ARC News Service reports from YDNPA planning committee meetings in 2019 with settlements in alphabetical order.
Pip Pointon reports on the YDNPA meetings on a voluntary basis as part of the Association of Rural Communities commitment to local democracy in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
John Blackie – At the beginning of the meeting of the planning committee in August 2019 the chairman, Julie Martin, asked everyone to stand for a minute’s silence in memory of John Blackie. She said: “He has made an enormous contribution to this committee over the years and an enormous contribution to his own community.”
The split in the committee so evident at the December meeting was less apparent this time – but was clearly visible in the voting concerning the proposed new agricultural building at Throstle Nest Farm, Thornton Rust. There again the decision depended upon the chairman of the planning committee, Richmondshire District councillor Caroline Thornton-Berry, voting with seven others in line with the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application. Most of the elected representatives voted to approve it. But this time, at least, there was a more open debate compared to the meeting in December.
Conversion of barns and traditional buildings:
After tensions ran high in December about barn conversions the planning committee found that even the most straight forward of applications were on the agenda at the February meeting.
When asked about this by Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock the Authority’s head of development management, Richard Graham, replied: “I am concerned that officers’ interpretation of policy is somewhat determined by members’ interpretation of policy. So, in the interests of consistency in decision making… it is for the best interests of the Authority that these are brought to the committee.”
All five of the applications for converting traditional roadside buildings were quickly approved: three from Wharfedale and two from Arkengarthdale – for the Old Butcher’s Shop at Langthwaite, and Neddy’s Barn, East of Eastfield on the Arkengarthdale Road.
Dan Gracey, the agent for the owner of the Old Butcher’s Shop, described it as an interesting little building in the centre of Langthwaite. The back of the building facing the beck is lower than the front and that will contain two bedrooms and a bathroom. The kitchen and living room will be in the upper floor which is level with the road at the front. Mr Gracey said the owner had worked closely with the planning officers to achieve an acceptable design.
The planning officer told the committee that the conversion would maintain the character and appearance of the building and would not harm its setting within the village.
North Yorkshire County councillor John Blackie welcomed both this application and that for Neddy’s Barn as Arkengarthdale so needed local occupancy housing.
Richard Coates read a statement by his son, Thomas, about why he wanted to convert Neddy’s Barn into a two-bedroom dwelling. Thomas recalled that when he attended Arkengarthdale School there were 34 pupils and now, he said, there were only three. He explained he had gone on to qualify as a joiner and had the skills to work on the conversion himself, making it affordable to him.
He said: “I would like the chance to preserve this building for the future while also providing a home for myself. This is my one chance to remain in the Dale.” He added that he would maintain the agricultural character of the barn and there would be minimal impact upon the landscape because no external alterations or extensions were needed.
Cllr Blackie commented: “Wasn’t it wonderful to hear somebody of the age of 21 prepared to stay in the Upper Dales for the rest of their life.”
Askrigg – February
Three representatives of the Askrigg Foundation charity had to wait several hours before the planning committee considered – and unanimously approved – an application to create three affordable dwellings for rent in perpetuity at the foundation’s buildings in Askrigg.
“It’s great isn’t it? So pleased with the decision and all the support we had. Now the hard work starts in earnest,” commented Betsy Everett.
This approval means that the charity can not only renovate the retail unit and relocate the office to the ground floor, but also convert the upper two storeys into residential flats and the rear building into a cottage. This is the third community-led housing scheme in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the others being the three-home scheme completed in Hudswell last year, and a four-home scheme at Arkengarthdale for which planning permission has been granted.
Askrigg – March
A large field barn at Long Shaw near Bainbridge may be beautiful and large enough for a family home but converting it would be against policy the planning committee decided by an eight to seven vote.
Edward Scarr told the meeting that it would make a suitable family home given its location on the family farm. “It would be ideal for my work. We have four young children under the age of six and want to convert the barn into a family home.”
He said that he and his wife, Gwen, had always lived and worked in Wensleydale and converting the barn would enable them to raise their family on the farm. Mrs Scarr attended the meeting with their daughter Faye who was born in late February.
They heard several committee members speak in support of the planning officer who had stated that the YDNPA’s policy required that to be suitable for conversion a barn had to be in an existing settlement or building group, or be close to or adjoining a road.
He reported that the barn at Long Shaw was 110 metres from a road and would require a long track to be created and a significant length of walling to be moved to provide access to a road.
He added: “Although the proposed works to the barn are relatively well designed, it is in a very prominent and exposed position in the landscape. Its conversion to a permanently occupied dwelling would have a negative effect on the landscape that arises from the replacement of a simple, unadorned traditional farm building with a dwelling that has car parking, lighting, curtilage development, new access road and significant alterations to the existing roadside walls and the character of the road itself.”
Julie Martin agreed that this would be an intensive use of the barn which would have an impact upon the landscape. “It has been demonstrated there is a need but not at that location. The applicant has been asked to explore an alternative option,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Scarr had been told that, as it was accepted there wasn’t sufficient housing at the farm for the required number of agricultural workers, it was possible that an application for a new build dwelling at Yorescott Steading , where the ewes were lambed, would be acceptable. To this North Yorkshire County councillor John Blackie remarked that a new build might have more impact upon the landscape than a sympathetically converted barn.
Another North Yorkshire County councillor, Richard Welch, pointed out that many farmhouses were far from a road. “In ten years time you wouldn’t know it was a barn conversion,” he said.
Eden District councillor William Patterson agreed and asked if the YDNPA was going to pay for the upkeep of such buildings in the future – or would the owners be expected to keep them up as a national asset? He and others were concerned that if it was no longer needed for agricultural purposes and was not converted into the dwelling it would fall into disrepair and disappear.
“Is it true that we would rather see a non-designated heritage asset [disappear] when there is a family who wish to make use of it?” asked Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley. “I can not think of a better way of using an agricultural heritage that will otherwise go to waste,” she added.
Austwick – March
Permission was granted almost as quickly for the conversion of a detached stone building at Fleet House in Wharfe, near Austwick, into a one-bedroom dwelling either for holiday let or local occupancy.
Austwick Parish Council supported the conversion because it would reinstate some traditional features and secure the future of the redundant small barn by creating a viable use.
It did, however, ask that there should be conditions regarding external lighting and for the removal of all permitted development rights. These were included by the planning officer.
Cllr Towneley asked about parking especially as the parish council had requested that there should be clear, workable, enforceable and permanent provision for at least one car parking space. Richard Graham, the head of development management, said that the Authority could not regulate that.
The planning officer had told the meeting that the barn was adjacent to a non-metalled road within the hamlet of Wharfe and the design of the proposed conversion was considered to be high quality.
Aysgarth – November and December
David Peacock had applied for permission to convert Yore Mill into two apartments, six holiday let apartments and one local occupancy apartment in conjunction with a visitor centre, some business, light industrial and retail use and the re-instatement of the hydro-electric turbine.
Aysgarth and District Parish Council had told the Authority that it supported the application and would appreciate it if the application dealt with quickly as the listed building was in a dangerous condition and needed to be restored and maintained as soon as possible.
The North Yorkshire Highways had, however, recommended refusal because of the absence of adequate on-site parking spaces. It noted that if those staying at Yore Mill parked in the YDNPA car park they would have to cross the bridge where there was no formal footway. “Pedestrians would be expected to walk in the carriageway to the detriment of road safety,” it stated.
When recommending refusal the planning officer stated: “The proposal to convert Yore Mill into a mixed used development without sufficient dedicated car parking would cause congestion in and around the Aysgarth Falls area and displace car parking from the nearby public car parks which would be to the detriment of road safety and the amenity of residents.”
The applicant’s agents had informed the Authority that there were some late developments regarding car parking provision and so asked that a decision should be deferred to the next meeting.
As officers considered this was appropriate in the circumstances it was unanimously agreed to defer the application to December 10.
December – In December members were informed that Mr Peacock had come to an agreement with the YDNPA to pay for a new space at the nearby national park centre car park and to buy nine annual passes, as there were only three car parking spaces at the Mill. As the officers said that this went some way towards alleviating the car parking problem the committee approved Mr Peacock’s application to convert the Mill.
The offices said that finding a future use for the Mill as soon as possible was necessary to prevent the fabric of the building declining any further.
Barbon – March
“This is our first conflict with the Yorkshire Dales National Park,” Cllr Robert Groves, the chairman of Barbon Parish Council told the meeting. Barbon in Cumbria became part of the National Park in August 2016.
The parish council had objected to an outline application for a single storey dwelling on some land in Moorthwaite Lane, Barbon.
Cllr Groves explained that the site had serious drainage problems and added that previously the refusal of planning permission for any residential development there had been upheld at appeal because any building would fill in one of the open spaces in the village which were an important part of the character and appearance of Barbon.
The planning officer explained that as Barbon was in one of the new areas of the National Park the application had to be considered in accordance with the South Lakeland District Council’s Core Strategy. He said this had changed since the last application regarding that site and the new policy allowed for “infilling” development between residential properties.
He told the meeting that the applicant’s plans included flood alleviation measures, and that the low profile of a bungalow would not be harmful to the distinctive characteristics of Barbon.
Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley said she hoped the Authority would be quite strict about the design when that was submitted for approval.
She abstained from voting but all the rest of the members voted to approve the application.
Barden – February
The application to convert the former Wesleyan chapel at Barden to a local occupancy dwelling or holiday let and the provision of pedestrian access to the existing car parking area was very quickly approved. The planning officer reported that there would be four bedrooms and four bathrooms with the garden, including a hot tub, in the existing enclosed area outside.
Storiths – the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees had applied to convert Harry’s Barn at Storiths into a single bedroom dwelling for local occupancy or holiday let. This again had a small enclosed area outside sufficient to accommodate a hot tub. The planning officer pointed out that the piggery attached to the barn looked to be in poor structural condition but was still an undesignated heritage asset as was the rest of the barn.
Cllr Blackie asked how such buildings were defined as undesignated heritage assets. Mr Graham said this term had come into use about six years ago. “Many of these buildings are over 100 years old. With the materials and traditional construction methods they often have a history. They may look somewhat dilapidated but you can describe them as a heritage asset because of their contribution to the landscape.
Eden District councillor William Patterson then jokingly asked if all the heritage assets had asbestos roofs.
Beamsley – November and December
The majority of the members refused the advice of an officer to approve an application by the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees for Bolton Abbey Estate to change the use of a dwelling, barn and agricultural buildings to form offices, storage buildings and workshops at Red Lion Farm, Beamsley partly because this would mean a tenant farmer and his family would have to move out of their home.
Colin Winterburn told the committee: “It seems to us that the Estate are intent on removing the indigenous population. We farmed 144 acres until we got notice to quit on 100 acres.”
He said they still had 44 acres on which 60 cattle would be kept. If they have to move they would also have to close their farm shop.
Joanna Winterburn had told the committee: “This is a frightening experience for me, my family and it affects a lot of other people all in aid of creating storage and offices.
“Without successive tenancies the young generation will move out of the area in search of security, taking with them the skills passed on through countless generations.”
Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden said it wasn’t right to kick a tenant farmer out to provide storage facilities and commented later: “It’s the farmers who keep the landscape looking lovely for tourists. They don’t do it for you lot, they do it for a living and it’s a very hard living.”
The Chatsworth Settlement Trustees’ agent, John Steel, said that several members of staff and equipment had been displaced when the Tithe Barn on Bolton Abbey Estate was restored. Of Red Lion Farm he stated: “This site offers a very convenient location on a single complex that can accommodate the Estate maintenance teams.”
He added that the Estate was offering the Winterburns an alternative home and compensation that greatly exceeded the statutory minimum and alternative farm buildings but would not allow any more buildings to be constructed.
He continued: “The 44 acres we believe cannot generate sufficient income to support two full-time workers. The farm shop … opens three days a week and the income generated has never been of sufficiently high level where it needs to be taken into account for reviews. Whilst the long-standing tenant is facing change it is a change that will not make the family homeless nor deprive them of the ability to continue farming.”
But North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine quoted the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) that neither the new home nor the compensation being offered would guarantee that the Winterburns could continue farming as they currently do and stated: “If this application is successful it will be the final nail in the coffin of this Dales’ farming business. “
They had, he said, farmed with the security of an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy and added: “It appears there is a break down in the trust needed between the landlord and tenant. What is needed is [time] to reconcile their differences.”
He reported that there were alternative sites as there were hundreds of traditional and modern agricultural buildings on the Bolton Abbey Estate many of which were either not used or under-used.
Ian McPherson asked how anyone would feel if someone came along and said their home was needed for storage purposes and pointed out that even if the shop wasn’t economically viable it was being used and was highly valued by the community. Both he and Mrs Manners Armstrong questioned how approval could be in accord with human rights legislation.
Mrs Manners Armstrong pointed out that interference with someone’s human rights had to be justified as in the public interest. “I do not agree this is justified as in the public interest,” she stated. She, like other members, did not believe the officer’s recommendation was in line with the Authority’s policy regarding change of use as the modern farm buildings were not redundant.
She added: “To approve this would be in conflict with our first purpose – to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park. And if a Dale’s farm has been in functional operation for 300 years is not a cultural heritage I don’t know what is. To me we have to protect this – this is very important”.
Or as Mrs Winterburn said: “We have worked all our lives to pass this farm onto our children. Should the application be granted not only our lives but the Dales’ communities and the lives of future generations will change for ever.”
