt to restrict this.”
In response the planning officer observed: “The proposal is a comprehensive solution to the access, parking and drainage issues affecting a definable area of the Ashgill complex.
“As the private road [is] owned by Middleham Town Council they would know who has the right of access and can control it accordingly. The National Park’s Access Ranger notes that the right of way is indirectly affected but has not objected.”
Dent – November
A small barn next to the Stone Cross in Main Street, Dent, can be converted into a three-bedroom holiday let even though Dent Parish Council strongly objected.
The majority of the planning committee agreed, however, that it was better to let it be converted than for it to fall down.
South Lakeland District councillor Ian Mitchell told members that the parish council’s main argument was that converting the barn into a holiday let did not meet the YDNPA’s policy on sustainable development.
The parish council had stated: ‘Increasing the number of properties in Dentdale that are available as holiday lets does not contribute to the sustainability of the community. There are already holiday lets in the village which are under utilised (some being empty for many months including during the summer). There is a need for housing for local occupancy and the constant sale of property to be converted to holiday lets means there are less opportunities for local housing.
“If something is not done about this now, the community will die. The loss of the primary school would be a tragedy in this community and without housing for families this will happen. The Census revealed that the population has stopped growing for the first time since 1970.
“The existing open market housing stock remains very attractive to people wishing to retire to the National Park, while this external demand pushes up prices beyond the reach of many local families and first time buyers. The Census also revealed that 22 per cent of housing is now second homes or holiday lets.”
In response the planning officer said: ‘While the views expressed by the parish council are understood and it is recognised that there is an acute need for more local occupancy dwellings across the National Park generally, it is important to remember that the conversion of traditional buildings (acceptable uses) policy is a conservation orientated policy not a housing policy.
“The aim of the policy is to secure the long term future of traditional buildings in a manner that conserves their intrinsic value in locations able to accommodate the intensity of the new use.”
The committee agreed with Embsay with Eastby Parish Council that a raised patio in Brackenley Lane would have an unacceptable impact upon the amenity of neighbours.
Embsay with Eastby parish councillor Judith Benjamin told the meeting that those standing on the 60cm (almost 2ft) high patio could look directly into the garden and a private room next door. She said that this would be a breach of the Authority’s own guidelines to avoid any tall extensions along a boundary which would be overbearing or dominating if viewed from a neighbour’s window or sitting out space.
She added that the two metre high fence proposed with the approval of the planning officer would not remedy this, and that the fence would be overbearing and over-shadow the neighbour’s garden. “The only logical solution would be a reduction in the height of the patio.”
She also asked that the width of the patio should be decreased so that it did not reach up to the neighbour’s boundary.
The planning officer had stated “The construction of the raised patio is unfortunate as it is an un-neighbourly development which gives the neighbours a perception that their privacy is more greatly affected that would be the case if the patio was at ground level. Nevertheless it is considered that the patio does not afford a greater degree of overlooking … The proposed two metre high fence will screen views from seated patio users and will help to reduce the perception of overlooking.”
Cllr Heseltine agreed with the parish council that the patio was an un-neighbourly extension as people would stand there and so be able to see much more.
When the majority voted to refuse the application Mr Graham commented that this could lead to enforcement action. He said the decision would have to be ratified at next month’s meeting.
This decision was confirmed at the meeting in May. The members agreed it was high enough to have a significantly harmful impact upon the privacy and residential amenity of a neighbour.
Fremington – Dales Bike Centre
The new management plan for the Dales Bike Centre must be enforced Cllr Blackie told the committee.
Like the rest of the committee he fully approved of the plans put forward by Stuart and Brenda Price to double the size of the Dales Bike Centre at Fremington in Swaledale. But the committee had heard that some residents were unhappy especially as the Bike Centre had not complied with the planning conditions included with the original permission ten years ago.
Paul Evans, on behalf of the residents in Low Fremington, told the committee that, contrary to the original planning conditions, the café was not only being used by cyclists but by other day trippers who arrived by car. He said that residents had not complained about breaches in planning conditions and any disturbances because they had tried to be good neighbours.
