YDNPA – planning meetings 2011

ARC News Service : The decisions of the planning committee of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority  ( YDNPA ) from January to December 2011 are listed below by location, in alphabetical order.

Tightening up on planning applications:

At the planning committee meeting in September the Association of Rural Communities (ARC) was assured by the Authority that the rules for planning applications will be tightened up. At the meeting the Association’s chairman, Alastair Dinsdale, asked the following question: “In these days of computer graphics and in light of the arguments made at the appeal hearing concerning the new houses at Thornton Rust Hall, surely it is time for the YDNPA to insist that all building plans submitted for planning permission should only be accepted if they are “to scale” and are clearly marked with the datum point and the finished height.”

In response the chairman of the planning committee, Graham Dalton, said that at the October meeting members would be asked to approve a report from officers stating that all building plans should show the existing height levels and finished floor levels with levels relating to a fixed datum point off the site. They should also show the proposals in relation to adjoining buildings.

Mr Dinsdale had attended a hearing in August following an appeal against an enforcement notice after the roofs of two houses in Thornton Rust in Wensleydale had not been lowered. He was very concerned about how the appellants’ representatives had argued that the height of the building could not be questioned not only because of the lack of a datum point on the plans but also because these were stamped “Do not Scale”. In his appeal decision, the inspector David Pinner, stated : “The appeal on this ground is based on the lack of notation on the approved plan to indicate the existing ground level or the proposed height of the building.” He did conclude that the development was unacceptable and upheld the YDNPA enforcement notice that the roofs should be removed and lowered, giving the appellants nine months to comply with the order.

County Coun John Blackie said that Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council had also made representations to the YDNPA planning department once it had realised that the height of a new building at the Wensleydale Creamery would make it very dominant. On the plans for that the height had not been given. He agreed that the YDNPA needed a new protocol and that it should insist that the datum point and height must be shown on building plans. “I applaud what ARC is doing because we do need that information,” he said.

Arkleside, Coverdale

February meeting – Permission was granted to convert a partly derelict barn at Arkleside into a home for a game keeper. This is in open countryside but the applicant, Martin Vallance, has demonstrated that there is a need for a rural worker’s dwelling and that there is no alternative accommodation available. Members were impressed by the plans to make this dwelling independent and sustainable and so reducing its impact upon the environment. County Coun John Blackie commended the plans for making the best use of a redundant barn. Grinton parish councillor Harold Brown added that game keepers were very important in such a rural area and there would not be heather on the top of the moors without them. The new dwelling will belong to Mr Vallance’s estate and so will always be the game keeper’s cottage.


March meeting – The majority of the planning committee members did not accept that a barn in the middle of a field at Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale should be converted into a two-bedroomed dwelling for a rural worker. Clark Stone, who is 78-years-old, told the committee that the house would be for a man who would be fully employed with snow clearing, contracting and agricultural work on his family’s farm. He explained that  when conditions were very bad in winter it was impossible for the district council’s gritting wagon to reach Arkengarthdale until either he or his son had spread grit on the roads. It took two men to fill the spreader with grit. He now wanted to retire and they needed someone else to assist with that job. Arkengarthdale parish council had told the committee that it fully supported his application and looked forward to the services he provided continuing with the help of a worker living locally.

Coun Blackie asked the committee to approve the application. “They provide an absolutely essential service clearing snow right up to Tan Hill. If the Stones are not there I don’t know what will happen to this community.” He emphasised the need for more social housing in Arkengarthdale and that it should not be restricted to just two small villages. He was supported by Richmondshire District Couns Bob Gale (Reeth and Arkengarthdale) and Malcolm Gardner (Swaledale) who described why it was so important for the residents of Arkengarthdale to retain a locally based gritting service in winter. “If we let these people down we should be ashamed of ourselves,” said Coun Gardner.  During the debate the legal adviser, Clare Bevan, told the committee that according to local and national policies there had to be a fundamental requirement for a rural worker in a location to justify converting such a barn into a dwelling. She said that this application failed that functional test as the work was more seasonal than permanent.

Coun Blackie later wrote to Richard Graham, head of development management, about Ms Bevan’s intervention mid-way through the debate . If the committee had decided to approve the application against officer recommendation it would have been referred back to the April meeting for further debate. Coun Blackie stated: “Clare’s intervention could be regarded, in its content and delivery, as coming from a Member who was strongly opposed to granting an approval. Certainly in my opinion, and the opinion of other Members present, Clare’s intervention had that effect on Members who might have been swayed by the arguments to be in favour of the application. I think in the timing of her intervention (that) it did unbalance the debate and introduce an element of unfairness against the applicant.”


October meeting – Craven Dt Coun John  Roberts reminded the planning committee that it needed to be consistent in its decisions when the application concerning Spen House, a grade II listed building, was discussed. The owner of the house, farmer Mr Middleton wants to replace 10 sliding sash wooden single glazed windows with sliding sash wooden double glazed ones. Three of the windows of the house, which is on an isolated and exposed site above Askrigg, have already been boarded up because the frames had deteriorated so badly. But replacing windows with double glazed units would mean the loss of several with cylinder and plate glazed panels which, the planning officer argued, were part of the historic fabric of the building.

Coun Roberts pointed out that the YDNPA had refused permission for windows at Scar House at Hubberholme (a National Trust property) and at West Sale Park, Kettlewell, to replace such windows with double glazed units – and those buildings are also in very high, exposed locations. The planning officer had suggested alternatives to wooden double glazed units which included secondary glazing, insulation blinds or internal shutters. Mr Middleton told the committee that it would cost £500 extra per window to install secondary glazing.

Askrigg Parish Council supported his application because of the isolated and exposed nature of the site ensured that the work was necessary and there would be no impact on the surrounding properties. The committee decided to defer a decision until they had seen an example of the type of double glazed window that Mr Middleton wanted to install at Spen House.

November meeting – The planning officers were very forceful about the application to make alterations to the windows at Spen House, which is a listed building. And Coun Roberts repeated that the YDNPA needed to be consistent with its decisions. Officers explained that to replace 18th and 19th Century windows with double glazed units would be contrary to government policy regarding the preservation of listed buildings.

Mr Richard Middleton, the applicant, had offered to donate the windows with cylinder glass to the YDNPA. But during the debate an officer said that it would not be acceptable to replace them with even the slimmest double glazed units available as that would still make a significant change to the windows.

Carl Lis, who is the chairman of the Authority, commented: “I can’t believe that in this day and age we can’t produce double glazing windows that would satisfy all requirements.” Several committee members obviously felt that the emphasis these days  should be on energy conservation.

When asked why the owners of some listed buildings had been allowed to install double glazed units an officer explained that the windows that had been replaced were not (as at Spen House) the originals but dated from the 20th century. The majority of the members accepted the officers’ recommendation and voted against giving planning permission.


February meeting – Permission was granted to amend the previously approved application to build five local occupancy dwellings at Pant Head, Austwick. These amendments are to extend the curtilage of three of the dwellings;  to alter the parking arrangements and the provision of bin storage areas; and to slightly alter the vehicular access to the highway.

Although Austwick parish council was happy that three of the houses would be provided with more recreation space it was concerned about not setting a precedent of breaching the housing development boundary. The YDNPA has therefore stated that the garden areas would remain outside of the boundary unless it was formally varied through the LDF review. Planning permission will have to be obtained to add anything to or make any changes to the houses, and that includes conservatories, sheds or greenhouses. The parish council had suggested that the gardens be restricted to personal recreational use only.