December – Planning officers told members that it could be shown there was a continuing need for the premises for farming and that there were exceptional consequences for the Winterburn family as well as losing a community shop if the application by the Bolton Abbey estate was approved. The majority of the members voted to refuse the application.
Carlton in Coverdale – February
Cllr Peacock told committee members that they should go and see the high standard of workmanship Andrew Dent had carried out when converting the former Church of England School and Good Shepherd Church in Carlton in Coverdale before making a decision about some of the uPVC windows he had installed.
But the majority of the members refused his retrospective planning application as they agreed with the planning officer that by replacing the late 19th century windows at the front and the side of the building with uPVC ones he had harmed the character of what was described as an un-listed heritage asset.
Planning permission was given in 2011 to create an extension and two local needs dwellings side by side facing the highway. Mr Dent explained that he bought the building in 2013 and decided to have one dwelling in the front and one at the back so that he did not need to break through external and internal walls to create doors. He also installed uPVC windows rather than wooden ones which, he told the planning officer, would have cost about £50,000.
“The south facing windows did not have any frames. The glass was just set into the stone. It would be impossible to create the original look. New windows were, therefore, essential,” he said. He added that only by installing the uPVC windows could he meet the fire escape regulations. He described the uPVC frames as being a neutral, earthy colour rather than yellow.
Cllr Blackie told the meeting that the windows were installed four years ago but only came to the notice of the Authority when Mr Dent wanted to bring the planning permission in line with the latest policy which allows converted buildings to be used for short term holiday lets as well as local occupancy even though he plans that the dwellings will later be for two of his three sons.
Mr Dent not only offered to sign a legal agreement but also asked for the same planning condition as had been approved some years ago on the uPVC windows installed in a Grade II listed building in Carlton. This required any future reglazing to be agreed with the Authority.
The planning officer reported that the internal conversion of the building carried out by Mr Dent was considered acceptable in principle and there was no longer any need for an extension. It had been agreed he could retain the uPVC windows at the back. She maintained, however, that the windows to the front and side of the building could have been upgraded far more appropriately and showed members pictures of alternative solutions.
Mr Dent said about his work on the church and his former school: “It was so important to me to get the details correct and in keeping.”
Carperby – July
Aysgarth Station, Carperby
Approval was given for new track to be laid at the former railway station, across the road bridge and along 200m of the former track bed which overlooks the National Park’s car park.
The owner of Aysgarth station, David Smith of West Coast Railways, will lease the former track bed from the Authority now that planning permission has been given. The approval was also for him to make private use of the railway for storing and moving locomotives, carriages and goods vehicles.
His agent, Steve Davies, who is also a director of the Wensleydale Railway, told the committee that Mr Smith’s plans for the old station would provide the best opportunity to reconnect Aysgarth station with Redmire.
This was queried by Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden who said the latter would only be possible if someone was willing to invest £1 million pounds per mile.
Like other members he did not feel that there would be much noise from the site especially as the approval only allowed for 12 locomotive movements a day, 36 days of the year. A planning officer stated that steam operations would be limited to one to two days a year.
It was pointed out that there was already a lot of noise and pollution due to the National Park car park and the number of people who visited Freeholders Wood, the SSSI which almost surrounds the station site.
The planning officer said that 35 trees will be removed many from along the sides of the raised track bed by the car park. She explained that area had been colonised by trees as the track had not been used for so long. One of the conditions will be a landscaping plan to show where replacement planting would take place, she told the committee.
Ian McPherson, the Authority’s member champion for the environment, said he would support the application but asked that the progress of the project should be carefully monitored. He added that the landscaping plan was important to ensure that wildlife corridors were protected. He noted that in certain areas of Britain Network Rail was destroying vast tracts of trees against the wishes of the Department of Transport.
North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch pointed out that Mr Smith’s company owned the carriages at Hellifield which were now covered in graffiti. “Are you confident that this is not going to end up the same?” he asked.
Mr Davies assured the committee that he was.
He said: “Two years ago we sold Aysgarth Station to what turned out to be the best possible buyer [Mr Smith].
“The Wensleydale Railway was in a significantly difficult financial situation. Aysgarth was a major millstone around our necks. We were servicing a £200,000 outstanding mortgage. The station building was falling down and there was actually no way the station could be realistically retained as part of the commercial portfolio of the railway.
“The sale of the station allowed the railway to pay off significant debts and it is an absolute fact that since that sale we have not looked back.
“We, as a board of directors, agreed that because Mr Smith had such ambitious plans for the site that we would support him in delivering this planning application. So I am effectively on secondment, if you like, from the board of the Wensleydale railway. And our vice chairman, Carl Les, has formally endorsed our support for this project.
“The second element of this project and with the mechanics of this application is that we believe that this provides the best possible opportunity to reconnect Aysgarth with Redmire. Mr Smith has the resources and personal ambition to start taking the track back towards Redmire.
“If you grant this application what you will not find is this is will become moribund and yet another undelivered major project. So your faith in the project will be met by a full investment to make this a reality.
“The sale of Aysgarth station …. caused a rift within our membership [and to] those who were absolutely convinced that Aysgarth [station] represented the jewel on the way to Hawes and Garsdale the sale was unthinkable and there was significant resistance. The successful delivery of this project will, I think, go a huge way towards healing some of the wounds. It will show that Mr Smith and the Wensleydale Railway did not make a bad decisions and that we are going to be in a position to optimise the chances of re-connecting Redmire with this station.
“I think we have gone a long way in satisfying the statutory requirements, particularly in terms of ecology, but the key issue is that although this is fundamentally a private venture it undoubtedly has major public benefits.”
Cautley near Sedbergh – April
Permission was granted for a barn at Cautley Thwaite Farm to be partially converted into a local occupancy dwelling or short-term holiday let.
Sedbergh Parish Council had questioned leaving part of it as a barn as it felt converting all of the building would better ensure long-term maintenance of a heritage asset, provide valuable family scale accommodation and that it would remain as a single planning unit.
The planning officer, however, stated: “The retention of part of the byre (including internal stalls) in the southern end of the building is supported as this area contains older timbers and furniture that pre-date the barn itself. It is likely that some materials used in the construction of the building were salvaged from an older barn on or near the site. By not converting this area to habitable accommodation, allows the historic features to remain in place as evidence of the past history of the building.”
She added that the existing access to the barn could be used to provide a parking area behind the barn as a new dry-stone wall would be built to screen them from open view.
Cracoe – September
The majority of the committee agreed that two extensions can be added to No Name House in Cracoe despite the objections of the parish meeting.
North Yorkshire County councillors Robert Heseltine recognised that Cracoe Parish Meeting seemed to be very much against the application but added: “Every concern that the parish meeting has brought has been overcome by the applicant in negotiation with the planning officer.”
The parish meeting’s objections included: the proposed extensions would overcrowd an already narrow lane; the proposed number of two parking spaces would be disproportionate when the number of bedrooms was increased from four to five; there were no extra parking spaces nearby; and the positioning of a flue for a new wood-burning stove. It stated it would not object to the replacement of the rear conservatory with just one of the extensions if its height, size and roof pitch were the same.
The planning officer reported that the garden room which will replace the conservatory was not significantly greater in size, would be largely screened by a tall fence, and would not overshadow the neighbouring property. The applicant, Richard Johnson, had agreed to place the wood-burner flue higher up so that smoke from it could not affect the neighbours.
The two-storey cat-slide extension on the other side of the house followed local precedent and would not, the planning officer said. have a negative impact upon neighbouring properties. He added: “Overall, it is considered that the proposal will have a sympathetic appearance within the site and the setting of the neighbouring listed building.”
As some residents were concerned about the future use of the garage the conditions included that this could not be converted into living accommodation without the written approval of the Authority.
Cracoe – December
A request by Craven District councillors Robert Heseltine and Richard Foster for a site visit was turned down by the committee. Cllrs Heseltine and Foster argued members should see for themselves how a proposed new agricultural building at Meadow Croft in Back Lane, Cracoe, would have a negative impact on the landscape and the amenity of neighbours.
But the majority of the committee agreed with North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch and Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley that the planning officer had worked hard with the applicant to find a suitable site. The officer explained that the original application for a larger building submitted by James Bowdin was refused because it would have been on a much more prominent site and 20m from a neighbouring property. This application for a smaller building next to Mr Bowden’s house would be 24m from a neighbouring property.
A neighbour, Helen Pullin, however, told the committee that due to the building being on higher ground it would still be overbearing even if dug in by 200mm to help reduce its height, and the trees to be planted to create screening would be only 15m from her property. Like Cllrs Heseltine and Foster she maintained that the building would still have a negative impact on the landscape. They agreed with Cracoe Parish Meeting that there were better sites for the building and that it would still be too large.
They also asked how a smallholding of two acres and 30 sheep was sufficient to qualify for an agricultural building. “Are we setting a precedent?” asked Cllr Foster.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, responded that the applicant was also a self-employed dry stone waller. He, therefore, needed the building not just for storing winter feed and lambing in spring, but also to store agricultural machinery.
Craven District barn conversions – April
Six out of the eight barn conversions in Craven District approved by the planning committee on April 9 will be primarily for holiday accommodation.
David Staveley, however, made it very clear that he wanted to convert Lane Head Laithe at Throstle Nest, Eshton, into a three-bedroom home for him and his wife on the family farm. North Yorkshire
County councillor John Blackie commented: “I don’t think any member could make a more compelling case for the approval of this application than David Staveley himself. What better case can you make for a redundant building.”
The Highways Authority had, however, objected because it did not believe there was sufficient visibility at the access onto the road. The planning officer reported that about 12m of the boundary wall would be set back to improve visibility.
And Mr Staveley stated: “We are very aware of the danger as we have been using this as a farm access for 19 years.”
Even a planning officer described Nether Hesleden Farm Barn near Litton as being in the open countryside and it is in the Littondale Barns and Walls Conservation area.
He explained that the power supply to this roadside barn could be undergrounded from Nether Hesleden Farm, that there would be little change to the exterior of the building, and that the garden had been reduced to the minimum. He added that the converted dwelling would be used primarily as a holiday let.
North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch said: “I can’t think of a more classic example of what defines a roadside barn. I can’t see any problems with it. It ticks all the right boxes in the right places.”
The application to convert Ellis Laithe at Grisedale Gate Farm near Threshfield was solely for conversion to a holiday let. The planning officer stated that only the existing openings would be used and the proposed parking and external area would be modest and contained within the existing width of the walled lane to the south. No extension is required.
An application to convert this barn into a home for a farm worker was refused by the committee in December. The planning officer told the committee that the Authority was discussing with the applicant the possibility of applying to build a family home at the farm. Ellis Laithe will now become part of the farm’s holiday letting business.
Stirton-with-Thorlby Parish Meeting had told the Authority that not all residents were happy with Manor Farm Barn in Thorlby being used solely as a holiday let. As with most of the other applications the owners, Trustees for Roman Catholic Purposes Registered (TRCPR) had applied for both local occupancy or holiday let in line with the Authority’s conservation policy for roadside barns and those within settlements.
The agent for TRCPR, Robert Hodgkiss, told the committee that the application was not contentious and was in accord with national and local policies. It would, he said, have a sustainable use within the village once converted.
Three of the applications were made by the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees (Bolton Abbey Estate). For speed of approval none matched those dealt with by the planning committee in February.
The Trustees applications to convert the former Wesleyan chapel at Barden and Harry’s Barn at Storith were submitted on January 7 and approved by the planning committee on February 12 which might be a record! Both will have hot tubs installed as they will be primarily for holiday accommodation.
Those two applications did not require any amendments whereas the three submitted on January 17 did. The amendments to the plans for the Shippon at Stank House to the west of Bolton Abbey included moving the hot tub to a less obvious position!
Permission was granted for the conversion of both the Shippon and the barn at Stank House, which is already used as a holiday let. The access to the complex is via an existing private driveway.
The third application from the Trustees was for the conversion of Laneside Barn at Hazlewood to the east of Bolton Abbey. This is near two cottages on what the planning officer described as a very quiet lane.
She said that the proposed garden and parking would be contained in the yard serving the barn and so would be screened from public view.
The eighth successful application was by the artist Victoria Russell to convert a toft barn at Starbotton into a studio and dwelling (see below)
Embsay – March
Permission was granted for four bedroom dormer bungalow for local occupancy to be built in Millholme Rise, Embsay.
Cllr Vince Smith attended the meeting on behalf of Embsay with Eastby Parish Council which had objected to the application. He explained that the parish council believed the height of the proposed building would set a precedent for higher builds in that area.
The parish council also wanted an area of hard standing to be created on the site before construction began so that vehicles were not parked on the road especially as it was close to a junction and a bend. But the planning officer said it was not possible to do that as any hard standing would hamper the developer’s ability to construct the building.
She told the meeting that the applicant, who lives next door to the site, had asked for a higher ridge height so as to have space for two bedrooms in the roof space. She said the overall ridge height would be the same as for the original approved scheme with a negligible difference in the height of the eaves.
Fremington – March
The committee unanimously approved the application by Mr and Mrs Peter Catchpole to convert Little Barn at High Fremington in Swaledale into a one-bedroom local occupancy dwelling.
Mrs Catchpole explained that they were living in rented accommodation and wanted a Dales home of their own.