He continued: “This new proposal will result in a much large scale 24-hour a day operation which we are told we now have to police by the way of a telephone number – and the impact will increase dramatically.
“Very limited steps have been taken to relieve our concerns. The best we are offered is a six-foot wooden fence that may be better than the previous screening which was never delivered.
“This is a huge development dwarfing the village and creating a tourism hub in a residential location. It has been claimed this will have no impact on either the landscape or local amenity. However, we would say this view has been influenced and skewed by the potential economic gain.”
He asked if the car parking area at the Bike Centre could be moved away from nearby properties and a high stone wall in place of the wooden fence.
Mrs Price said: “We have made every effort to minimise the impact and considered how to manage the expanded business. We are deeply passionate about our community and take an active part in it. “We felt our home village of Fremington was an ideal location to tackle the emerging cycle tourism market. It’s been an amazing time. We have been part of a huge explosion in cycling and cycle tourism in the Yorkshire Dales.
“Our development will provide the vital infrastructure to support the Swale Trail and capitalise on the legacies of the Tour de Yorkshire whilst allowing us to be at the forefront of cycling in Yorkshire.”
Cllr Blackie said how grateful he was for such entrepreneurs who supported the local economy and local communities as well as providing so much pleasure and enjoyment for visiting cyclists.
Cllr Peacock agreed stating: “This application is spot on. We have got to try and encourage people and this is a good way to do it. They [Mr and Mrs Price] have done a wonderful job.”When members asked about the original planning conditions not being kept they were assured that the new management plan would be secured with a section 106 legal agreement.
Grassington – March
There was a unanimous vote in favour of allowing New Dyke Barn on Hebden Road near Grassington to be converted into a three bedroom dwelling for either local occupancy or a holiday let.
Grassington Parish Council had originally objected to the application because of concerns about the safety of the access onto Hebden Road. “Traffic leaving the access is doing so blindly and this could cause numerous accidents. There was a fatality there a number of years ago and the concern is that if that access was opened and used again another could occur,” the parish council reported.
“The access to the site is currently to the east of the barn which has been identified as unsafe,” the planning officer said. She told the meeting that the proposal now included a new access and parking area on the western side and this had resolved the issues raised by the parish council.
She reported that if any new electricity supply to the barn was required it should be installed underground.
Hartlington Raikes – May
“I don’t want to see that again,” Cllr Heseltine told planning officers at the meeting.
He was referring to the second reason a planning officer had given for recommending refusal of an application by Matt Mason for a barn to be converted at Hartlington Raikes.
The officer had stated: “The applicant has not entered into a legal agreement that would restrict the use of the building to short term holiday lets and/or local occupancy use and as such, the proposal would not contribute positively to the economic/tourism benefits or to the housing mix of the National Park and would therefore be contrary to … policy.”
Both Cllr Heseltine and Cllr Blackie said they had never seen such a reason for refusal like that before. Cllr Peacock pointed out that usually planning permission was granted first with a condition that a legal agreement was required.
The planning officer replied: “It’s simply a procedural matter. If it [the application] were to be refused today and it was appealed against, the inspector considering the appeal would see that there wasn’t a legal agreement entered into. When it goes to appeal the only thing that can be considered is what is on the reason for refusal, so the inspector wouldn’t be considering whether it would be a local occupancy at all. He would say the Authority hasn’t objected to a lack of a legal agreement, therefore, I don’t need to require one. That’s why it’s on the recommendation.”
Mr Mason was the first to compare his application with Tug Gill Lathe near Starbotton. In late March a planning inspector overturned the planning committee’s decision to refuse permission for Tug Gill Lathe to be converted into a local occupancy home. In the appeal decision summary the inspector disagreed that the converted barn would have a negative impact upon the landscape and also recognised that the Authority’s policy which allowed roadside barns to be converted required local occupancy or holiday let legal agreements.