The parish council was also concerned about the loss of some bin storage spaces but the planning officer pointed out that for two of the houses there would be access to the back garden and it was not possible to insist that people used the storage spaces provided.

December meeting – A decision about the proposed conversion of Townhead Barn into a 24-bed bunk barn was referred back to the December meeting because in November  the majority of members had voted against the officer’s recommendation that the application should be refused. Peter Charlesworth said that the parish council (which had continued to strongly object to the application) should be supported . He added that he did not feel the applicant had  produced  a sufficient management scheme as it did not provide for a resident manager. N Yorks County Coun Richard Welch, however, argued that as the building was on the Pennine Bridleway it was ideal for a bunk barn. This time seven members voted to refuse the application, with six wanting to see it go ahead.

The applicant, Mr Taylor, told the November meeting that the bunk barn would mainly be used by horse riders and supervised groups of scouts and school children. Coun Richard Welch commented: “This makes good use of a disused barn and I think (this application) deserves a chance.”  Other members agreed that Mr Taylor should be given an opportunity to resolve the issue of supervision. There was therefore a majority vote in favour of approving the application but this had to be ratified at the December meeting.


September meeting – The committee voted unanimously to allow the Authority to install 40 photovoltaic panels on the south facing roof of its office in Bainbridge – a move which County Coun John Blackie said will open the door for many more households in the Yorkshire Dales to have solar panels.

He pointed out after the meeting that he knew of several instances recently where the Authority’s planning officers had advised that people could not install solar panels on buildings where the permitted development rights had been removed. He asked at the planning committee if the permitted development rights for the YDNPA office had been removed but did not receive an answer. “I will suggest that people put in planning applications and I will call them to the committee and remind it that ‘what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’,” he said.

On Tuesday he reminded the committee that it was only two to three years ago that the Authority was involved with what he called the “Carperby Affair” when a resident was told to remove one solar panel from the roof of her house.  “I am only just warning planning officers that once we have it on our buildings it will be used as an example for others.”

William Weston, the Authority’s member champion for climate change, congratulated the planning officers who had worked so hard to find dark solar panels which would be less visible.

(In the past few months, under designated powers,  planning officers gave permission for the following: photovoltaic panels on an existing farm building roof at Wharfe House Farm, Hartlington; installation  of 16 ground mounted solar photovoltaic panels at Hurries Farm, Otterburn ; and for solar panels to be installed at Askrigg primary school. )

Barden Fell

June – The Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement had applied for full planning permission to upgrade a moorland track and create a new one running alongside a dry stone wall to link with two existing tracks on Barden Fell between Wharfedale and W Nidderdale. This was to provide vehicular access to manage livestock and to carry out moorland management and game keeping activities. The tracks would be used by four-wheeled vehicles and tractors. It was argued that the benefit of the work carried out would outweigh the negative impact upon this SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and SSSI. Natural England, however objected on the basis that 0.3 hectares of dry dwarf shrub heath habitat would be lost, and some more damaged. The trustees had suggested ways to mitigate this. The planning committee decided to defer making a decision.

Bolton Abbey

December meeting – Courting rituals and a touch of a “Passage to India” brought some light relief to a long day  when members discussed the proposed changes to the Cavendish Pavilion at Bolton Abbey and the temporary use of the gatehouse as a café while those alterations were being made. Craven Dt Coun John Roberts described the pavilion as an iconic building to which he had regularly walked his future wife when they were courting. There was laughter when N Yorks County Coun Roger Harrison-Topham said that the pavilion had powerful echoes of the British Raj. Such a building, he inferred, should be dark inside and have fans to cool customers down. There is little natural light inside the  Pavilion at present and the application includes the replacement of half of the windows along the front with glazed panels. After an objection from the parish council the plans were amended to retain the black timber uprights. As the building had been substantially changed since it was built in 1898 the members accepted the officer’s recommendation to approve what were described as relatively modest alterations to the Pavilion.


October meeting – The committee decided to defer a decision on an application for solar panels on a barn which is part of listed group of farm buildings at Oat Croft so that there could be a site visit. The electricity generated would be for the grade II listed farmhouse close to the barn. Burnsall parish meeting had unanimously supported the  proposal to install 21 photovoltaic solar panels especially as these would not be seen from the front of the barn.

The planning officer, however, recommended refusal because she felt that the introduction of so many solar panels on a traditional stone slate roof would seriously detract from the character and appearance of such a traditional group of buildings and the area around them. She had suggested that either the solar panels could be on ground mounted panels or installed on the roof of a nearby modern agricultural building.

The agent for the applicants, Mrs Jacobs, said that livestock was kept on the land around the farmhouse and the agricultural building was too far away from it. She did suggest that darker, more unobtrusive solar panels could be installed. The YDNPA’s member champion for climate change, William Weston, proposed that the application should be accepted even though he recognised that it would be a definitive decision as it affected a group of historic buildings. He also asked if darker panels could be used. Some of the other members felt it was very important to protect the appearance of such an attractive group of traditional buildings and wanted to see for themselves if there was an alternative solution.

Carlton in Coverdale

January meeting – Foresters Arms : The members heard how application to make alterations to the Foresters Arms in Carlton had divided the community. The owner, Claire Pritchard, requested full planning permission for the erection of an extension to allow the partial change of use to form three two-bedroomed dwellings for local occupancy and a public house. In an independent financial report commissioned by the YDNPA it was stated that the downsizing of the business was both a sensible and logical way of making it more viable. It would continue as a traditional country village pub with food available in the bar.

The meeting heard that the community wanted the Foresters Arms to be viable so that the village did not lose its only pub. Matthew Wilkes, chairman of Carlton Town Council, explained that although the council was not opposed to the application, it did want to see the cottage nearest to the pub tied to the Foresters Arms. This would protect the viability of the pub as there would always be sufficient accommodation in the future if someone with a family bought it. Otherwise the pub would be left with just the one-bedroomed flat above it which N Yorks County Coun John Blackie stated, would be like issuing a death notice as at some time in the future no-one would want to buy it as a pub due to the limited accommodation.

Mr Andrew Pritchard, agent for the pub, argued that it would be difficult to get a mortgage if that cottage was tied to the pub. The Authority’s legal advisor explained that the committee could decide the cottage should be tied to the pub but a mortgage provider might refuse to sign the agreement. Members also wanted to know if that cottage could, under the Authority’s present housing policy,  be an open market dwelling. Some members pointed out that if it was a farmhouse the cottages would not be restricted  under that policy to being affordable homes. The policy allows farms more flexibility so that they can remain viable – and it was argued that the long-term viability of the public house in Carlton was just as important.

N Yorks County Coun Roger Harrison-Topham proposed that the application should be approved on the basis that one cottage was tied to the Foresters Arms and that there should be no local occupancy restriction on that cottage. “Our overwhelming objective is to ensure the prosperity and the future of this pub,” he said. The members voted unanimously in favour of his proposal. As this was not fully in agreement with the officer’s recommendation that all the cottages should be for local occupancy with none tied to the pub this decision will have to be ratified at the February meeting.

The application for listed building consent for the internal changes to part of the pub to create three new dwellings was agreed. One of the consultees had pointed out that the creation of such homes for local occupancy might bring some new residents into a village where there were already too many empty second homes.