Several residents had, however, objected and they were represented by Chris Whittaker. He disagreed with the planning officer that there was sufficient visibility splay from the proposed access as it was near to a blind bend and crossroads. Nor was it always a quiet road for, he said, during a cycling event 4,000 riders had raced up it.
He did not accept that the proposed extension was not significant as it would increase the size of the barn by 42 per cent and added that the amenity of those living in the house close to the barn would be affected.
The planning officer reported that the neighbouring house was 3.9m away on the other side of the narrow road. The plans had been amended so that the windows overlooking that house were smaller and glazed, he said.
He stated: “It is recognised that the proposal would introduce a degree of domestication into a site that currently exhibits a largely agricultural and undeveloped character. However, the proposal is relatively small in scale and, further to amendments to the scheme, is not considered to adversely affect the immediate setting of the barn. It should be noted that the wider landscape impact of the proposal is negligible given the lack of public views from longer distances.”
He also believed that the package treatment plant would not affect the two properties to the south of the barn.
The conditions include creating a photographic record of the barn before conversion and a written scheme of investigation regarding excavation and archaeology as the external work would be close to Fremington Dyke. This was one of the linear dykes in Swaledale which formed part of the boundary of an early, post-Roman, British political area or kingdom (Out of Oblivion).
Gaisgill – May
Despite a plea from a farmer for more time the committee refused planning permission for a wooden cabin at Gaisgill to continue to be used as a temporary dwelling for a further three years.
Neil Plant of Rayne Holdings said that the smallholding at 3 Rayne Cottage, Gaisgill, was being developed and the wooden cabin was still needed. “Just give us a chance. Three years is going to make a difference,” he said.
Eden District councillor William Patterson supported him and stated: “I can’t see the problem with giving the chap a chance to build up a small holding.” And North Yorkshire County councillor John Blackie added that many Dales farmers had started their farms that way.
But the head of development management, Richard Graham, reminded the committee that in December 2017 it had approved enforcement action to be taken for the removal of the cabin as the three-year temporary permission given in 2013 had expired.
A planning officer had told the committee that when Mr Plant had requested pre-planning advice in October 2018 he had been told that he had not shown there was a functional need for a full-time worker to live at the site and that the business could just as well be run from one of the nearby converted barns owned by Rayne Holdings. The officer added that the current and previous owners had had two and a half years to remove the cabin from the site.
Authority Member Julie Martin commented: “We don’t have any clear evidence that this is needed for a agricultural worker and we don’t have evidence at this present time that this is a viable business. We do have evidence that there is alternative accommodation. I think we have to follow through otherwise we undermine our own decision [in December 2017].”
Eden District Council granted permission in May 2019 for the change of use of one of the two barns from a holiday cottage to an unrestricted residential dwelling.
The committee voted by ten votes to seven to refuse the application.
Garsdale – March
Permission for an outbuilding beside Rose Cottage in Garsdale to be converted into one-bedroom short term holiday accommodation was granted very quickly as the application was not considered by the committee until after 6pm. (The meeting began at 1pm.) The planning officer quickly explained that it was a 19th century former garage alongside Rose Cottage within a roadside group of stone build cottages on the A684.
He said that the proposal represented a reasonably sensitive conversion and would not have a detrimental impact upon the landscape, residential amenity or highway safety.
Garsdale – May
Cllrs Blackie and Peacock questioned the length of track required to provide a barn conversion in Garsdale with safe access to the A684 at Aye Gill Farm.
They compared the length required (about 160m) with that proposed for a barn conversion at Long Shaw near Bainbridge which was refused in March this year. The track for that would have been 110m long.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, emphasised that the barn near The Hill in Garsdale was a roadside barn in accordance with the Authority’s policy. That at Long Shaw was not a roadside barn and a length of walling would needed to be moved back from the road to provide sufficient visibility at the access, he said.
The planning officer reported that there would be no loss of walling at the access onto the A684 at Aye Gill Farm
Remarking on the photographs shown of the proposed track to the barn in Garsdale, Cllr Peacock said: “This looks to me like a farm track.” She noted that drivers in some small cars would have difficulty negotiating it and that the officer had not included any recommendation about improving it.
The planning officer described the building in Garsdale as being a substantial early 19th century bank barn standing beside the A684 some 7k to the east of Sedbergh. “It stands in an isolated and locally prominent position on top of a bluff. The barn structure is basically sound and no rebuilding of walls is necessary,” he said.
The owner has agreed to demolish the additions to the barn which were added in the 20th century.
The committee unanimously approved the application to convert the two-storey stone barn into a three bedroom dwelling for local occupancy or short term holiday letting.
Gayle – February
It was agreed that a large roadside barn “in the wilderness” along Beggarmans Lane near Gayle can be converted and extended to create a “horse assisted learning” business.
The planning officer told the committee: “The applicant’s therapy is geared towards people who have experienced post traumatic stress disorder as well as people with stress and other mental health issues. As well as horse-assisted learning the applicant [Caroline Penman] would use the building as a base for Paleo eating, Craniosacral therapy and mindfulness. The location has been chosen by the applicant for its tranquility and wild nature which is considered to aid the therapy.”
The two-storey Dodds Hall Barn is around two miles south of Gayle and has a stone walled enclosure which will be used for car parking. The planning officer reported:
“What is proposed in this location is a very high intensity employment use requiring the erection of a large first floor extension to the building and the erection of stables, [two] shepherds huts and an outdoor interaction area in the surrounding land. The whole field would also be used for equestrian purposes.”
He added that the addition of a large extension, the fact that the barn was not adjacent to or within an existing settlement and that the business was not land-based, meant that the application was not in accordance with policy and so any approval would require a departure from the Local Plan.
Although it was reported that Ms Penman had run a similar, successful business in Cyprus the planning officer warned that there was a degree of risk should this venture fail once Dodds Hall Barn had been converted.
The senior listed building officer had reported: “The external stairs and floating FF extension with balcony and covered GF terrace underneath has a harmful impact on the heritage significance of the barn’s and Dales vernacular architecture in general, and would be visible from the road.”
The committee, however, accepted the planning officer’s argument that the proposal had been relatively well-designed to work with the site itself to minimise its landscape impact and impact on the building. He said: “Whilst the extension to the building is significant, it is relatively lightweight and would only provide internal living space to one floor with the ground floor forming a sheltered area [for horses].”
He added: “This is a relatively unique site and a unique proposal that would result in economic and social benefits in the locality and has support from the parish council.”
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council had told the committee: “It offers a completely new dimension to the all-important tourist sector in the Upper Dales – horse assisted learning. The site and the surrounding landscape entirely fits the description of a wilderness, although the town of Hawes is just seven minutes’ drive away.”
The planning committee approved the application for the conversion and extension of the barn to provide visitor accommodation and manager’s dwelling, a change of use of land for equestrian purposes, provision of all weather riding surface, car parking and erection of stable building.
Grassington – May
The committee very quickly approved a planning application for alterations to Yarnbury House in Moor Lane, Grassington, even though the parish council had asked the Authority to investigate the true intentions of the applicant.
The committee heard that Grassington Parish Council strongly suspected that this was an attempt to change the use of the property to another shooting lodge without having to make a formal application for change of use – something it would oppose.
The parish council said that the application gave the appearance of wanting to enhance and increase the living accommodation and added: “How can this be done when the bedrooms will be reduced from four to three, but more features such as a boot room and a drying room are added, together with the conversion of the double garage?”
The application included altering the outbuildings and garage to become ancillary living space to Yarnbury House.
The planning officer reported that there had been lengthy discussions with the applicant and that the proposed scheme had been significantly amended so as not to cause substantial harm to the listed building.
She added: “Neighbours have raised the issue that the house may become a shooting lodge or used for some kind of shooting enterprise and that the applicant is a sporting company not a private resident. The agent has confirmed that the site will be used as a private domestic dwelling.”
The agent, Maria Ferguson, emphasised this at the meeting. She said that her client had bought Yarnbury House so that he and his family and friends could enjoy the countryside and sporting activities.
Grassington – June
The majority of members agreed with the planning officer that the proposal by Jason and Claire Simpkin to use a large field and construct two buildings for a small campsite would have too much of an impact upon the landscape.
The officer commented: “The concerns with the current proposal are a matter of scale rather than a matter of principle.”
She said that a modest campsite and one building for facilities in the northeast section of the field adjacent to the B6265 Hebden Road would be acceptable. The Simpkins planned to use all of a one hectare field on a plateau above the River Wharfe for approximately 25 seasonal pitches. They proposed two buildings, one to provide facilities for the campers, and the other to include the manager’s accommodation. Mr Simpkin told the committee that Grassington did not have a campsite.
He read a letter from the Grassington Chamber of Trade which noted that there had been a dramatic drop in the footfall of tourists in the town in the last couple of years and that the creation of a family friendly campsite would lead to an increase. “I hope this development will enable a greater range of visitors to Grassington, especially young families,” Mr Simpkin said and added that his plans were in line with the National Park’s statutory purposes.
He had informed the Authority that a smaller campsite would not be a viable business. He argued that having a manager on site would help to alleviate some of the concerns raised by residents such as the possible increase in noise and nuisance, and the impact of lighting.
North Yorkshire County councillor John Blackie agreed that having a manager living on the site would be helpful and added: “I am amazed that Grassington hasn’t got a camp site. Campers spend far more in the local economy than any other form of tourist and so keep the shops and services going.”
Other members, however, accepted the officer’s contention that a two-storey stone building to house an office and reception on the ground floor and a self-contained manager’s flat on the first floor was too much. The planning officer did not accept that a seasonal site for 25 tents needed a manager to supervise it, especially as there was a site for 24 tents at Kettlewell which did not provide such accommodation.
She reported that the proposed new buildings would replace a static caravan and the dilapidated remains of a railway carriage. She said there was also concern about the possibility of campers walking along a road to the village where there was no footpath as that would be the shortest route to the pub.
Grassington – September
The first and second floors of a former butcher’s shop in Grassington can be converted into a two-bedroom dwelling the committee agreed.
An internal passageway will be created to provide access to the apartment, the planning officer said. She added that the external alterations would be minimal being the insertion of three roof lights, the re-opening of a blocked-up window and the re-use of an existing door.
She commented: “The proposed development would see the loss of the upper floors from a potential business use, but there is still a large ground floor shop remaining together with two quite substantial store room areas.” The applicant had pointed out that the upper floors had not been used for 20 years.
Some residents had queried the siting of wheelie bins behind the premises but the planning officer said that the land did belong to the applicant. “Whilst the storage of wheelie bins in this location is not ideal, they would not have such a harmful impact on the amenity of neighbours to warrant the refusal of planning permission,” she stated.
Grassington Parish Council objected to the application because there was of the lack of parking in that area. The planning officer reported that the occupier of the dwelling could obtain a parking permit for the National Park Authority car park nearby.
Committee member Craven District councillor Richard Foster, commented that even though there was a lack of parking spaces in Grassington the conversion of the upper stories of the shop would be a great use of that space.
Approval was given on the basis that the applicant would sign a legal agreement restricting use of the flat to the local occupancy criteria set out in the Authority’s Local Plan or to short term holiday let.
Grassington – December
The committee unanimously approved an application for a single storey lean-to extension at the rear of a house in Main Street, Grassington, and for stone steps and a wrought iron handrail at the front.
The planning officer reported that the applicant had explained that the steps beside an existing wall were required to provide safe level access down a slope which was steep and slippery in bad weather.
Grassington Parish Council had objected to the steps because they would not be in keeping with the village and would create an obstruction and therefore a danger to road users. It added that the steepness could be mitigated by walking where the slop was less severe.
Grinton – November and December
The planning officer had recommended refusal of the Porters’ application to convert Shoemaker’s Barn because they had not proved a need for an agricultural worker’s dwelling at Grinton and because: “The proposal would lead to the creation of a fake and prominent ‘traditional barn’ that never previously existed which would result in a harmful and disruptive effect on the understanding of the historic landscape and the significance of the Barns and Walls Conservation Area.”
Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good commented: “I find it difficult to say that we need to keep it like that because it is in a conservation area… because it is ugly.”
John Akrigg, the agent for Chris Porter and his wife who had applied to convert Shoemaker Barn to create a family home for themselves, said: “Without the retention of the people who possess the skills to safeguard these landscape features the Dales that we all love and fight to protect cannot be sustained. One day the Swaledale [sheep] may be the icon for the Dales but the herds will have disappeared.”
He added: “This Authority is aware of the fragility of hill farming and is committed to work with stakeholders to safeguard its future. If members support this application today they will do something positive and send a message to other young people that they have a place here.”
Cllr Kirkbride argued that the Porters wanted to restore the barn to how it had looked years ago. They would do this, he said, by removing concrete extensions, lifting the roof slightly to the height it had been before a fire many years ago, and re-inserting windows where they had been previously. “This will turn an eyesore into a home for a young family which is going to live in the Dales and farm in the Dales,” he said.
The alterations over the years had meant that less than 30 per cent of the original barn remained but another member, Jocelyn Manners Armstrong, said: “I do think the applicants are in a difficult position here and it is partly the way our policies are constructed that puts them in that position and, therefore, we have a bit of responsibility to try and help. On one hand we say there’s not enough of the original building left for us to say it is a traditional building [that can be converted]. On the other hand we say that it would be a new build in the open countryside. There is an interesting traditional building which they do want to restore.”