Mr Mason told the meeting that the planning officer had questioned the proximity of the barn at Hartlington Raikes to a road. But this barn, he said, was closer to a road than that at Tug Gill. He explained:
“I submitted this application in January 2017 to convert this roadside barn to a family home for my daughter. We would happily sign [a Section 106 agreement] and comply with all the regulations.” On his application he had written that the converted barn would be subject to either local occupancy or holiday let restrictions.
Julie Martin agreed with the planning officer that converting the barn at Hartlington Raikes would detract from the landscape character of the National Park and commented: “I was very concerned about the Tug Gill Lathe decision which, to me, didn’t seem to be the correct interpretation of our policy. In what circumstances can we actually refuse roadside barns?”
Cllr Peacock, however, stated: “It is a judgement as to whether we think that is a roadside barn or it isn’t. Tug Gill Lathe has now been passed so I personally believe that our policies say that this is okay.”
At the June meeting the majority of members confirmed the decision to approve this application – see “Debate about barn conversions” above.
Hartlington – July
An application for a pay station machine and control barriers at the seasonal car park at Wharfe House Farm, Hartlington, was turned down due to the chairman’s deciding vote.
The members were equally divided between those who agreed with North Yorkshire County councillor Gill Quinn that it was a well thought out scheme which would enhance traffic management, and others who felt that the pay station and control barriers would be too intrusive within the landscape.
The applicant, Michael Daggett, explained that the field had been used for seasonal parking since the early 1970s and, on occasions, had provided a facility for up to a thousand visitors at a time, including young families who could then picnic beside the river. This was especially important as there were so few car parking spaces in Burnsall.
The planning officer reported that the field was only open when it would not be damaged by cars being parked there. This temporary use of the land should be no more than 28 days in a calendar year. In 1974 permission was granted to build a toilet block there.
She stated: “The high visual quality of the landscape around Burnsall and the fact that it is unspoilt by unsightly modern development is one of the ‘special qualities’ of the National Park and the reason why so many people visit the area. Although this proposal is small in scale it is development of this nature which has a negative impact that erodes the visual quality and farmed landscape character of the area.”
Hartlington Parish Meeting told the Authority: “There have been some slight concerns about the impact of visible barriers in an agricultural field. Also regarding having a system where vehicles are backed up onto the road waiting to enter whilst collecting a ticket.
“Any system allowing cars freely into the car park and charging upon exit or at a discrete ticket machine would be a major improvement on road safety and congestion. Whether this could be achieved without visible barriers…does appear to appease more residents.”
Hawes – July
The likelihood of a 40mph speed limit being introduced on the A684 on the eastern approach to Hawes led to approval being given to a young local couple to convert a barn into a three-bedroom home.
The committee unanimously approved the application by artist Stacey Moore – and Mr Graham said that even though this was against the recommendation of the planning officer the decision would not have to be ratified at the August meeting.
Steve Calvert, Miss Moore’s partner, told the committee that both of them had been born in Hawes and most of their families were still living and working there. He worked full time in a local builder’s merchants and Stacey had returned from university to open her own business in Hawes.
He explained: “The house prices in Hawes are extremely high for first time buyers and I don’t believe that is an affordable option for us.” They could, however, afford to convert a barn which the Moore family owned. “It will make an ideal family home with three bedrooms and allow us to stay in Hawes for the rest of our lives. We love the Dales and can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Cllr Blackie told the committee about the proposal to introduce a 40mph limit. Both he and Cllr Peacock emphasised the importance to the local communities of retaining young people and young families.
Julie Martin congratulated the couple on putting forward such good plans for a barn conversion.
The planning officer had pointed out that the barn could not be described as a roadside barn as its curtilage did not adjoin the road. But there was an unsealed track leading to it and the barn was already well screened, so there would not be a negative impact upon the landscape.
Hebden – November
A family home cannot be constructed at the Longthornes Haulage Depot at Hebden, because the site proposed would be too cramped for a modern dwelling, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee decided on Tuesday November 13.
At the October meeting the application by Mr and Mrs J Longthorne had been approved but that decision had to be confirmed at th