February meeting – Coun Roger Harrison Topham reported that the day after the January planning committee meeting the Foresters Arms at Carlton was closed and was almost completely stripped of the fittings and furniture. At the January meeting the committee had agreed to the proposed alterations to the pub and the conversion of part of it into two cottages, one being for local occupancy and the other tied to the pub.  The members agreed to defer making such a decision so the situation could be clarified. They specifically wanted to know if the land on which the toilet extension would be built would be sold to the pub owners,  and if there was a timetable for re-opening the pub or it being under new ownership.

April meeting – There were gasps of surprise at the meeting on Tuesday March 12 when members heard that villagers in Carlton in Coverdale had already received pledges amounting to £157,500 towards buying the Foresters Arms and turning it into a community pub. All of the villagers on the committee set up to take over the pub attended the planning meeting. Their representative, Peter Pearson, explained to the members why they did not want the YDNPA to approve a planning application from the owners that would allow part of the pub to be turned into two dwellings. They felt that for the pub to be viable it needed a restaurant and letting rooms. They also wanted the space so that they could in the future provide a village shop and be able to support youth and sports activities. When proposing that their request should be granted N Yorks County Coun Roger Harrison Topham said that the members  should make every effort to help the villagers in their efforts to retain their pub as it is at the moment.  Other members agreed that for a rural pub letting rooms were a vital part of the business, as well as the ability to provide evening meals. The majority, therefore, supported the villagers.


March meeting – Carperby cum Thoresby parish council strongly objected to a proposed extension to Alpine Cottage arguing that it would cause harm to an iconic building in the village. The clerk to the parish council explained that Carperby was a conservation area and Alpine Cottage had been specifically mentioned in the Designation Statement.  It was probably built in the 18th century and was the only one of its kind which remained in the village. “It is seen by residents as a valued part of the built heritage of the village,” she stated. The parish council did not accept the planning officer’s evaluation that the extension would not dominate the rest of the cottage but rather would be subservient and harmonious to it. David Chapman told the committee that he and his wife had sought the advice of the  planning officer, and had followed that advice when they applied for the single-storey extension (for a lounge) and a store. Ten members accepted the parish council’s objections and voted against the officer’s recommendation to approve the application. This decision was, however, overturned at the April meeting, and permission was granted.

Chapel le Dale

May meeting – The committee deferred making a decision on the application from the Cam Woodland Trust to upgrade a section of an existing track and create a transhipping area for the storage and loading of timber at the entrance of Far Gearstones Farm, Chapel le Dale. This would be a temporary measure for 12 months to bring out windblown timber from Cam Wood, where the Sitka Spruce planted in 1968 and 1969 was now fully mature. The Trust has the right to use the Cam High Road as it owns land adjacent to it, but the timber would be taken along this ancient road by tractor and trailer.

Chelker Reservoir

April meeting – It was agreed to support Craven District Council in its objection to the proposal by Yorkshire Water to replace the existing wind turbines at Chelker Reservoir with three new ones.  This was because the new ones will have a tip height of almost 40m more than the present ones. Among the views within the National Park that would be affected would be that painted by Turner of Bolton Abbey. Roger Bingham said they would be alien structures which would be as high as the Blackpool Tower. Coun Harrison Topham commented that even the present wind turbines were absolutely hideous. Not all the members were so convinced that the proposed new ones would be so visually intrusive but the majority upheld the planning officer’s recommendation.


January meeting – The concerns of Clapham-cum-Newby parish council were discussed when considering the application for the change of use of the offices at Old Mason’s Yard in Clapham to two three-bedroomed dwellings and the construction of one single-bedroomed bungalow. The parish council said its prime concern was to maintain the viability of the village hall and the parking and increased traffic at the yard site would add to issues between residents and the hall users. The access is shared between the present residents, the village hall and the yard. The officer’s analysis was that the use of the yard for residential accommodation was likely to cause less traffic generation than if it was still in commercial use. Craven Dt Coun John Rogers stated that with cars being parked in the yard in the evening parking at the village hall might get tight. He was also concerned about the close proximity of the bungalow to existing houses. All three dwellings will be restricted to local occupancy and Coun Blackie pointed out that one-bedroomed homes were as necessary as those for families. The committee voted to approve the application.


February meeting – The YDNPA Ranger service had applied for full planning permission for the construction of a wooden bridleway bridge over Mossdale Beck on Conistone Moor. Permission was granted in September but the application was re-submitted because, following detailed investigation into ground levels, it was found that the design had to be altered. It will also be widened to make it easier for horse riders to use it. The new application was approved by the committee.

Coverham church

January meeting – Members voted unanimously against the officer’s recommendation to accept a proposal from Welcome to Yorkshire on the siting of a Turner Trail interpretation board on the grass verge outside Coverham church. Coun Harrison-Topham said the board would be incongruous within the landscape. He added that he wished the YDNPA would support them more in keeping down the number of signs that were beginning to litter the area.

The planning officer had explained that originally it had been agreed with Coverdale Church Committee that the interpretation board could be placed under the noticeboard in the lynch gate. Welcome to Yorkshire had then decided it would be more visible on a wooden frame on the verge nearby. The officer recommended that this proposal should be accepted so long as the colour of the frame was not intrusive. Coverham with Agglethorpe parish meeting reported that the church committee strongly opposed this as the interpretation board would then be an alien intrusion into an ancient view. Coun Blackie reminded members of the NPAPA report which had emphasised the need to listen to the community more. When proposing that the application should be refused William Weston said: “We should try to seek other solutions like using natural materials in more unconventional ways that intrigue and add to the experience of those visiting the area.” As members were unanimous in their refusing this application Mr Watson said it would not need to be discussed again at the February meeting.

Planning applications for two other interpretation boards for the Turner Trail were approved. An A1 lectern style board will be erected to the north west of Aysgarth Falls Visitor Centre and at Kettlewell a board will placed on the rear wall of the toilet block beside the car park.


August meeting – A majority of the members accepted the advice of the enforcement officer that the platform which had been constructed in a field west of Barth Bridge by Dr J Ashton  must be removed. On occasions since September 2010 a yurt (a large, light coloured circular tent) had been positioned on this platform. In June 2011 two tents, portable toilets and other equipment had been seen in the field. The enforcement officer informed the committee that the unauthorised use of the land as a recreational campsite had this year exceeded the 28 days allowed under permitted development rights. The enforcement notice includes the cessation of the use of the land as a recreational campsite, the removal of the tents and toilets, and the restoration of the site to a green field. Dr Ashton’s retrospective application for planning permission for the new field track in that field was approved subject to conditions.

Embsay  –

April meeting – A planning officer reported that the dams at the Mill Ponds, Primrose Glen, Pasture Road, Embsay, were in a poor state of repair and so there was inadequate flow of water. The planning permission granted in 2005  for the development of the former tannery site had included bringing the dams into a watertight and structurally sound condition. It was agreed that as this had not been complied with the owners would be asked to give a written undertaking to carry out the works within an agreed timescale within 28 days or an enforcement notice would be issued.


May meeting – The majority of the members decided not to accept the recommendation of a planning officer to refuse an application for the erection of a two storey extension to Raybridge House. A site meeting was held there in April. Mrs Joyce Varley explained that the extension would provide a bigger kitchen as well as a defence against flooding. The house had been flooded twice since 1992 with water gaining access through a door. The new door would be set higher and would not be facing towards the source of the water when there was flooding.