She explained that she had voted against the Porters’ application in December partly because it was for a holiday let or a family home. But this time it was for an agricultural worker’s dwelling and she, like many other members, accepted there was a need.
The planning officer stated that there wasn’t evidence that the land at Grinton did require a full-time worker even though the proposal included a new agricultural building to house rams over winter and lamb sheep in the spring. The new agricultural building would be sited behind the barn.
He said that Porters should consider creating a new dwelling on land owned by their extended family at Oxnop or at Gunnerside – or apply to add an extension to their present home at Grinton.
Cllr Kirkbride pointed out that the farm enterprise had land from Grinton to Gunnerside and so needed agricultural workers at either end as well as at Oxnop. For that reason the agricultural need should be based upon the farm enterprise as a whole he said.
Member Ian McPherson commented: “Given the need to support and nurture and enhance farming in the Dales and in view of the fact of the reports relating to individual members of the family and their health concerns…. I feel the benefit of the doubt should be given to the applicants.”
December – The majority of the committee again voted to approve the application to convert Shoemaker’s Barn into a dwelling.
Planning officers stated that the conversion of the derelict barn into a home on the basis there was a need for an additional home for the farm business and that it would get rid of an eyesore were acceptable reasons even though they had previous had felt it was an unnecessary development.
Hawes, Halfway House – February and October
The committee was told that four cars being parked on the former track bed at Halfway House near Hawes might prejudice the re-opening of the railway between that market town and Garsdale.
Ruth Annison, who convened the meeting at Hawes last summer to discuss the re-opening of that six miles of railway, told the committee: “Halfway House is one of the very few critical sites for railway reinstatement. The possibility of access and parking for four cars encroaching on the track way is a serious matter so that I have already given formal notice that, if necessary, we will report this application to the Secretary of State.”
A professional engineer, Tony Smare, said that it looked as if establishing a new train service on the former branch of the Settle-Carlisle railway was achievable, and asked if alternative parking at Halfway House could be investigated before the application was approved. Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock agreed with him.
The application was for full permission to convert the barn attached to Halfway House into a separate local occupancy dwelling. The planning officer said that as the Authority’s policy was to support the reinstatement of the railway line the application had been advertised as a Departure to the Local Plan for a period expiring on February 22.
He reported that the conversion of the barn would have a neutral impact upon the landscape and that a dry stone wall would be built to divide the present garden between the two dwellings.
He told the committee that although the existing car parking area on the former track bed would be increased to accommodate two more cars the track bed would remain unaltered and would be reversible should the railway be reinstated.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, reported that the owners of Halfway House also own the track bed there, using some as curtilage and some for parking. Neither he nor the Authority’s chief executive officer, David Butterworth, felt the issue was big enough to be considered by the Secretary of State.
Mr Butterworth commented: “In the 21 years that this Authority has been in existence I don’t think there has been a single application that a Secretary of State would even consider calling in. I don’t think this one will be either. So it’s up to members to make a decision.”
Cllr Blackie asked, however, that the representations made at the meeting should be carefully considered and if there any issues that couldn’t be resolved the application should be brought back to the committee.
The majority of the committee, however, accepted Mr Butterworth’s advice and voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation.
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council asked the committee to hold a site meeting at Halfway House so that the members could see for themselves how dangerous the access was.
In February the committee had approved an application to convert the barn next to Halfway House into a local occupancy dwelling. The owner then applied for it to be used for short stay holiday lets as well.
Allen Kirkbride agreed with the parish council that, as the access was by a corner on the A684, it would be far more dangerous for short stay visitors who didn’t know the area well than for anyone living there permanently. It was also pointed out that the Highways Authority had objected each time to the application because of the access.
Like the parish council Mr Kirkbride also wanted to see the barn converted solely for local occupancy. “This was specifically for local occupancy. [The owner] could have said in February that it would be dual purpose. Now he comes along and changes his mind. “
The majority of the committee, however, disagreed with him and the new application was approved.
Hawes – February
An enforcement notice will be served on the owner of Bainbridge Ings Caravan Site at Hawes for the removal of camping pods which were described by Cllr Blackie as grey-painted abominations and by a planning officer as “wholly alien features within the landscape”.
The planning officer read the following letter from Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council:
“Councillors were appalled at the ‘Pembroke’ pods that have been installed which look completely out of keeping on the site at Bainbridge Ings. The bright orange fencing around the stone chipping base adds to their unacceptable appearance.
“It was pointed out they have been installed close to Old Gayle Lane, along which many local people and visitors enjoy a circular walk on mainly flat ground, often with young children in push chairs, starting and finishing at either Hawes Town Centre or Gayle. At this time there are few leaves on the trees by the edge of the site so they are in full view.”
The parish council had objected to the loss of almost all the camping pitches on the site and pointed out that many regular visitors had said they could no longer afford to stay there. (A glamping pod on the site is advertised at £249 per week.)
At the planning meeting Cllr Blackie said that in the past the site had been covered with tents during the summer and that campers were the best supporters of the local economy.
He described how the parish council had been heavily involved in seeking modifications to a previous application by David Khan of The Lodge Company North.
The planning officer reported that the four Lune Valley pods included in that application had been considered acceptable due to their dark stained timber, curved shape and being arranged in an informal circle.
She said that the four Pembroke pods, however, were larger and have an unusual shape – “akin to a portacabin with a triangular insert bisecting the body and protruding above the flat roof. The structure is clad in a dark battleship grey material with orange wood panels. Each pod has a horizontally boarded timber enclosure around it and the pods are laid out in a line.
“The structures have an uncompromising and unsightly appearance, lacking any aesthetic or architectural merit,” she added.
Mr Khan told the committee that the Pembroke pods were lower in height than those originally planned and so would be easier to screen. He said that a comprehensive planting scheme had been agreed with the Authority. He had been assured by the supplier that the orange fences would weather to a cedar colour. He explained that he had invested heavily in the site and needed a variety of accommodation to attract people.
The committee, however, unanimously agreed with the planning officer that the Pembroke pods did harm the natural beauty and visual quality of the National Park landscape as they were highly visible and incongruous, and represented poor design. Mr Khan was given three months to comply with the enforcement notice to remove them along with the fences and the hard standings, and to reseed the affected area with grass.
Hawes – March
There was applause when the majority of the committee voted to refuse an application to convert the Methodist Chapel and Sunday School into five holiday lets. This, however, was contrary to the planning officer’s recommendation and so has been referred back to the meeting in April.
The planning officer stated: “The willingness of the parish council to set aside the problematic elements of this proposal illustrates the dilemma at the heart of this application. The buildings are part of the town’s heritage and as such are worthy of retention and a viable economic use that would ensure their future. However, it is difficult to envisage a new use that will not have the same parking and access problems as this proposal.”
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish councillor Sheila Alderson told the meeting: “There is absolutely no parking outside the chapel.” Both she and Jack Sutton, who lives near the chapel, said that the small area of parking at Town Foot, opposite the doctors’ surgery, was used by residents who had nowhere else to park their vehicles. When that space became full vehicles were parked on the pavement.
“You take your life in your hands when you try to access Hawes,” commented Mr Sutton.
The meeting was informed that the developers, Matthew and Sally Faulkes with Ian Morton and Heritage Apartments Ltd, had proposed that five annual parking permits at the Dales Countryside Museum (DCM) car park could be purchased for those staying at the holiday lets.
The agent, Rachel Ford, explained that the conversion of the building would cost over £500,000 so local occupancy was not viable. The application was, she said, compliant with the Authority’s policy and the provision of more holiday lets would bring more visitors to Hawes and so be good for local businesses. She maintained that the holiday lets would not have an impact upon residents and that there would be a reduction in traffic compared with when the building was used as a church.
Cllr John Blackie disagreed stating that it had mainly been used on Sundays and many people had walked to it. Both he and Mr Sutton questioned that those using the holiday lets would want to walk 300m with luggage from the DCM car park especially when it was raining.
Cllr Alderson said the parish council was very concerned about Chapel Lane, which it described as an important access road for local residents, being blocked when people were unloading or loading luggage at the proposed holiday lets. The parish council could not understand why the Highway Authority had not objected to the application.
The planning officer explained that according to the National Planning Policy Framework a development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe. He added: “The Highway Authority has no objections but requires a Construction Management Plan to be provided to include parking for operatives, the loading, unloading and storage of plant and materials.”
He said that the developers had shown that the building was no longer needed by the community and could be sensitively converted.
North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch commented: “I couldn’t think of a more insensitive conversion for the local residents and how it will affect their lives. We are creating a nightmare for local residents.”
Another North Yorkshire County councillor, Robert Heseltine, compared the development with trying to pour a pint into a quart pot. And Allen Kirkbride added: “A large use [of this building] with lots of holiday cottages is going to make life in Hawes quite unbearable at times.”
The parish council had pointed out that the government through its Homes England Agency was now actively promoting community-led developments of affordable housing with very substantial grants. This made an affordable housing scheme for the Methodist chapel far more viable. “We would be prepared to accept some of the drawbacks if we saw clear benefits for the community,” Cllr Alderson said.
Cllr Blackie told the meeting: “The parish council has no doubt that no change is not an option but it questioned what is proposed is the best use. The word that comes to mind is over-development. Simply – there is no room for what is proposed. Something on a lesser scale would have been more acceptable.
“But they want to squeeze every square inch out of the former Methodist chapel. The trouble is with doing that – they will spill over their requirements to compromise the amenity of local residents who live in that very densely constrained area just near Town Foot. There are 14 houses – some are holiday lets and some are used by local residents. They have a right to enjoy their amenity. Something less ambitious, something less profit-making would actually be more acceptable.”
Before the application was discussed by the committee Cllr Blackie said there had been a complaint from the applicants concerning whether or not he should be involved in speaking or voting. “There is a clear threat that if I do, the applicants may well wish to take legal action against the Authority. I want to say that I have never ever in 21 years of sitting on this planning committee – or at Richmondshire District Council – had a complaint made in this way.
“I have never been accused of bias in the way that the applicant has accused me of bias. The bias comes from the fact that I had and I still run holiday cottages.”
He said he had taken legal advice many times and been told that he could take part in deciding holiday cottage applications so long as he had no financial interest. He explained that he had made it clear that he had expressed a preliminary view on the application in writing and verbally previous to the meeting, but had come to the meeting with an open mind as he was legally obliged to do.
“This seems to be an attempt to fix the jury but I have done absolutely nothing wrong. Threatening both me and the National Park is undermining the planning process.”
When she addressed the committee Ms Ford stated concerning that complaint that it had never been their intention not to have Cllr Blackie involved or to speak but to make the Authority aware of some issues.
Ms Ford, who is the head of planning for the Leeds-based agents Bowcliffe, had written to the Authority previous to the meeting that Cllr Blackie was biased against the application because he ran a holiday cottage company in the Dales. She had also complained about his behaviour at a site visit where, she said, he broke the code of conduct by using that as an opportunity to lobby against the plans.
She stated: “If Councillor Blackie proceeds to vote on the application …., to vote against the proposal and if his vote turns out to be decisive, then my clients will have no option but to explore potential legal claims against the council. I strongly suggest that Councillor Blackie plays no further role in the decision making process for my client’s application.”
From Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council report:
Methodist chapel. – The councillors and others at the meeting agreed that strong representation should be made to the planning appeal hearing concerning the former Methodist chapel. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) refused an application to convert the chapel and hall into five holiday lets.
It was agreed that the key issues were the lack of parking, severe congestion caused by bad parking, and the increase in the number of holiday lets rather than affordable housing.
One man who lives near the chapel stated: “We are completely surrounded by holiday lets. We have lost all our privacy.”
He and the parish council also emphasised that the lane behind the chapel was a public highway.
Affordable homes. – The meeting was told that three out of ten dwellings in Hawes were now holiday homes or second homes. Andrew Fagg said: “In four years’ time it is conceivable that there will be fewer than 50 pupils at [Hawes Primary] School.
Hawes – June
Permission to convert a barn close to the business park at Hawes into a home for a local young family has been recommended for refusal by a Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planning officer because it is, she argues, in the open countryside.
Pictured: l-r the lairage agricultural building, the barn proposed for conversion, a building in the business park and the sewage works.
In her report to the YDNPA planning committee meeting on Tuesday June 11 she describes the barn north of The Shearlings off Hardraw Road as a high quality non-designated heritage asset which makes a positive contribution to the landscape in an area that is readily accessible by visitors walking the Pennine Way.
In this she follows the advice of the Authority’s senior listed building officer who states: “This barn is a key feature in this location, along this very popular public footpath. It is not a roadside barn, but a landmark building set in the middle of a field, with a very fine landscape backdrop.“The proposed domestic conversion of this building would therefore have a negative impact, in particular the creation of a residential curtilage with car parking, extension and new openings.”
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council, however, completely disagrees.
It has informed the planning committee:“The applicants, a local couple, Ashley and Katie, who have two young children attending Hawes Primary School … are committed to remaining in Hawes for the rest of their lives and they have set their heart on converting the barn at The Shearlings and making it their family home.
“It is located on Ashley’s father’s farm holding, his father being Neil Iveson, one of the most renowned of sheep dealers in the North of England.” Ashley had told the parish council that he worked from home using the Superfast Broadband service in Hawes, in a highly specialist position within the horse racing industry.