The planning officer stated that the extension would dominate the existing building and would result in the loss of the traditional style frontage. It was pointed out by some members that it was not clear what was the historical frontage of the house, and the “traditional style” one referred to had been created in the 1930s. The owners did intend to use some of the interesting older stonework in the extension.  This “frontage” is not that visible from the minor road adjoining the property.  Andrew Colley said that the main view of the house was from the Leeds Liverpool Canal and that had been spoilt by the addition of a conservatory for which the YDNPA had granted permission in 1995. It was decided that as the majority of members voted to approve the Varley’s application and there were no conditions to be attached, this decision would not need to be referred back.


November meeting – The “local needs criteria” applied to The Shetty in 1991 included clauses to ensure that only someone living within 10 miles of the house could move into it. The owner argued that this had made it difficult to sell and had asked for the S106 agreement to be removed . Such clauses are not included in “local needs” agreements now.  The majority of the members accepted that the restriction  should be removed because there were exceptional circumstances. The committee discussed in private a confidential medical report concerning one of the owners.


March meeting – It was agreed that the owner of Wisp Hill stables should be given nine months to comply with an enforcement notice. In December 2005 planning permission was given for the construction of new stables, workshop and storage units and the demolition of an old barn. The old barn has, however, been retained and three local small businesses are based there. The enforcement officer reported that the owner had now submitted a plan for reducing the size of the old barn. It was hoped that a compromise could be found within nine months so that local jobs could be protected. The enforcement notice also includes the removal of the concrete wall enclosure created to form a horse turn out area.

September meeting – The family dairy business of David Oversby has become so successful that the owners have had to find a new route for milk tankers. At present about 30 heavy goods vehicles pass through Grassington’s Main Street and along Chapel Street each day due to Town Head Farm having expanded in the past 15 years to a 25,000L dairy capacity. It was reported at the meeting that this has often caused severe congestion in the Main Street.

Chapel Street is so narrow that some residents could open a window and touch the milk tankers. One of the residents, Laura Shuckburgh, said she had a young son and added: “It is a safety issue for me – my door opens straight out onto Chapel Street.” She described how pedestrians had to squeeze into doorways if they met a milk tanker when walking along that street.

Bob Hargreaves also lives in Chapel Street. He had provided the committee with photographs of how close the tankers came to the houses and said: “Can you imagine the noise levels, obstruction, pollution from the exhaust experienced by residents every day?”  His photographs also illustrated the subsidence which had occurred due to the heavy traffic. The houses in Chapel Street do not have foundations and some have suffered damage.  He added that the street was part of the Dalesway and so many walkers use it.

Other residents asked the planning committee to defer a decision until the parish council had held a site meeting with the county council’s highways department. They want an extension of a 30mph speed limit and a stop sign to be agreed before the route was altered. Those arguing for deferment included planning committee member Andrew Colley  – who then left the meeting after declaring an interest. He and his wife run a bed and breakfast business along the new route.

David Oversby, of Town Head Farm, had applied to demolish a barn at the entrance to the farm so that large vehicles could turn into Bull Ing Lane rather than Chapel Street. He has agreed to create two rather one passenger refuges along Bull Ing Lane following a request from the parish council. He also needed permission from the YDNPA to alter the junction of Bull Ing Lane with Grass Wood Lane so that there was better visibility and large vehicles could turn left.

The committee decided not to defer a decision and voted unanimously in favour of these proposed changes. County Coun John Blackie suggested that residents should raise a petition if they wanted the highways department to alter speed limits.


March meeting – Residents in Hawes thoroughly approved of The Caravan Club’s Brown Moor site, Coun Blackie told the committee. It was agreed that the site was well screened by trees and shrubs and there should be no problem with removing 12 static pitches and replacing them with ten touring caravans. Approval was given for the removal of the static pitches and construction of new all weather serviced ones, the relocation of the existing bin compound and some new planting. After these changes there will be no caravans on the site from January 3 to March 16 each year.

May meeting –  A couple at Town Head in Hawes found a 21st century solution to heating their 17th century house – only to have their air source heat pump described as an ugly intrusion to the town’s roof-scape and be threatened with enforcement if it wasn’t removed. The committee did not, however, accept the officer’s recommendation.

Margaret Grattan told the YDNPA planning committee on Tuesday, May 10: “We believe in the present climate everyone must do their best for the environment and the community that we live in.” So she and her husband  wanted an alterative to a central heating system which used oil – a non renewable fossil fuel. They were advised by the manufacturers and installers that for their house, which has no loft space, the best location for an air source heat pump was on the small section of flat roof which overlooked the A684 near the garage in Hawes. This section is protected on three sides by other roofs. The unit has provided sufficient heating for the Grattan’s house for over a year.

N Yorks County Coun John Blackie pointed out that all 15 of their neighbours had written in support of their retrospective application, many of whom hadn’t even known where the unit was until the YDNPA planning officer recommended refusal. Coun Blackie did not take part in the debate at the parish council meeting. The parish council subsequently wrote to the YDNPA to support the Grattan’s application and stated:

“Councillors were alarmed to hear that the Chief Executive of the YDNPA had written to the local MP, Mr Hague, enclosing some zoomed photographs which gave an inaccurate impression of the visual appearance of the heat source unit in the overall street scene, along with his comment ‘I think the photographs speak for themselves.’ They felt that as Chief Officer ultimately responsible for the decisions of the Planning Service, he should have remained impartial until the application has been decided, and the bias he has shown against it at this stage was most unfortunate.”

Several members of the committee said that the unit was just one more piece of “roof top detritus” in a town full of TV aerials, satellite dishes and wires as well as the large garage signs nearby. They did not feel that the unit was that obvious and believed that if it was moved to the southern elevation it would have an unsightly impact upon the 17th century aspect of that row of houses as well as disturbing some of the neighbours due to the noise it made.

Coun Blackie was among those who did not believe it would set a precedent especially as very  few residents would be able to copy exactly what the Grattans had done. Mrs Grattan reminded the committee that small scale energy developments were decided on a case by case basis.

The majority of the members decided not to accept the planning officer’s recommendations that not only should the application be refused but that if the air source heat pump was not relocated to the southern elevation within three months of the committee’s decision then enforcement action would be commenced. The planning officer was asked to discuss with the Grattans if it was possible to paint the unit to make it less obvious. This decision was confirmed at the June meeting.

July meeting – The majority of committee members agreed with the planning officer that reconstituted stone blocks could be used instead of natural stone for the external cladding on the renewable technology centre being constructed for GTEC Training Ltd at the Bruntacres Trading Estate in Hawes – but asked that they should be in a darker colour than that used for  the sample panel of stonework.  Members agreed with the parish council and residents that the stone in the sample panel was too start and too bright. The original planning permission included a condition that local natural stone should be used.  GTEC argued that this would not match the existing adjacent buildings on the trading estate. County Coun Roger Harrison-Topham commented that it did not seem right to impose the financial penalty of using expensive natural stone when other buildings on the trading estate had been clad with cheaper reconstituted stone blocks. The majority of members agreed that the original planning condition could be changed as long as the reconstituted stone blocks were closer in colour to the houses  and walls outside of the trading estate so that this dominant building would make less impact upon the surrounding landscape.

August meeting – As GTEC Training Ltd had refused to change the colour of the reconstituted stone which which it  planned to clad its training centre on Bruntacres Trading Estate the committee refused permission for such stone to be used.

The parish council was very concerned that a planning officer had,  without consultation, allowed GTEC Training Ltd to enlarge the building by three feet in width and by one feet and three inches in height from that approved by the planning committee last September. The parish council and some residents had made it very clear that they were concerned about the scale and massing of the building. The YDNPA had advised the parish council that the planning officer had granted this “minor amendment” a matter of days before she had left the employment of the Authority

Helwith Bridge – Dry Rigg Quarry

May meeting – David Parrish, the YDNPA minerals officer, reported that the existing planning permission for quarrying at Dry Rigg would expire on May 31 2011. He recommended that the company should be given additional time to negotiate the details of the planning application made in January to extend mineral working at the quarry until December 2021. He reported that consultees and local residents had raised further issues relating to the transport of material from the site including the use of rail haulage; the protection of Swarth Moor SSSI; and landscaping and restoration. A full report should be made to the planning committee no later than the September meeting.

August meeting – Even though many objectors attended the meeting Lafarge was given permission to continue extracting “gritstone” (dark grey siltstones) from Dry Rigg Quarry for another ten years – as long as it signs a legal agreement to halve the amount it sends out  by road by the end of 2013 and carries out an extensive restoration scheme.  Extraction work will be carried out by deepening the present quarry site.

In his report to the YDNPA planning committee Mr Parish, stated that although the quarry supplied a high performance aggregate used for road surfacing this was not considered to constitute a “national need”. Such extraction  work is not allowed in National Parks except in exceptional circumstances and the Campaign to Protect Rural England stated: “Quarrying within this National Park seriously comprises the Authority’s remit to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the countryside and its wildlife.” At a site meeting in July Lafarge stated that there were only three sites in the Yorkshire Dales and two in Cumbria which supplied rock to such a high specification.

Natural England supports the restoration scheme and those at the site meeting were able to see the pilot project which had produced an alkaline fen with the characteristics of the local SSSI and where 26 different species of breeding birds had been seen. This, Lafarge argued, showed that the whole quarry area could be restored. The company must undertake and fully fund the monitoring work, after-care and management of the land for 20 years after the site has been restored.

The YDNPA received 52 responses when it advertised Lafarge’s application and the majority of these pointed out the adverse impact that the heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) had on Ribblesdale and Settle. It was felt that this and the quarrying did undermine tourism and other industries in the area. Some local residents could now see parts of the quarry as the screening bunds had sunk into the bog. Mr Parrish stated that the scar created by the quarrying of the hillside below Moughton Nab was visible to walkers over a wide area.

Lafarge was keen to use rail haulage but it was proving difficult to put a rail head at the site without affecting an SSSI. It would require the assistance of the YDNPA and Network Rail to get a rail link in place. The YDNPA planning committee insisted on the amount being brought out by HGVs should be cut by late 2013 to encourage Lafarge to create a rail link.

Horton in Ribblesdale

March meeting – It was agreed to give  permission for three years for a field  off  Station Road in Horton in Ribblesdale to be used for temporary parking for a total of 57 days a year, with no parking there between October and March. This, it was felt, would provide sufficient time for a traffic management plan to be developed to enable the village to cope with the thousands who take part in sponsored Three Peaks walks. Horton in Ribblesdale parish council had asked the planning committee to refuse permission to allow the field to be used for parking for more than the 28 days allowed under permitted development until that plan had been produced. Some parish councillors felt that there was a need for better organisation of available parking space rather than providing more capacity in general. At the planning committee the majority agreed that the conditions (secured with a S106 agreement)  should include restricting cars from being parked too close to the houses at one end of the field; that parking (with no overnight accommodation) would be limited to Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays according to a schedule of events provided by the landowner; and that parking or camping on another field owned by the applicant should be restricted.  The landowner will be asked to provide information to those preparing the traffic management plan.

July meeting – Permission was granted for the extension of the campsite at Horton in Ribblesdale and improvements to the existing toilet and shower facilities. The committee agreed to this on the basis that a S106 agreement was signed that required the implementation of the measures set out in a management plan. These included keeping the campsite and the toilet and shower facilities clean; no food to be sold on site to campers;  no playing of loud music; and providing sufficient parking spaces so that campers could be discouraged from leaving cars on the roadside outside. Local residents accepted that the campsite was beneficial to the local economy but wanted it to be better managed.  The committee members asked how these measures could be enforced and the planning officer assured them that the YDNPA could do this once the S106 agreement had been signed.

August meeting – The need for affordable housing in the Dales was one of the main reasons why the planning committee accepted the officer’s recommendation to grant permission for three dwellings to be built at The Old Slaughter House. These will be subject to a S106 agreement restricting the occupancy of the dwellings to persons meeting the YDNPA’s local needs criteria and conditions. Horton-in-Ribblesdale parish council had opposed the application as it was felt that the two three-bedroomed houses and one two-bedroomed house would be an over-development of the constricted site and added: “The development is unsympathetic and detrimental to this sensitive site and the adjoining listed buildings.” The parish councillors were also concerned that there would be inadequate parking provision and had grave concerns about potential flooding and pollution of the beck. There were no objections from the  Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water Services Ltd or United Utilities. A site meeting was held there prior to this decision. It had also been pointed out that an application to build three houses on the site was refused in January 2011 and one of the reasons given was that there was no evidence for “local need” housing.

October meeting – Tarmac Ltd was given permission to continue extracting stone from Arcow Quarry for another three and a half years. It was understood that Tarmac may apply for an additional 10 years. This will mean that instead of work finishing at the quarry by the end of this year and the restoration of the site being completed by December 2012, Tarmac will continue extracting Silurian gritsone (greywacke) until 2025.

About 45 people and organisations had objected to there being any extension, including the Campaign for National Parks, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Yorkshire Dales Society, the Ramblers Association and the vice-president of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber. In his letter to the YDNPA Mr McMillan-Scott stated that Tarmac had made it clear it had long term intentions to continue operating and that by approving the application for a three and a half year extension it would be difficult to resist that.

Natural England, however, did not object as the extraction of stone during the next three and a half years would not generate new impacts upon the environment. It was accepted that the continued use of heavy goods vehicles would have an impact. One of the conditions of the new agreement is that the road haulage level will be reduced next year (to 250,000 tonnes in any 12 months). The YDNPA would like to see a railway siding created which would mean a further reduction in road haulage.

At the meeting N Yorks County Coun Richard Welch made an impassioned plea for the continued use of the quarry. He compared the employment situation in the area to a three-legged stool which depended upon farming, tourism and quarrying. “If one leg is removed it will fall down,” he said.

Committee member Chris Armitage, like many of the objectors, reminded the committee that this quarry, like others near Horton in Ribblesdale, were in a National Park. “I get the feeling we are being taken for a bit of a ride as the applicants are already thinking of applying for another 10 year extension.”

Several objectors said that to approve the application would be contrary to both government and the YDNPA’s policies and that the continued extraction of stone would cause further harm to the landscape and the areas around the quarry. Settle Town Coun  Steve Amphlett had pointed out that there were 400 lorry movements a day from the local quarries  through the centre of the town. He described this as a blight on the town and wrote “400 lorries a day do not make for an attractive, safe and friendly town!”