The parish council explained: “This occupation allows him some time to help his father gather sheep for sale at the various Auction Marts in the Yorkshire Dales and beyond, especially Hawes Auction Mart, or to supply them to customers on the firm’s books. Accordingly the converted barn would be very convenient for this dual role. The extension proposed for the barn would be to provide a home office for his work.”
It continued: “Several [parish councillors] commented that this is exactly the type of young local family we need to retain in the Upper Dales, and [that] this is what the YDNPA in its policies and its public messages has been broadcasting in the media for 18 months now.”
The parish council pointed out that the barn was off the road to the Upper Wensleydale Business Park, was opposite the Community Fields and near the 120 unit Brown Moor Caravan site, as well as sitting neatly within the enclave of Brandymires. Hawes Fire Station is 50 yards away.
The parish council stated that the barn had not been used for some 15 years and the access to it would be hidden by the extensive lairage agricultural building used to hold sheep in transit. (Which cannot be said for the nearby sewage works.)
The parish council had supported the YDNPA planning committee when, in February this year, it accepted the recommendation of a planning officer to approve the conversion of a large roadside barn “in the wilderness” along Beggarmans Lane near Gayle to create a “horse assisted learning” business even though he said this was not in accordance with policy.
The application was for the conversion and extension of the barn to provide visitor accommodation and manager’s dwelling, a change of use of land for equestrian purposes, provision of all-weather riding surface, car parking and erection of a stable building.
And at its meeting last month the committee approved an application for a barn in Garsdale which a planning officer described as being a substantial early 19th century bank barn beside the A684 which was in an isolated and locally prominent position.
Meeting on June 11:
A young couple’s request to convert a barn at Hawes into their family home was turned down by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee on Tuesday June 11.
Ashley Iveson told the committee: “I ask you to give me and my family an opportunity to live and work on the farm holding that’s been part of my family for generations – and an opportunity to live in a town that we love for the rest of our lives. I would not like to raise my children anywhere else.”
Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council and North Yorkshire County Councillor John Blackie supported him in the assertion that the barn could not accurately be described as in the “open countryside” as it was close to Brandymires and the caravan park on Hardraw Road, and to the business park, Hawes Fire Station, the water works and the sewage works. It is even closer to Mr Iveson’s father’s lairage agricultural shed.
Mr Iveson said he was particularly disappointed at the way in which the planning officer had criticised this large shed. She had reported: “The shed is in an unfortunate position and is a visual detractor in the area. It is important that this does not set a precedent for further harmful development.”
Mr Iveson commented that the Authority had given planning permission for the shed: “It seems to me that the officer is using her obvious dislike of the shed against my completely separate development,” he said.
The Hawes and High Abbotside Parish representative, Jill McMullon, told the committee that she met many in the community through her work with the Upper Dales Community Partnership. She said she had previously served as a Richmondshire District councillor and had chaired that council twice and been a member of its planning committee for ten years.
She said: “At Richmondshire District Council we always tried to take the local community with us at planning. Now that’s not always possible but our track record was far, far better than yours.”
The Iveson family was, she said, a perfect example of the young family the National Park needed to retain if there was to be a bright future for the local community in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.“What is the point of the National Park making a priority of retaining and attracting young families to the Upper Dales, shouting this from the roof tops, and then coming forward with a report which seems to go out of its way to scotch the aspirations of a couple and their children to live in our community for the rest of their lives?”
She added that the report completely missed the point that the barn and the lairage shed belonged to the same farming business. “This application is a test of the real intention of the National Park Authority – are you going to walk the walk, or are you just talking the talk?”
Committee member Ian McPherson, however, said that once again there was a conflict on the committee between personal views and policy. He quoted the planning officer’s report which stated: “The barn in question is a field barn surrounded by agricultural land. It is not located within the settlement boundary of Hawes as defined in the Local Plan. It is not within a group of buildings. It is not a roadside location (it is approximately 90m from the Brunt Acre Industrial Estate road) and it is not served by an existing track. For these reasons the development does not comply with policy.
“The dwelling would not provide rural workers accommodation nor be an affordable property.” Mr Iveson had emphasised that, if converted, it would be a local occupancy dwelling, not a holiday let.
In her report the planning officer stated: “The barn in question being located immediately adjacent to the Pennine Way and within walking distance of the amenities and facilities of Hawes town centre would make an ideal camping barn. There is therefore an alternative economic use for the barn that would not require the level of intervention proposed by this development.”
Cllr Blackie commented: “I am bewildered about the suggestion [for] a camping barn. A camping barn, in my view, would create for more upheaval in the landscape than a domestic dwelling. It would also attract cars to be parked indiscriminately in the industrial area.”
He pointed out that in May the committee had approved a barn conversion where a 190m track was required to provide access to a road and reminded the members that there were different interpretations of the Authority’s policies to those of the planning officer. “Today I think she has got it wrong,” he said.
Cllr Blackie, Allen Kirkbride, a parish council member of the committee, and Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council emphasised that the barn was on a farm holding and that the proposed extension would provide an office for Mr Iveson who works from home as a specialist horse racing reporter as well as helping his father with the lairage business.
Committee member Jim Munday said he had read the parish council’s submission with great interest. “It’s full of character, it’s full of Dales’ interest, it’s got a hero and a heroine, and there’s a lot there which one empathises with.”
But he also felt it perpetuated the myth that the Authority refused many applications for barn conversions. “We’ve approved 110 barn conversions in the last three years and refused only nine. We like to say Yes and we usually do,” he added. He agreed with the planning officer that the committee should refuse Ashley and Katie Iveson’s application.
After seven members voted to refuse the application with four wishing to approve it, Cllr Blackie noted that, following the local elections, two Richmondshire District councillors had not yet been appointed to the Authority’s planning committee. He, therefore, asked for the decision to be deferred to July so that the two new members might have a chance to consider the issue.
The legal officer Clare Bevan said, however, that the committee had already decided not to approve the application.
After the meeting Julie Martin, who chaired the meeting, stated: “I feel very sorry for the applicants in this case. We have a flexible policy, which has already seen more than 150 traditional buildings converted to residential and business uses. “It was very clear that this proposal would not meet the criteria set out in the policy – not least because it has no access to a road. Whoever has been advising them has really let them down. I strongly urge people to please come and talk to our planning service at the earliest opportunity, so as to avoid this sort of disappointment and expense.
“Not all barns are suitable for conversion, particularly those away from the roadside in prominent positions. If there’s a doubt about whether or not a conversion is within policy, pre-application planning advice will clear it up before any expectations or hopes are raised and before any money is spent on professional services.”
Mrs Martin (a trustee of the Friends of the Dales) was deputy chair of the planning committee until Caroline Thornton-Berry stood down as a Richmondshire District councillor.
Hellifield – June
“This is where I would like to retire to in a few years’ time,” Michael Stapleton told the committee concerning the proposed conversion of a barn at the farmstead at Little Newton, Hellifield, near Long Preston.
The planning officer explained that the main problem with that at Little Newton was the relatively poor condition of the barn including the partial collapse at the first-floor level on the front wall. The original plans included taking down and rebuilding the front wall.
The planning officer pointed out that this was in conflict with the Authority’s policy that buildings should be capable of conversion with no more than minor structural work.
She added: “Furthermore, much of the historic significance of the building is due to the evidential value of the windows and doors visible on this frontage, which would be lost if the front wall was rebuilt.”
Part of the barn had once been a farmhouse.After an independent assessment it was agreed that the walls could be retained by using special shoring systems.
Hetton – April
The small village of Hetton in the Yorkshire Dales had to retain the services of a Queens Counsel at considerable cost in its bid to stop Michelin-star chef, Michael Wignall and his partners, from turning the Wine Cave at the Angel Inn into a fine dining restaurant with the loss of 16 car parking spaces.
Andrew Armstrong, representing Hetton cum Bordley Parish Meeting , told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee last month, that the parish meeting had felt obliged to do this because residents believed that a considerable increase in on-street parking would have an unacceptable impact on highway safety and the community.
The planning committee was told that Michael and Johanna Wignall and their partners, James and Jo Wellock, wanted to create a fine dining restaurant at the Wine Cave. But their plans included the removal of 16 car parking spaces in the rear yard, the construction of a rear extension, and the creation of a landscaped courtyard.
In March the planning committee did approve plans for internal and external alterations at the Angel Inn including extensions at the rear. Hetton cum Bordley Parish Meeting objected because, it said, the increase in guest bedrooms would lead to more cars being parked along the road especially if the parking area behind the Wine Cave was no longer available.
The parish meeting was so concerned when the planning officer recommended approval for the applications by Wellock Property Ltd that it asked Lichfields Planning Consultancy for advice. Justin Gartland, the chairman of that consultancy, told the committee in March: “It is not acceptable practice to suggest that the parish meeting should secure its own consultancy.”
The parish meeting’s representative, Andrew Armstrong, said: “Hetton parish meeting has been obliged to go to the length of employing the Queens Counsel who represented [the Authority] at the 1995 planning appeal.” The Authority’s decision at that time to refuse a planning application involving the Angel Inn was upheld at the three-day appeal on the grounds that it would be detrimental to highway safety and the amenity of the local community. Mr Armstrong said that the same issues still applied.
Carl Tonks of the cTc transport consultancy told that meeting that a survey had been carried out in September 2018 using a nationally accepted data base. This had shown, he said, that there would still be significant capacity for car parking within the area even after the proposed alterations at the Angel Inn and the Wine Cave.
The parish meeting, however, argued that the survey had been carried out at a quiet time in the village and when the rear car park at the Wine Cave was operational.
Also at the March meeting Charles Reeday, a farmer whose house is next door to the Wine Cave, told the committee that the alterations to it would greatly affect his garden and home. “We already suffer noise from the Angel across the road but the rear of our house is away from this.” They would not be able to escape the noise if the back of the Wine Cave was developed, he added.
Another resident, Richard Jackson, said the increase in noise and light pollution would have an impact on the neighbours. Mentioning the expense of employing a QC he said: “We are wondering how and why the National Park is still considering to give approval. What more is it possible for the village and the parish meeting to do?”
As the majority of the committee at the March meeting did not accept the planning officer’s recommendation to approve the application the decision was referred back to that on April 9. The head of development management, Richard Graham, reminded members that the traffic survey had been carried out in accordance with a nationally accepted model to industry standards and that evidence would be needed to counteract that.
North Yorkshire county councillor Richard Welch commented: “This is the over development of the site and detrimental to the residents and other road users. It will also have a detrimental impact on the residents’ amenities.”
The committee unanimously agreed with him and refused permission for the application.
Horton in Ribblesdale – November
An application for nine new houses and a barn conversion at Horton in Ribblesdale was approved with the strong recommenation that a pedestrian footpath to the village should be provided.
The chairman of Horton in Ribblesdale Parish councillor Martin Hanson told the committee that the need for a footway along the B6479 could not be ignored. “This is an extremely fast piece of road despite being a 30 limit. The parish council has sourced and provided a permanent speed camera on a location directly opposite this development and it showed a peak speed of 75mph. In Horton there is no highway lighting. All the lighting is footway lighting sorted out by the parish council. If there is no footway we can’t put in footway lighting.”
The committee asked for a footway to be included in the site plans. But it would be up to Highways North Yorkshire to provide a footway which linked it to the village the planning officer said.
She also told the committee that there would be a serious impact upon the access to the development site if the present lean-to on the barn was not removed. North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine said that replacing the lean-to at the front of the barn with a new one at the back did not respect the integrity of the building.
The access to the development will be at one end of a terrace of four stone and slate terrace cottages which will comprise the local affordable housing on the site. The five open-market self-build houses will be in a loose farmstead layout, the planning officer said, with one being a new-build farmhouse-style dwelling and four others to look like modern agricultural buildings with timber cladding and metal roofing sheets.
Member Neil Swain said the latter should be relatively easy and cheap to construct allowing people to build their own homes.
Ian McPherson, however, did not like the distinct separation between the affordable homes and the open-market ones. The planning officer explained that this was for purely practical reasons as Craven District Council will hold the freehold for the affordable homes as the Registered Provider.
She reported that shares for those four houses would range from 25 per cent to 75 per cent subject to the income levels of the prospective purchasers and ownership would be capped at 80 per cent. The district council will enter into legal agreements so that those houses will remain affordable for perpetuity.
Like Cllr Hanson, Craven District councillor Richard Foster commented that it was a shame that it had taken so long since the development was planned in 2012 because now the village’s school and shop had closed. He and other members hoped the development would encourage young families to move into the area.
North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch, however, asked if young couples would want to move to the village as there was no school for their children and an irregular bus service.
A local resident, Julie Rose, also questioned the likelihood that young families would want to live there. “The only people who want to move to the village now either want second or retirement homes,” she said.
She told the committee that the development would not be in keeping with the style of the surrounding residential properties especially as there would be three different designs on the site which, she argued, would not blend together.
The planning officer reported that the developer had amended the scheme so that the affordable houses and parking area would not be as close to existing houses and so have an impact upon the amenity of neighbours.
Before the debate began there were declarations of interest by North Yorkshire County councillor David Ireton and Cllr Heseltine. The chair, Julie Martin, declared an interest as a trustee of the Friends of the Dales which had responded to the consultation on the development. She said she had taken no part in preparing that and so would vote. Cllr Welch said he would speak but would not vote as he had attended discussions about the development at county council meetings. There was a need for transparency in the eyes of the public he said.