The basis of Tarmac’s application was that it had not been able to extract as much as permitted in the past eight years due to the economic recession and geological stability problems. By the end of this year about 875,000 tonnes of permitted reserves would remain unworked.Arcow is one of the three quarries in the Yorkshire Dales supplying high performance aggregate for use in road surfacing.



February meeting –

An Association of Rural Communities news report

The YDNPA planning committee on Tuesday February 8 imposed more conditions on the re-development of the Scargill House centre at Kettlewell in response to the concerns expressed by residents and business people in Wharfedale. The planning application by the Scargill Movement to alter, carry out selective demolition and build new accommodation blocks and a sports hall was approved but with tighter controls.

These were: that the accommodation at the centre should be restricted to the numbers stated in the application;  that the traffic management plan should be reviewed annually and that Kettlewell with Starbottom Parish Council should be involved; there should be an ecological plan for the whole site, including all the trees and the traditional meadow; an archeological survey should be carried out; that the sports hall should be only used  by those visiting the centre; and that there should be a constant watching brief on the construction work to make sure that all conditions were met.

It was agreed that a video should be made of the condition of the road and walls before construction began so that those who caused any damage would pay for repairs. The traffic management plan would include when contractors’ lorries would be driven through Kettlewell and that none should use the road through Conistone. The revised conditions will be discussed by the committee, probably at the April meeting, before the centre can go ahead with re-developing the site.

Several members, as well as those representing the local community, emphasised the need for a detailed lighting plan to be submitted and approved before construction began. The danger of light pollution and glare from the glazing was one of the concerns listed by the parish council, the Wharfedale Against Scargill Planning action group, and the Yorkshire Dales Society.

Chris Beazley, the chairman of the parish council described the £6  million development as the biggest ever in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. “It’s a huge application,” he said. The parish council’s concerns included: the need to clarify the number of people who could be accommodated at the centre; how traffic movements would be managed; the possibility of there being more traffic if there was an increase in the number of conferences;  and the way the multi-purpose sports hall would alter the balance and intensity of the uses of the site.

Janet Walter, who represented Kettlewell village hall committee, pointed out that it was against the policies of the YDNPA to allow such a sports hall to have an adverse effect upon local facilities. Graham Walter said that the narrow road to the centre was used by dog walkers, farmers moving sheep,  and was a Sustrans cycle route. He, like others, was concerned that with more vehicles using the minor unclassified country lane, especially construction traffic, there would be damage to the road and to the walls. Traffic to the centre would also have to negotiate a narrow section of road in Kettlewell.

Tim Illingworth, who  represented a group of accommodation providers in Wharfedale, said the market was already saturated. The group was therefore strongly opposed to an increase of accommodation at Scargill House.

David Nelson, who is now resident in Kettlewell and a former Scargill House community member  said that even when the centre was full or held special events no traffic problems had been reported. He pointed out that the centre had been in existence long before many of the present businesses and had not had, nor would have, a detrimental effect upon other accommodation providers or cafes. “From my own experience the presence of a viable Scargill can do nothing but good for the life of the village,” he said.  He believed that now that Kettlewell School was remaining open Scargill would once again attract families to join its resident community. The new buildings had been designed to include modern environmental and energy needs.

Tony Hesselwood, vice chairman of the Scargill Movement Council, explained that the accommodation at the centre had to be renovated and brought up to modern standards. They also wanted to comply with modern regulations which required that groups of young people should be accommodated separate from that for adults and families. The re-development of the centre would be carried out in phases and would be financed from gifts rather than looking for pay-back from bookings. A lot of work would be carried out by volunteers. “We wish to be a vibrant part of the Upper Wharfedale community and support local providers where possible,” he said.

Some members complimented the planning officer on his report. In this he stated: “This is a particularly complex planning application… The use of the site would not change – since the 1950’s the site has had a permanent resident community, accommodation for over 100 guests, and has held courses and events. The proposals would not change the essential character of the use. The difference in the amount of accommodation proposed and the existing is not significant in terms of the traffic it would generate.” He added that the design had evolved since the original submission in 2009 and said: “It is considered that the proposal now represents a sensitive response that will assimilate into the landscape and enhance the appearance of the site.”

Two of the committee members, Cllr Harrison-Topham and William Weston, voted against the application because of the design. “It is incoherent with no unifying vision,” said Cllr Harrison-Topham.  Mr Weston commented: “The site is frankly a mess at the moment and we might have hoped for a really excellent, imaginative scheme … but sadly I don’t think we have that.” He added that members of the committee and local residents had instead pointed to the need to retain and increase the trees of the site as a way of hiding the buildings.

Other committee members were concerned that if the site was not re-developed and so made financially viable it could become semi-derelict and so look even worse.  No limit was set on the number of conferences as it was felt this would probably be well controlled by market forces.

April meeting – The committee approved the 19 conditions to the planning permission for the development Scargill House at Kettlewell and added one more:  that the three new houses to be built should be tied to the ancillary use of Scargill House as a Christian residential and educational centre.

It was agreed that North Yorkshire County Council should be asked to impose a 20mph limit on the narrow stretches of road that lorries will use to access the site, especially as it is expected that the phased building work will take over four years to complete. It was also agreed that a small group of members should be available to mediate between residents and Scargill House over any traffic problems.

October meeting –  The committee agreed that enforcement action could be taken to secure the removal of two unauthorised hard standings which had been created beside Kettlewell Beck as these had an unacceptable impact upon the character and appearance of the conservation area.  The Authority was concerned that if action was not taken other residents would create hard standings for their vehicles on what was an important open space consisting of verges and green areas.

October meeting – The committee heard how opinion in Kettlewell was divided about the application to replace a camp site off Conistone Road with a new one in a field nearby. Craven District Councillor John Roberts said that 14 residents had objected to the application and there had been 21 letters in support of it. He added that the sustainability of villages like Kettlewell depended upon being able to provide many different forms of tourist accommodation and the campsites were an important part of that, particularly for the Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions. As a resident of Kettlewell he abstained from voting.

Peter Charlesworth commented that the main problem with the proposed new location was that it would be so prominent in what was a “chocolate box view” landscape. “I could not conceive of a more inappropriate site,” he said.

The planning officer had noted that the application did not fit the criteria in the Local Plan for the creation of a tented camp site. She stated: “The introduction of a camp site into this field would seriously interrupt the character of upper Wharfedale and have a significant adverse impact on the setting of Kettlewell.” Not only was the site not screened sufficiently at present but it would not be possible to do so.

Nigel Lambert, the son of the applicants, explained that his parents were retiring at the end of October and the two campsites they had run for many years would be closed. He wanted to move back to Kettlewell with his family and run the new campsite. The application included the conversion and alteration of an existing agricultural building to provide facilities for campers and an office which he would use to supervise the site. “We want to provide proper facilities including for the disabled,” he said. He added that he wanted to run the site professionally and that it would be open from Easter to October each year.

Cllr Blackie described how the campsite at Hardraw in Wensleydale had grown in popularity in the past few years and this had led to increased trade for the local pub and other businesses. “Campsites bring young people into the Dales  – and they will come back in the future.” Harold Brown agreed with him that the provision of campsites brought prosperity to Dales’ villages.

Six of the members voted against the officer’s recommendation that the application should be refused. Five voted for her recommendation and there were two abstentions. This means that the decision to approve the application needs to be ratified at the November meeting.

November meeting – The planning officer left the members of the committee in no doubt about how they should vote when they reconsidered the planning application to create a new camp site at Kettlewell. In her report the planning officer  reminded them of the two purposes of a National Park: to conserve and enhance the landscape and to promote opportunities for people to come and understand and enjoy its special qualities. If there was a conflict between these two then the Authority should apply the Sandford Principle: to attach greater weight to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park.

She stated that the development of the proposed camping site “would interrupt the ancient field pattern to the south of Kettlewell to the extent that the landscape quality for a wide area is severely compromised.”  And she added: “..the duty towards the economic well-being of Kettlewell cannot be used to justify development at the expense of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape.” She concluded that the proposal would amount to a significant and permanent landscape detractor. And if that wasn’t enough she added that if the members granted permission the matter would be referred to the Secretary of State as a departure from the Authority’s adopted policy. That has very  rarely been stated in an officer’s report.

The chairman of the committee, Graham Dalton, explained that this planning application had split the community of Kettlewell and he gave a summary of the arguments for and against.

For: There was a need in the vicinity of Kettlewell to provide a camp site for Duke of Edinburgh participants, Dales Way walkers, cyclists, young people and families. Camping was the cheapest way to come and enjoy the Dales – and the Authority had a duty to promote the enjoyment of the National Park for everyone. The applicants had provided a management plan and offered a tree planting scheme. And he added about the sustainability of Kettlewell “The money which the campers bring in goes into the shops and the pubs and the income supports the working population and in turn the working population provides the children for the school and so you have the virtuous circle of sustainability”.

Against: The proposed site was very open and set within a landscape that was famous both nationally and internationally. The application did not meet many of the conditions that the YDNPA had formulated for campsites – that the impact upon the landscape should be minimal; there should be appropriate  screening of the site at the time of the application; and that it should be close to residential buildings. As this campsite was not  close to the village it could not be monitored all the time. He again reminded members of the Sandford Principle.

As compared to last month the majority of the members voted to accept the officer’s recommendation and refuse the application. Cllr Blackie, however, said he had not changed his view that the site should be approved.  He felt that the sustainability of Kettlewell was an important material consideration and that the impact upon the landscape would not be so significant especially as campers did not leave  irreparable marks upon a field.

December meeting – Members agreed with officers that an enforcement notice should be issued to ensure that no scrap metal items were left for collection on the land opposite the water works at Kettlewell. The members also want the hard standing removed and the verge re-instated. Yorkshire Water could apply to use the verge on a temporary basis whenever necessary.


December meeting – The agent for the Fountaine Inn at Linton told members that it was understandable that they had turned down an application to convert the barn behind the inn into hotel rooms. The Planning Inspectorate had, however, only dismissed the appeal because there wasn’t a S106 agreement to tie the barn to the inn. The planning committee had agreed with the parish council and residents that the development would cause car parking and access problems in Linton. This, however, could no longer be the basis for refusal following the decision of the planning inspector. The new application was approved subject to a S106 agreement to tie the barn to the inn, to restrict the accommodation to just bedrooms with en suites and to control signage.

Little Stainforth

April meeting – The majority of members accepted the planning officer’s argument that the impact of the 21 external lighting columns at Knight Stainforth Caravan Park was relatively low. As the lights were angled downwards they would not have a damaging effect in a dark, rural location. This was a retrospective planning application.

Long Ashes, Threshfield

March meeting – Allowing the Long Ashes Caravan Park near Threshfield to increase in size was compared to urban sprawl by planning committee member, William Weston. “We already have a site which is bigger than many Dales’ communities. The idea of increasing urban sprawl in this location is really extraordinary given how big the site is already,” he said. Lakeland Leisure Estates Ltd had applied for full planning permission to redevelop and extend the park by adding 51 static caravans, 64 touring caravans and 22 camping pods plus the erection of some buildings, including a toilet block. “The chutzpah of putting this forward is breathtaking,” commented N Yorks County Coun Roger Harrison-Topham.  Coun Roberts stated that if at Easter all the bed spaces at Long Ashes were filled its population would be equal to that of Threshfield and Grassington combined. The good agricultural fields that the park owners proposed to extend  into would then become brown field sites, Coun Roberts  said. He was also concerned about the sewerage system at the park, and the safety of cars exiting onto the B6160. Threshfield parish council had unanimously opposed the application. The agent for Lakeland Leisure Estates explained that more information could be provided about the drainage and sewerage, and that there would be a landscape scheme which would include tree planting. The extension of the park would create 13 more jobs and a considerable financial input  into the local economy, she said.


December meeting – Approval was given for formal enforcement action to be taken to stop Prior Hall at Malham being used as two separate dwellings.

September meeting – The committee voted unanimously in favour of the officer’s recommendation that the section 106 agreement on Hall Close in Peart Lane, Malham should not be altered from a rural workers occupancy restriction to a local occupancy restriction. The parish council had asked the planning committee to stick to the rules and regulations. The planning officer reported that the applicants had not followed the Authority’s adopted advertising procedure for selling such a house and so had not adequately demonstrated that there was no demand for a rural based worker’s dwelling in the locality.

Malham Moor

February meeting – The planning committee refused permission for a 30m high 100 kw wind turbine near Lee Gate farm. The total height to top of a tip blade would be 40m. “This is the largest turbine we have considered,” said one member.

South Lakes Dt Coun Kevin Lancaster  commented that if this was approved the YDNPA would not be able to refuse any application for wind turbines. “I am totally in favour of energy generation but this is not the way to do it.” William Weston agreed with the planning officer that the open nature of the site and the visibility of the turbine in that position on the moor would make it unacceptable. He suggested that solar panels should be considered instead.

Grinton parish councillor Harold Brown said he would support the applicant, Frank Carr,  but would prefer two smaller turbines. He warned that a lot more had to be done to support hill farmers. Mr Carr explained that the supermarkets to which the farm was sending meat did expect that the carbon footprint of the producers should be reduced.

In its comments Kirkby Malhamdale parish council stated: “Concern was expressed at the precedence that might be set in the National Park by approval of the application. The visual impact of wind turbines including single turbines, is highly sensitive to siting and it is important that each case is considered on its merits. Planning guidance is needed to clarify the National Park’s policy.”


December meeting – The owners of Swaleview Caravan Park had requested that two conditions should be removed from a planning permission so as to allow seasonal use of all 30 touring caravan pitches. Like Hudswell parish council and the CPRE in Swaledale,  N Yorks County Coun John Blackie and other members  were particularly concerned that if there were not sufficient safeguards the short-stay touring pitches could be lost. It was therefore agreed that some of the conditions should be supported with S106 agreements to ensure that caravans on the touring pitches would not become residential accommodation.

October meeting – “After 16 or 17 amendments I think we have got a suitable development which I can support,” commented committee member Malcolm Gardner, when the application for the construction of a three-bedroomed house on land to the rear of Metcalfe’s Farm at Reeth was discussed. Coun Richard Welch said he had been very impressed by the plans when he attended the site meeting. He added that if he had not attended the site meeting  he would have voted against the proposal. The majority of the members voted to grant permission for the new house.