Ingleton Quarry – December
David Parrish explained that due to a recent appeal court decision the a decision concerning the application by Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd to extend its permission to continue working at Ingleton Quarry until until December 2025 instead of ending in May 2020 should be deferred and this was agreed.
The Friends of the Dales had objected to the proposal to extend the operational life of the quarry. It stated: “The 2015 application secured an extension until May 2015 to allow reserves remaining in the quarry to be extracted. We are now told a further five years are needed. The quarry should close to schedule and be restored.”
The chairman of the Authority’s planning committee, Julie Martin, is a trustee of the Friends of the Dales.
Killington – March
When an 18th century barn at Aikrigg partially collapsed during a severe storm the owners were heartbroken, Ian Dawson, the chairman of Killington Parish Meeting told the planning committee.
He explained that the owners had been given permission to convert the barn into a home for themselves and a base for their business. “We would welcome this new couple,” he said.
They had applied for permission to reconstruct the partially collapsed barn to form a dwelling but the planning officer pointed out that this would now amount to a new open market home which did not comply with the South Lakeland Core Strategy.
South Lakeside District Council had given permission in 2014 for the two other barns on either side of that which collapsed to be converted into open market dwellings. They are in a remote location near Killington.
Ian McPherson argued that the impact of the barn on that group of buildings, the beneficial impact on the visual quality of the surrounding landscape, the reason why it collapsed and that South Lakeland District Council has approved similar applications were valid material considerations for approving the application even if it was not in accordance with policy.
Cllr Towneley agreed and added that there would be considerable loss in the archaeological heritage of the hamlet if the barn was not reconstructed.
Twelve out of 15 of the members voted to approve the application. As this was against the officer’s recommendation it was referred back to the April meeting at which the majority of the committee again voted to approve the application.
Keld – October and November
A young farmer, Chris Rukin, explained to the committee the problems he and his family would have with condensation if the bathroom window in the converted barn they were living in was removed and blocked up.
The planning officer stated that the modern window, which was installed without permission, was at odds with the traditional agricultural character of the building. When this was combined with the proposed extension [on that gable end], the result would be a complicated and unbalanced appearance detrimental to the significance of the Barns and Walls Conservation Area,” he said.
He told the meeting that officers had worked with the Rukins to create an acceptable proposal for the single-storey extensions and removal of the bathroom window. That proposal was approved in July this year – but then the Rukins applied to keep the bathroom window.
Mr Rukin explained that the problems with condensation had become severe once he and his wife were living there permanently. As he was working on the farm there was a lot of washing. “The condensation was getting into the walls and starting to smell. When it was used as a holiday cottage there wasn’t the same level of showers and baths. Since the window has been installed we have had no problems. We don’t want to go back to that situation.”
Allen Kirkbride, North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine and Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden agreed that such a young farming family deserved their support.
And Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong said: “In my opinion this would be seen as unreasonable and disproportionate to refuse permission for this very specific reason when there is a legitimate basis for requiring it [the window].”
The chairman of the committee, Julie Martin disagreed and stated: “As the cultural heritage champion I believe we should take a strong line and refuse it.” She said that she appreciated the damp issues but the officers had been exceptionally helpful and accommodating. Part of the deal struck earlier in the year, she explained, had included the removal of the unauthorised window. “Its a bit like reneging on the deal to come back to retain the window,” she added.
The deal was for a single-storey extension on the east elevation to provide additional ground floor living accommodation, and a single storey lean-to extension on the south elevation to provide toilet and wash facilities for the campsite on the farm.
Eleven out of 16 of the members voted to grant permission for the extensions and retaining the bathroom window. The reasons they gave were that the window didn’t materially harm the appearance of the building and that it was necessary .
As this was against officer recommendation the decision was referred back to the November meeting.
Langcliffe – May
There were gasps when an enforcement officer showed the committee a photograph of the fully fitted modern kitchen inside “The Old Dairy” beside Cowside Barn at Langcliffe.
She said that when she visited the building in June 2017 she was told it was mainly being used as a kennel facility even though there were some kitchen units, a sink, a cooker, a bed and a sleeping bag alongside the designated area for dogs. She was told that the only time it was occupied was when additional care was needed for the dogs and new litters.
When she went there in November 2018, however, she found that the building had been converted into a three -bedroom dwelling house. Two of the bedrooms are en-suite and there is a bathroom and living area. All the windows and doors had been replaced with uPVC double glazed units. Outside there are hanging baskets, decking, a BBQ, washing line and garden furniture.
The enforcement officer showed photographs of how the interior of the cabin looked in 2017 – and then those taken in November 2018 which so surprised the committee members, especially the black and white kitchen with large extractor fan.
She reported that the owner intended to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to prove the lawful use of “The Old Dairy” as a dwelling house from March 2013 to December 2018.
She stated: “Despite the owner’s assurances that the outbuilding has been occupied as a self-contained dwelling house since March 2013, no supporting evidence to prove the lawful use of the building has been forthcoming. The fact that there was a bed and basic kitchen facilities within the building does not demonstrate that the building has been occupied as a self-contained unit of accommodation .
“At the time of visiting in 2017, the building did not appear to be in use as habitable living accommodation. It appears that, prior to the works being carried out to convert the building in late 2017, it was used as an ancillary out building and as kennelling facilities in connection with Cowside Barn.”
The enforcement officer added that a smaller building had been constructed without planning permission next to “The Old Dairy”. She said that when she visited in April 2019 there were seven dogs and three litters (24 puppies) in that building.
Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock commented: “So many people in the Yorkshire Dales never do anything without asking for planning [advice or] permission. To me it is only right that we respect that.”
For that reason, she said, the Authority should take enforcement action when something had been done without planning permission.
The committee agreed that the Authority’s solicitor should serve an Enforcement Notice to secure the cessation of the use of “The Old Dairy” as a dwelling house; the removal of internal fixtures and fittings including the kitchen units and appliances; and the removal of the decking and fence.
The original recommendation was for a three-month compliance period but the committee agreed this should be extended to six months to provide time for those living there to find alternative accommodation.
Langcliffe – August
Langcliffe Parish Council disagreed with the Authority’s planning department about how contemporary design can be introduced to traditional buildings.
It objected to the application to the plans for re-instating a cart entrance with timber and glass at The Barn in Low Fold, Langcliffe, because, it said, “glazing on the front elevation would introduce a negative modern feature to the traditional neighbouring building design, and would impose a visual impact on the historic village.”
The planning officer, however, quoted the Authority’s Design Guide which states: “alterations to dwellings present an excellent opportunity to introduce contemporary designs and materials even on traditional buildings.”
The applicant, Kevin van Green, said he and his wife had carefully studied the Design Guide, employed an architect with decades of experience of traditional stone properties, and liaised with the planning officer when working on a high quality design which reflected the setting of the village. They plan to use it as their family home.
The planning officer noted that the proposed design would mean that previous unsympathetic alterations which had affected the barn’s original agricultural character and appearance would be removed including replacing a flat roof on a single storey extension at the rear with a more traditional catslide roof.
Mr van Green said that the proposed alterations would reduce the amount of glazing by 20 per cent. In addition, it had been agreed, following the parish council’s objection, to reduce the amount of glazing on the cart entrance.
He told the committee: “We believe that the barn presents an opportunity to show how contemporary design can fit comfortably into the surroundings. Our design will greatly improve the functionality of the interior spaces allowing light in. It is in keeping with the area given that glazed cart entrances are not a new concept to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”
With just one abstention the members voted to approve the application. This included the demolition of the existing porch and chimney; installation of metal balustrade to balcony and four new rooflights and a flue to the roof; and the replacement of windows, doors, guttering and downpipes.
Long Preston – December
Permission was granted for the construction of 16 new affordable homes off Green Gate Lane in Long Preston even though the parish council had felt this would be over-intensive use of the site.
The planning officer explained that in 2014 and again June 2017 permission was given for 13 affordable homes to be built where there had been a large industrial building and a yard. The new application was for eight affordable homes for rent, and the others to be affordable through shared ownership with a Registered Provider retaining the freehold so that they can never be sold outright. She said that the total number of bedrooms had only increased by one.
Long Preston Parish Council stated it did not object to the affordable housing development but, besides what it viewed as over-intensive use of the site, was very concerned about the safety of children walking to and from school as the roads and lanes around the school were narrow with no paths or pavement.
Cllr Welch agreed with the parish council that the access into Green Gate Lane from Maypole Green was very narrow. Like other members he emphasised the need for affordable homes and said: “We have lost two schools [in this area] in the past few years. We would rather have extra houses than lose schools.”
The planning officer pointed out that there was a footpath from the development site to close to the school.
Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong pointed out that the plans included no bungalows for elderly people and asked if any lifts would be installed to help people access the second floor flats. “We are supposed to think about housing for life. And sometimes even young people need lifts,” she commented.
Mr Graham said that suggestion would be considered. And the planning officer added that the application included a mix of housing to allow for various needs. The housing varies from three-bedroom houses to one-bedroom flats.
Mallerstang – August
The telecommunications mast at Hazel Gill Farm, Mallerstang can remain an Iron Grey colour.
When Eden District Council gave approval for the construction of the telecommunications base station in October 2016 one of the conditions was that all of it should be Olive Green in colour. EE UK Ltd, however, had erected a mast which is Iron Grey.
The members shown a photo of this and unanimously agreed that it blended into the landscape as well as an Olive Green one would. The planning officer noted that it would be even better if the white antennas were also painted grey.
Mallerstang Parish Meeting had agreed with the two objectors who were concerned that varying the conditions on the mast at Hazel Gill Farm would have an impact upon that further up the dale at Castlethwaite.
The planning officer stated that the landscape context of the Castlethwaite site was different and added: “Any proposal to vary the condition controlling the colour of that tower would have to be considered on its own merits.”
Maulds Maeburn – August
It was unanimously agreed that a causeway will not have to be constructed to the rear of a new house beside the River Lyvennet at Maulds Maeburn.
This had been one of the conditions included when Eden District Council approved the plans in July 2016 for the construction of a house in the garden of 1 Stepping Stones. The objective was to provide a safe escape route if there was serious flooding.
The site is within the Environment Agency’s flood zones two and three and the original application required the provision of a Flood Risk Assessment. It was for that assessment that the causeway was included – but it would have been over the village green and Crosby Ravensworth Parish Council would not give permission for it.
Mike Archer told the committee that after he applied to have the condition removed there were 15 letters of objection. These included the request that the application for the house should be reconsidered now that Maulds Maeburn was within the Yorkshire Dales National Park; that no new houses should be built in flood areas; and that the proposed house would harm the character of the village and the Conservation Area and create parking and access difficulties.
Mr Archer said that many of the objections had been made as a result of an anonymous email being widely circulated. That email, he said, had shown an image which misrepresented the design of the house. He added that the house would fit in with traditional buildings in the village and would be built in accordance with the requirements of the Flood Risk Assessment.
The planning officer reported that Authority could only agree to lift a condition but not revoke the approval given by Eden District Council.
Maulds Meaburn – October
A large number of the issues raised by Crosby Ravensworth Parish Council about the application to build three terraced houses on land adjacent to the village institute in Maulds Meaburn had been dealt with before the meeting said the chairman, Mrs Martin.
The planning officer reported that outline permission had been granted by Eden District Council in September 2016. He said that in accordance with some of the points made by the parish council the present application stated that the window and door frames must be made of timber and not white UPVC; porous surfacing material should be used on the access road and car parking area so that surface water will be retained on the site and not contribute to any flooding along the road; and the front gardens should be enclosed by a traditional dry stone wall.
The parish council had argued that six parking spaces was inadequate and that could lead to parking congestion by the village institute. The planning officer’s report stated that one more parking space has been added and that the houses should be built to a high quality design that reflected the local character.
The planning office reported that some of the other issues raised by the parish council had already been dealt with by the District Council when outline planning permission was given.
The planning committee approved the application.
Ravenstonedale – December
Mr Graham assured members that the Flooding Authority would be asked again if sufficient measures would be undertaken to ensure that the construction of a local needs house in the garden of Coldbeck House in Ravenstonedale would not increase the possibility of flooding in that area of the village.
The majority voted in favour of permission being granted once that assurance was given. Both Ian McPherson and Cllr Welch emphasised that the main problem was the possibility of flooding and a resident, Diane Palmer, told the committee that on that issue the Authority had a duty of care.
This had formed part of the objection made by Ravenstonedale Parish Council which was presented by Scott Thornley. It had argued that the construction of the house would have a negative impact upon spacious layout of what was possibly the oldest part of the village and is a Conservation Area. It disagreed that this was an “infill site” and was concerned about the impact not only on neighbours but also the remaining section of the historic mill leat as well as how removing several trees would affect the red squirrels.
The planning officer maintained that this would be an infill site in accordance with Eden District Council’s planning policy. He said the applicant had modified an earlier application due to the issues raised by the parish council and residents. The proposed house was now smaller and there would be a flood attenuation tank below ground on the southern side of the site plus a permeable surface for the car parking area.
He said that the high retaining wall around the existing garden would severely limit views into the site and restrict any impact upon neighouring properties. He added that the mill leat would be retained.