July meeting. – The request by the planning officer to defer a decision regarding planning permission to erect one three-bedroom house to the rear of Metcalfe’s Farm at Reeth was accepted by the committee. The officer explained that another set of amended plans had been received since he had recommended refusal on the grounds that the new house would have an overbearing impact upon adjoining properties including loss of privacy.  Coun John Blackie had asked for the decision to be made by the planning committee because over the past few months five different sets of plans had been submitted. “I am aware that there have been differences of professional opinion at planning officer level,” he told the committee. He emphasised the need for a site meeting before a decision was made. Richmondshire Dt Coun Malcolm Gardner agreed with him and added that the site and the differing levels on it  should be accurately measured. The majority of the committee members felt that the applicant must submit his final set of plans before a site meeting was held. At the August meeting it was agreed to organise a site meeting and discuss the application again in October.

February meeting – In view of the government’s policy about caravan sites as outlined in its “Good Practice Guide for Planning for Tourism” and the way that had been upheld at appeal the members accepted the planning officer’s recommendation that Swaleview Caravan Park  near Reeth should be allowed to operate as a holiday park all year round.


June meeting – The committee agreed that enforcement action should be taken to secure the removal of an unauthorised shelter at the Station Inn, Ribblehead. The owner has denied that it was a “smoking shed” but was for those sheltering from the elements while waiting for busses and trains. Both the planning and enforcement officers reported that the shelter had an unacceptable impact upon a simple, traditional building.


March meeting – The committee agreed with the planning officer that a wall built to enclose part of the grassy area in front of Abbot Holme at Millthrop,Sedbergh, would detract considerably from the beauty of the open space which had been in existence since the mid 19th century. It would also have an adverse impact upon Abbot Holme which is a listed building. The application for a 1.2m high stone boundary wall was therefore rejected.


January meeting – The  members agreed to a request from the enforcement officer that an enforcement notice should be issued to ensure that the owners of Penyghent Cottage at Selside stopped using part of it as a holiday cottage by no later than December 31, 2011.  This is a Grade II listed building which used to be a barn and the original planning consent was for one dwelling. Under the present housing policy any sub-division can only be for local affordable housing.


February meeting – Three residents of Stainforth wrote to the YDNPA stating that they had received insufficient notice (just 3.5 days) that the amended plans for the division of Ingle-byre into two dwellings would be discussed at the February meeting. Two of them asked that the decision should be deferred to give appropriate time for consideration and comment. The third pointed out that Ingle-byre had been split into two without planning permission and that the front door of that used as a holiday cottage impeded onto land used for vehicular access by other residents. She added: “If this application is recommended then it seems that it sets a precedent to build and change what you want without going through the proper channels, and get away with it.”

The YDNPA had issued an enforcement notice in September 2010 requiring the cessation of the use of the property as two dwellings. The owners, Mr and Mrs Colau, had then made a retrospective planning application to regularise the sub division. This application included a wind turbine, a glass roof drying area, a gate across the public right of way, retrospective permission for a decking area, a flag and a stone cairn with charity collection box inside. These were deleted from the application. The planning officer reported that a house could be sub-divided so long as this did not have an adverse effect upon the amenity of neighbours or the character of the area, and that the additional unit created would be for local occupancy. In one of the letters of objection it was stated, however: “This has had an impact on ourselves and other local residents for years. It is ourselves and other residents that have been trying to get the YDNP to take action against unauthorised development. Previous documentation referring to Ingle-byre planning applications have mysteriously disappeared in a small fire at the planning office (as stated previously to Stainforth Parish Council).

At the planning meeting N Yorks County Coun John Blackie queried whether the radio transmissions from Ingle Byre would affect the television reception in neighbouring properties. None of the members referred to the residents’ letters or the request for a deferral.  The majority voted to accept the planning officer’s recommendation that permission should be granted so long as one of the dwellings was for local occupancy.


March meeting – Craven Dt Coun John Roberts told the planning committee that it would be inconsistent to approve the construction of a house on an area designated by the YDNPA as Special Open Space after it had issued enforcement notices to protect open spaces in Kettlewell which were in the same parish. “This is one of the most protected sites that we have in this area. It is an important open space in a conservation area in the national park. This was our designation. This application goes against eight of the Park’s saved policies,” Coun Roberts said. He added: “I understand the need for housing in the parish … but we are here to protect and enhance the environment.” County Coun John Blackie had argued that more “local need” houses were required in the area to safeguard the future of the pubs and the school. As there would be a S106 agreement on the house it could only be sold to those who fulfilled the criteria for “local need” and so would sell for up to 15 per cent less than the open  market value. Kettlewell-with-Starbotton parish council had pointed out that this was the second application for a local occupancy dwelling in Starbotton from the same applicant and the first property was still vacant. The YDNPA’s head of development management, Richard Graham, told the committee that the need for another such house had not been demonstrated. He stated  there was no material benefit to outweigh the policy not to allow construction on such an open space. At the February meeting the majority of the committee had voted to approve the erection of a two-bedroomed house within the Special Open Space by the beck but as that was against officer recommendation the decision had to be referred back to the next meeting. The majority at the March meeting voted against approving the application.

Thornton Rust

February meeting – The new houses on the Thornton Rust Hall estate were discussed in closed session. It was agreed that an enforcement notice should be issued immediately as some of the remedial works had not been carried out. The key issue was the need to lower the roofs so that both semi-detached houses were two-storeys high rather than three. The owner later lodged an appeal and requested an appeal inquiry.  (His appeal was dismissed the by planning inspector.)


December meeting -The committee very quickly approved the application for a new fire station and drill tower at the former council yard in Threshfield.  Richmondshire Dt Coun Malcolm Gardner commented about the old fire station that he was surprised that the retained firefighters had been willing to use such a shambles of a shack for so long. This did not meet health and safety requirements nor did it provide the necessary facilities. Threshfield parish council had asked if the height of the new building could be reduced. The planning officer reported that following negotiations the roof height had been reduced. The height was, however, dictated by the need to house and maintain a fire appliance.

West Burton

February meeting – County Coun John Blackie said that although Burton cum Walden parish council was saddened that Richard Johnson had not initially applied for planning permission for the erection of a timber building and changed the use of a strip of land to domestic curtilage  it did accept that the building was sited in the least visible place in the field behind his home in West Burton. It did not therefore oppose the retrospective planning application but did ask that the building be restricted to being a kennel for two dogs and that the storage area was used for ancillary domestic purposes only. The retrospective application was approved and the conditions included: the storage and kennels to be used for domestic purposes only; the withdrawal of permitted development rights within the new curtilage; no outside runs for the dogs unless otherwise agreed by the planning authority; and for a dry stone wall to be erected within eight weeks.

West Witton

October meeting – The committee agreed that enforcement action could be taken to stop what has become the “Chantry Country Retreat” making unauthorised use of a field on the far east side of the caravan site.


January meeting – The members unanimously agreed with the planning officer to accept the latest application to convert the former chapel at Widdale so it could be used for residential lets or short stay holiday accommodation.  Chris Armitage said it was a much better proposal than the first one they had discussed. This was because the access onto the highway had been moved to a position where there was far greater visibility. This access had been agreed with the N Yorks Highways department at site meeting requested by the YDNPA.

Some of the members pointed out that the chapel was already falling into disrepair and looked forward to it being restored and brought back into use. This development is part of a farm diversification project and there will be a S106 agreement tying it to the farm. The  agreement will not apply to the house adjoining the chapel.

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