The applicant, Christopher Kelly, told the committee: “We have worked hard with the National Park officers and we believe that this new house in this location would have minimal impact.”
Reeth – October
Two committee members put forward a very common sense solution to how to protect the amenity of neighbours once a new garden has been developed behind the Burgoyne Hotel: create a deep cultivated bed along the boundary wall.
Some residents of Hill Close had objected to the development of the garden because it would be so easy for hotel guests to look down on them over a wall which is only 1.3m high. The planning officer told the committee that the material consideration was the severity of the impact on the amenity of neighbours. He had, therefore, suggested imposing conditions to mitigate the impact.
One of these was that a screen wall or fence should be erected two metres from the boundary. The hotel owner, Ian Hewitt, explained that this and a condition excluding the public from the chef’s garden were overly onerous. He wanted the chef’s garden to be part of the hotel experience for their guests.
Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley was the first to suggest a flower bed and then Jim Munday said: “The simple thing is to have a cultivated bed along the wall of an appropriate depth to prevent anybody from looking over the wall.”
The committee agreed and also felt that there wasn’t a good reason to exclude the public from the chef’s vegetable garden. They were told by the planning officer that the vegetable plots would enable the hotel to grow its own food which would assist in the viability of the business.
Residents were also concerned about the possibility of large events being held in the garden accompanied by loud amplified music. Mr Hewitt told the committee that the grass area of the new garden would not be suitable for marquees and added: “We don’t intend to have events there.”
The conditions, however, included that there should be no formal functions or events in the new garden; no tents, marquees or other temporary shelters; no playing or broadcasting of amplified music or speech; and guests not being allowed to be in it after 10pm.
Once the amendments to the conditions had been agreed the majority of the members voted to approve the application for change of use of the land.
Permission was also granted for the demolition of a single storey detached outbuilding at the rear of the hotel. The planning officer explained This narrow brick building with rusty corrugated metal roof was built as a shower block during World War II when the hotel had been requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence. The space created by its demolition would be used for guest car parking Mr Hewitt said. As it is one of the few structures built for military purposes in the National Park during that war there must be a full archaeological recording of it before it is demolished.
Sedbergn, Gypsy and Travellers’ site – May
The 21-day site for Gypsies and Travellers at Scrogg Bank Field, Cautley Road, Sedbergh, has been a complete “godsend” Sedbergh Parish councillor Ian McPherson told the committee.
Cllr McPherson, who has been a member of the Travelling and Settled Community Respect Group for ten years, proposed that only a five-year temporary permission should be granted for the site and this was unanimously approved. The application was for permanent permission which Sedbergh Parish Council objected to because, it said, this would enshrine the use of the site by Gypsies and Travellers for the long-term.
The provision of the site covers the period when Gypsies and Travellers are going to and returning from the Appleby Fair. Cllr McPherson told the committee: “This field over the last five years has been a complete godsend.
“It means that instead of Travellers being here, there and everywhere and putting their horses to graze on the school playing fields and using ditches [as latrines] has largely ceased. Without this field it is felt that matters would return to the bad old days.”
The committee was told that when in use the site for no more than 100 caravans at one time will be supervised at least twice a day by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers and the Police. An enclosed skip and bin bags will be provided and the SLDC will clear away litter and waste afterwards. Portable toilets will be provided.
John Bucknall, a trustee of Pendragon Estates which owns the two farms adjoining the site, told the committee: “The Gypsies have their own codes of cleanliness. Some, in preference to using the sanitary facilities provided on site, use the hedgerows, adjacent fields and our farm entrance as latrines.”
He recounted how last year one of the tenant farmers found teenagers had driven a ewe into a gill and appeared to be attempting to steal two lambs. Some horses had also been put to graze on a farmer’s field. “Grass is gold. These are our best meadows,” Mr Bucknall said.
“We live in a state of virtual siege in the house and on the farm while the Gypsies are encamped. We cannot leave house or farm unmanned at any time and we feel at constant risk of intimidation and trespass. Our tenants are in constant fear of stock being injured or stolen,” he added.
He understood the need to provide such a site and appreciated the achievements of the public meetings. He said he had been able to discuss their difficulties with Billy Welch, the Gypsy leader [Shera Rom] at one of those meetings.
“As the conditions of the fair constantly change, I support the five-year temporary permission,” he said.
Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock commented that Sedbergh was fortunate to have such a site. She explained that Bainbridge village green was now a managed site for the Gypsies and Travellers over the period of the Appleby Fair when there was no charge to use the public toilets. Residents did often feel intimidated she said and found it difficult when generators were being run until midnight.
Eden District councillor Ian Mitchell did not take part in the discussion and did not vote as he is a member of the Appleby Fair Multi-Agency Coordinating Group. This year Appleby Fair begins on Thursday June 6 and ends on Wednesday June 12.
Sedbergh – May
Unanimous approval was given for the conversion of a barn in Joss Lane, Sedbergh, into two dwellings for either holiday lets or local occupancy even though a degree of rebuilding may be necessary.
A planning officer told the committee that some of the single storey walls and the upper part of a gable wall were unstable. “The majority of the walling and the most important features of the barn would be retained. The degree of rebuilding is therefore justified on heritage grounds,” he said.
But David Parratt, on behalf of his mother-in-law who lives in The Old House adjacent to the barn, stated: “We consider that the building appears unsafe and would require rebuilding.” He added that major intervention would probably be required.
Sedbergh Parish Council had initially objected to the application because, it stated, the barns exhibited apparent defects, including leaning walls, displaced masonry, open joints and cracked lintels. After seeing amended plans it no longer had any objections.
Mr Parratt was also concerned about the impact upon the amenity of those living in The Old House especially if the new dwellings became holiday lets, and that a package sewage plant had not been included in the plans. The committee agreed that the latter should be included.
The agent for the applicant, Ian Swain, said that The Old House would not be overlooked by the new dwellings as the barn was at an angle to it.
Ian McPherson, who is a Sedbergh parish councillor, commented that he regularly walked past The Old House and the barn. “The barn has been crying out for renovation for a long time. In my view it would make an excellent holiday let or local occupancy dwelling.”
Sedbergh – June
Approval was given for the 18th century bank barn in Howgill Lane at Sedbergh to be converted into a local occupancy two bedroom dwelling.
The planning officer told the committee: “The building in question is a characteristic Dale’s barn that is prominent in public views when travelling along Howgill Lane. However, the proposed conversion scheme has been sensitive to the character of the building and amounts to minimal external change to both the structure and its surroundings.”
Sedbergh Parish Council had stated that it considered the development would improve what was currently an eyesore on the outskirts of the residential centre of the town and at the same time retain a heritage asset in a sympathetic manner. It would provide valuable accommodation for a local family subject to the appropriate 106 restrictions.”
Sedbergh – August and September
The only time members disagreed with an officer’s recommendation at the meeting concerned the application for change of use of the two upper floors the premises at 6 Finkle Street, Sedbergh, to a two bedroom flat with a new external door to provide access to the ground floor of the flat, plus change of use of the remaining ground floor and the basement from retail and storage to A1 retail.
The majority of the members decided that turning the upper floors back to residential use did not constitute “new build” and so the owner should not have to sign a local occupancy legal agreement as requested by the planning officer.
Cllr Kirkbride said that, in this instance, the Authority’s Local Plan was wrong and several agreed with him that the economic well-being of Sedbergh had to be considered.
The planning officer, Mr Graham and the Authority’s legal officer, however, all argued that changing the use of part of the first floor from commercial to residential meant that the two-storey flat did now require a local occupancy restriction in accordance with Local Plan policy.
Planning permission was granted in September 2016 for part of the first floor to be used as a café and the rear courtyard to be an al fresco dining area.
Jacky Baines told the committee that she had created a café in part of the first floor with the hope that it would attract more business to her ground floor shop. But the business had still became unviable and the ground floor is now rented to someone running a flower and gift shop.
She said that as she had bought the building in 2014 as an open market property (shop and flat) she would now make a considerable loss if she signed a local occupancy S106 legal agreement for the flat.
The planning officer reported that the proposed re-instatement of a separate ground-floor entrance to the flat was acceptable but he had recommended refusal of the application because Ms Baines had declined to sign a local occupancy legal agreement.
Simon Arnold, chairman of Sedbergh Parish Council’s planning committee, told the committee: “[The flat’s] use as a café was a tiny snapshot in the building’s life. It involved no structural change and only occupied part of the first floor and added: “When we heard that an S106 was being insisted upon we felt this was being unnecessarily incorrectly applied. “
It would, he said, deter new business activity in the town and so increase the risk of ground floor commercial properties being left empty. “We as a parish are keen to preserve Finkle Street. It sits in the traditional centre of our town. Anything that provokes empty properties [works] against the viability of the other businesses and creates a damaging first impression for people visiting the town. We feel that Sedbergh needs a mixture of housing. Small properties like this provide a valuable foothold on the open market.”
Sedbergh Parish councillor Ian McPherson, who is a parish council member of the Authority, said he had asked for the late submission from Mrs Baines’s agent to be circulated. He told the committee he had not participated in any discussion about the application beforehand.
The agent, Barbara Hartley of Garsdale Design Ltd, stated that when they were first advised by telephone by the planning officer that a local occupancy legal agreement was required for the flat they had asked that the parish council should be informed. This request was refused and so Garsdale Design had done so.
She quoted the Local Plan policy which stated: “that new housing within settlement boundaries on sites of up to five dwellings will be restricted to local occupancy.” She said: “The flat at 6 Finkle Street is not new. The top two floors have been used as residential for the major part of the building’s life. We do not think that the intent of [the] policy was ever to re-designate the occupancy of existing dwellings when, for a relatively short period in their lives, they have been used for an expansion of a ground floor business.
She continued: “A negative planning decision on this application will have major implications for Sedbergh. It will set an undesirable precedent for the business community. There will be a reluctance to expand any business knowing that if that expansion fails and they wish to reinstate the residential use this will have huge financial repercussions for them. It has much wider implications for Sedbergh and its effort at attracting new business to the town.
“One of the main remits of the Authority is to support sustainable communities. We agree that housing type and occupancy is one of the remits. But in the service towns such as Sedbergh the economy and the viability of business has equal importance.”
This point was picked up by several members of the committee and led to Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley‘s proposal to approve the application without a legal agreement as there were, she said, material considerations. These were that the flat had been designated as residential not long ago and that a legal agreement would restrict local economic growth and create commercial disbenefits.
Neither the legal officer, Claire Bevan, nor Mr Graham were convinced. And the chairman, Julie Martin, commented: “We need to be clear on the reasons.”
Cllr McPherson stated: “I am normally a sticker for absolutely sticking to policy, but I am not certain that this is new housing as required by [policy]. There was certainly a new use but there has been a very rapid… request to revert back to the original use. I am not really convinced, and I don’t think others are convinced either, that this is the kind of new housing that was envisaged when this policy was made.”
He added that to apply the policy would create a situation that would seem quite ridiculous to third parties. It could be interpreted, he said, as being against local people who find themselves in a situation where they could suffer financial loss.
Cllr Kirkbride said: “We should be there helping communities. I am a great believer in local housing but the policy we have is totally wrong. We need to do something when the time comes [to preparing the new Local Plan] to alter this.”
North Yorks County councillor David Ireton also queried the policy as he, like several other members, felt this was clearly an example of a shop with accommodation above it.
Jim Munday, however, argued that anyone who bought the property and ran the shop on the ground floor would qualify for local occupancy. And Mr Graham commented that the policy was part of the Local Plan which was only adopted in 2016. “It is not the purpose of this committee to make up policy on the hoof. We are taking the first steps to create a new Local Plan but this is the policy at the moment.”
He added that the policy was part of the Local Plan which was only adopted in 2016. “It is not the purpose of this committee to make up policy on the hoof. We are taking the first steps to create a new Local Plan but this is the policy at the moment.”
To this Cllr Towneley said: “Officers recommend but it is this committee to decide and we can do that in any way shape or form that we wish.”
Ms Bevan countered this with: “But [members] still have to decide in accordance with what the law says, which is in accordance with the Local Plan unless they identify material considerations.”
Eight members voted to approve the application without a legal agreement. The four who voted against this included the chairman.
Mr Graham said that as this was against officer recommendation the decision would be referred back to the September meeting.
The majority of the committee again voted in favour of allowing the two upper floors of 6 Finkle Street in Sedbergh to become a residential flat again without the imposition of a legal agreement that it must be for local occupancy. (Such agreements can include holiday lets.)
The head of development management, Richard Graham, reminded members that at the August meeting a planning officer had recommended refusing the application because the owner had refused to sign a legal agreement.
The majority of the members, however, agreed that turning the upper floors back to residential use did not constitute “new build” and so did not require any legal agreement. They were also concerned that the imposition of such a legal agreement would have a negative impact upon businesses in the centre of Sedbergh.
As that was contrary to the officer’s recommendation the issue was referred back to the September meeting. Mr Graham said that the housing policy was aimed at delivering more affordable housing for local people. He did not accept the possible “material considerations” put forward last month but rather suggested others which could be used to support a decision that was not in accordance with policy.
He said: “Changing the use of the upper floors to residential in the circumstances in this case would not have a material effect upon the delivery of affordable housing for local people. The proposal would create a two-bedroom flat which, in this location, would be a relatively affordable form of accommodation and is less likely to become a second home or a holiday let than a house would be. But, of course, that cannot be guaranteed.
“There is a wider consideration here that [such a legal restriction] would hamper flexibility of businesses to use their premises and that may frustrate some of the economic objectives of the Local Plan.”
Jim Munday argued that imposing a legal restriction was in accordance with the Authority’s Local Plan especially as it wanted to attract more young people to the National Park.
But seven of the 13 members disagreed and confirmed the decision to approve the change of use of the two storeys without a local occupancy legal restriction.
Sedbergh – August
The conversion of a potting shed into holiday letting accommodation was described by the chairman, Mrs Martin, as a novel application.
Cllr McPherson pointed out that this would be invisible to the public but set within the beautiful gardens at Greenbank. He described the latter as an interesting house with extensive gardens which were open to the public several times a year.
The application for one-bedroom accommodation and including a small extension was unanimously approved by the committee.
Settle – June
The committee quickly approved the application by Andrew Morrell to convert a Grade II listed barn at Cleatop Park, Settle, partly to be used as a holiday let, and partly to create a private garage and artist’s studio.
Mr Morrell had originally wanted to add a glazed artist’s studio on the east elevation but this did not conform with the Authority’s policy which is based upon conserving traditional barns.
Smardale – April
Violent and anti-social incidents at a care home for vulnerable children in Smardale have created so much fear in that small community that the residents appealed to the planning committee not to allow even more youngsters to reside there. But their request has been refused.
Gloria Venning told the committee in March that the trained staff at Cloverdale, run by A Wilderness Way Holdings Ltd, weren’t even able to control two children. She reported that the Police had been called when a staff member locked herself and another child in a safe room while a distressed teenager was left wandering around the area with a knife. She said there had been six incidents at Cloverdale so far including arson and anti-social and sexual behaviour.
“In less than two years this property has been transformed from a family home … to an offenders’ institution,” she said.
The planning committee accepted the request of Eden District councillor William Patterson to hold a site meeting mainly to see how difficult it was to reach Smardale. Cllr Patterson and residents pointed out that the nearest Police station was 30 miles away and the only route into Smardale was via a single-track road.
At the meeting on April 9 however, the planning committee by eight votes to six, gave approval for change of use from a dwelling house to a residential institution capable of housing six children.
At that meeting Cllr Patterson refuted a statement by a committee member that the residents of Smardale were prejudiced.
“If the people of Smardale were prejudiced they would have fought for it not to be there in the first place,” he said.
Rosemarie Lees on behalf of Waitby and Smardale Parish Meeting told the April meeting: “We agreed not to oppose the original application for four vulnerable children to be there – indeed we sought to welcome them.” She said the planning officer had trivialised the residents’ major concern – the fear of crime. “The fear is real – the incidents are serious,” she said and added.
“We have totally lost confidence in the management of Wilderness Way. The company does not communicate with residents.”
She and others pointed out that the nature reserve at Smardale was being publicised as a major tourist attraction by the YDNPA. But visitors would have to walk past Cloverdale to reach it.
Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock was especially concerned that the application was for the change of use of Cloverdale from a dwelling to a residential institution. She warned that members needed to be very careful as they didn’t know what sort of applications might be made in the future.
The agent for A Wilderness Way Holdings Ltd told the committee that the objective was to make Cloverdale similar to a family home for the vulnerable children residing there. She said that Ofsted, which inspects and regulates the services at Cloverdale, had asked that it should have the capacity to take up to six children in an emergency.
A Certificate of Lawfulness was issued in December 2017 confirming it could be used to provide care and accommodation for no more than four children under the age of 18 with the support of two carers on a 24-hours shift rota basis. To be able to accommodate six children with six adult carers Cloverdale needed to become a residential institution.
The agent added that the aim was to have a care home where the children could enjoy the wonders of the National Park.
The planning officer stated: “The proposed use would deliver a significant social benefit for the wider community in that it would provide care and respite for children/young people to recover from experiences that have rendered them vulnerable. Cloverdale is considered to be an appropriate location for such a use given its rural setting being ideal for therapeutic care and being remote from the home areas of children/young people where there may be significant risks to the success of their care.
“Concerns based on the fear of crime are not compelling given the lack of a reasonable, cogent evidential basis linking the use with criminal activity and given that the Police are satisfied with the applicant’s Statement of Purpose and admissions process.”
The chairman of the Authority, Craven District councillor Carl Lis, said that the Police and Ofsted were the experts – and Ofsted had asked for the residential capacity to be increased.
Committee member, Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong, stated: “This is an excellent location making a positive contribution to these children’s lives.”
And another member, Jim Munday, added: “This is about providing a safe home for vulnerable children. What is missing … is serious dialogue between the applicant and the local population. It’s important that the applicant and local population sit down and talk this through.”
Stainforth – March
Residents asked the committee to refuse an application for a hot tub in the garden of a holiday cottage beside Stainforth’s 18th century Grade II listed bridge because the noise made by those using it detracted from the enjoyment of the natural environment and tranquillity of the area.
Cllr Richard Welch supported them and stated: “This should be refused as it is beside a historic bridge and a footpath and so did affect the quality of life and the tranquillity of the village.”
But the majority of the other members accepted the planning officer’s argument that there would not be a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area, nor would the heritage significance of the bridge be affected. One of the conditions, however, is that it should only be in use between 9am and 9.30pm.
The application by the owner of Bridge End holiday cottage for the replacement of two existing sheds and the siting of an electric hot tub was, therefore, approved.
Frank Underwood, on behalf of Stainforth Parish Meeting, explained that the electric hot tub would replace one which was heated by a wood burner. On occasions those using that hot tub had created a lot of noise he said. He added that the National Park was also responsible for the social and well being of residents.
“How a hot tub is fostering the social and well being of the local community escapes me,” he commented.
A resident, Viv Mills, told the committee that 19 residents – almost one fifth of the community – had sent in letters of objection and added: “It is clear from the number of objections that it doesn’t fit in with the historic nature of the area.”
She said that Bridge End was unique in the village because it was the only holiday cottage causing problems and the daily time limit on the hot tub would not solve these as it could be in use all day.
The owner, Lianne Butler, said a higher fence would be installed to screen the garden. The hot tub was, she added, near the pub’s beer garden, brought in business for the pub, and attracted families to stay at Bridge End.
Starbotton – April
Despite a warning by a parish council that the conversion of a barn at Starbotton would lead to further inappropriate development in a conservation area created to protect a medieval “toft” system the planning committee approved the planning application by artist Victoria Russell.
Kettlewell with Starbotton Parish councillor Ian Macefield told the committee that Tom Lear Barn was an integral part of Starbotton’s medieval toft (croft) system.
“The toft system is the key charm, character and essence of the village,” he said.
The planning officer agreed that the barn had a very high heritage significance as there was evidence of it originally being of cruck construction and so likely to date from the late 16th century.
She said there had been extensive negotiations over the design to produce a sensitive scheme which would also enable the owner to use it as an artist studio as well as a two-bedroom local occupancy dwelling.
The parish council had objected to the original plans because they included a glazed gable which, it said, was out of character with the barn and other buildings in the conservation area.
This was not included in amended plans. Instead there will be patent glazing providing light to the first floor. The planning officer stated: “Although patent glazing can be a significant feature on a roof, on this building it will appear as a single strip of glazing running the length of the rear roof and will avoid the requirement for several roof-lights or new windows which would alter the simple character of the barn and impact on historic fabric.”
A committee member, Julie Martin, pointed out that the Authority’s senior listed building officer had commented extensively on the application but that had not been included in the planning officer’s report. She noted that this had happened with several reports to the committee that day.
The parish council had also objected to the proposed access. The planning officer explained that access via Back Lane or Long Lane had been considered but it was concluded these green lanes of medieval origin were too narrow and unsuitable for modern vehicles. It was also unlikely, she said, that Ms Russell would obtain legal right of access down those lanes.
Instead the application included using a track across the toft but stopping a short distance from Tom Lear Barn. The medieval wall line is to be reintroduced in order to separate the majority of the field from the proposed parking and garden, she said.
“It is considered that the important landscape setting of the barn and the Conservation Area will therefore be retained, with some enhancement in the form of the reinstated medieval wall line compensating for the introduction of the track within the field,” she added.
The parish council, however, had stated: “The proposed track will have a serious visual impact, being visible from the footpaths above the village. In addition, the track and the soakaway on a medieval toft will require earthworks on a potentially important archaeological site.”
Cllr Macefield said that Back Lane was at least 8ft wide and was already being used for access to Tom Lear Barn and the Quaker burial ground. He added that a vehicle with good ground clearance could be driven over the hump back bridge along that lane.
The parish council was also concerned about the installation of a cattle grid as this, it maintained, would be an alien feature in a medieval village setting. It added that a cattle grid was not especially good at controlling stock and would present a danger to children and small animals.
Swarth Moor – July
The farmers who have grazing rights on Swarth Moor near Helwith Bridge in Ribblesdale were not consulted before Natural England applied to the Authority for permission for a restoration project which which will include the creation of water-filled ditches.
The planning committee heard that Natural England’s project would involve the construction of peat bunds for rewetting raised mire and the excavation of three mitigation ponds for great crested newts, as well as a viewing platform and a boardwalk.
Stainforth and Horton-in-Ribblesdale Parish Councils had objected to the application because: the grazier’s hadn’t been consulted; the ponds could be extremely hazardous to the livestock being grazed on the common land and the impact of an increase in the number of visitors on the wildlife on the moor especially the roe deer. These concerns were also raised by Austwick Parish Council.
Colin Newland of Natural England told the planning meeting that since submitting the application the agency had met with Swarth Moor commons rights holders. He said he had been told that they were concerned about the long term management of the moor and the impact on graziers’ livelihoods. “One of the outcomes of that is that we will take forward a Countryside Stewardship Scheme for the common,” he said.
Committee member Allen Kirkbride, who is chairman of Askrigg Parish Council, commented: “It seems that the farming community who graze this area have been just an after thought for Natural England who should know better.”
He agreed with North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine that a few decades ago landowners were given tens of thousands of pounds to grip and drain the peat moors. “Now they are being given tens and thousands to fill it in,” he said.
Another parish council appointee, Chris Clark, spoke from his own personal experience: “We’ve blocked 125 hectares and the results of that have been an increase in biodiversity, improved irrigation, and carbon sequestration. On top of that we have had absolutely no problems with the stock getting stuck or drowned.”
The committee was informed that, as common land was involved, Natural England would have to obtain the consent for its plans from the Secretary of State. It was, therefore, expected that the graziers would make representations to the Secretary of State.
A planning officer told the meeting that the project was aimed at halting and reversing the long-term decline of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by enhancing the lowland raised bog. “This is a national priority habitat which is very rare in the National Park and uncommon elsewhere,” he said. The project also aimed at protecting the home of a population of great crested newts. He added that roe deer were not legally protected. He maintained that the project would have a positive impact on the condition of the SSSI.
The majority of the committee voted to approve the application.
Thornton Rust – February
A Wensleydale farmer was refused permission to construct a new agricultural building even though the committee was told by a parish council chairman that there was no chance of finding a site nearby that didn’t flood.
The planning officer stated that as the farmer,Nigel Thornborrow, did not want to reduce the size of the proposed building at Throstle Nest Farm on the A684 near Worton, he should locate it further away from the road.
Cllr John Dinsdale, chairman of Aysgarth and District Parish Council, Mr Thornborrow, Cllr Peacock, and Cllr Blackie, all tried to explain to the committee that the farmhouse and buildings were on a hill surrounded by fields that flood regularly, as does the road. Mr Thornborrow had applied to demolish two old farm buildings and replace them with one large one. This, Mr Thornborrow said, would house his farm machinery and also his livestock when a barn nearby flooded.
When shown a diagram of how much larger the building would be compared with those to be demolished many members agreed that it would be too close to the road and have a harmful impact upon the landscape.
North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welsh commented: “I think it would stick out like a sore thumb”.
The parish council, however, had told the committee: “The current agricultural buildings [are] in an unattractive derelict and potentially dangerous state and need replacing urgently. The proposed replacement building is in line with the existing building and should cause no concern.
“The Council consider the proposed development to be a planning gain as it will improve the landscape visually and will assist with the development of a local family business.”
Threshfield – August
An application to sub-divide Sunnybank at Threshfield into two dwellings was unanimously approved.
Threshfield Parish Council had informed the committee that it did not support the application because, when approval was given for the single-storey extension in 2009, it was meant to be maintained as a single dwelling with single ownership. It was also concerned about the access from the B6265.
The application was for creating a home for the disabled applicant in that extension. He has agreed to sign a local occupancy legal agreement.
The planning officer stated: “The proposed development will increase the housing stock in Threshfield and provides a single store residential unit which is ideal of a disabled resident.”
When Craven District councillor Richard Foster proposed approval he pointed out that there were very few bungalows in the National Park.
Threshfield – October
Permission was granted for a shed to be replaced in a garden at Park Grange Cottage.
Threshfield Parish Council had objected to the application because, it said, the new shed would be bigger than the existing one and so too big for the area. It would also be higher than the existing shed.
The planning officer told the meeting that the footprint of the new shed was smaller than the existing one and the ridge height would be 20cm higher. He stated that the new one would fit in the same space which was bounded by three walls. “The proposed development will result in an improvement to the appearance of the site,” he said.