ARC News Service report on meetings of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority‘s (YDNPA) planning committee in 2022.
Applications discussed: January 11 – a proposed glamping site at Askrigg; and alterations at The Stables at Marske; February 22 – conversion of the Railway Station at Horton in Ribblesdale, a live/work unit and dog breeding kennels at Langcliffe near Settle, a new farmstead near Appersett, enforcement action against owner of Bainbridge Ings Caravan site near Hawes, and an enforcement notice regarding a container at Stirton; May 17 – use of Colt Park Barn at Chapel le Dale, snack kiosk at Crina Bottom, Ingleton, a new house at Embsay, dormer window on a house at Threshfield, and opening a caravan site at Little Asby during winter; June 22 – increasing number of letting rooms at Fell View Barn for The Angel Inn at Hetton, the future of the affordable housing in a development at Horton in Ribblesdale, touring caravan pitches at Swaleview Caravan Park, Swaledale;, and an enforcement notice concerning work carried out around a former Wesleyan chapel in Ravenstonedale; August 2 – Fell View Barn and The Angel Inn at Hetton;,glamping pods at Town End Farm, Airton, and by GTEC to convert at barn at Hawes; September 13 – a new barn and slurry store at Saxelby Farm, Hebden, the conversion of what was once a gym into holiday lets at Sedbergh, a possible housing development at Grassington; and alterations to the access, garden and curtilage of Old Hall, Conistone, October 25 – additional guest rooms for The Angel Inn, Hetton, a new Technology Centre at Sedbergh School, additional livestock housing at Gildersbeck Farm, Melmerby, an agricultural building at Hebden; an ice cream trailer at Burnsall, and additional route for timber lorries from the Ingleborough Estate passing through Austwick to the A65; December 6 – for a local farming family to convert a barn at Hawes, the conversion of a small shop to a holiday let also at Hawes, the redevelopment of a commercial site in Sedbergh, and a complex application from United Utilities concerning replacing sections of the aqueduct from Haweswater which will particularly affect Killington parish.
Pip Pointon attends and reports on the YDNPA planning committee meetings as part of the commitment to local democracy by the Association of Rural Communities.
Almost all of the members voted to refuse an application by Richard Alderson to have three glamping cabins, two with hot tubs, on a field by his house on the south-eastern side of Askrigg.
Mr Alderson told the committee that he had lived and worked in the National Park area all his life but his work had dried up due to the pandemic. “We realised we needed another stream of income to secure our long-term stability,” he said. He had initially considered having a camp site but this would have probably meant up to six cars being parked there at any one time.
He said he had been advised to consider luxury low-key cabins which would be environmentally friendly. The income from these, he said, would not only help them but enable his family with their children to move back into the area later. He added that this would “help to stop Askrigg becoming a ghost town”. He told the committee that the glamping site would also sustain local businesses and commented: “We believed we had identified a niche opportunity.”
He pointed out that there had been no objections from the wildlife conservation officer. The YDNPA’s building conservation officer had no specific objections but had requested that consideration be given to the impact of new development upon the character of the conservation area.
The Highway Authority had, however, recommended that the application should be refused as the public highway leading to the site was, it stated, insufficient in width to accommodate the increase in traffic. Access would be via Silver Street and the unmade Cringley Lane.
The planning officer reported: “Silver Street is narrow and single width with houses and high garden walls to either side. This leaves nowhere for on-coming vehicles to pull off the road to pass each other.
“Silver Street emerges onto the main road at the centre of Askrigg. The parish council and residents report that it is dangerous due to the lack of visibility.”
This was emphasised by David Blake, a retired professor of music, who, after 39 years of living in Askrigg, had moved with his wife to Cringley House four years ago. He said he was speaking on behalf of his neighbours, several of whom attended the meeting.
They were concerned, he reported, that they had not been informed that the application was on the agenda for the last meeting of Askrigg and Low Abbotside Parish Council and so they had not attended it.
Mr Blake said the disturbance when work was being carried out on site was likely to be extreme and there would be continued disturbance to residents once the glamping cabins were in use. In addition, they believed the road was not suitable for heavy works traffic, and the additional vehicular use could make it difficult for emergency vehicles to gain access.
“This endeavour is entirely out of keeping with the environment [and]the landscape,” he said.
When recommending refusal the planning officer listed not only the highway issues but also that the proposed timber cabins would harm the appearance and the character of Askrigg Conservation Area and the surrounding landscape; and would cause overlooking, noise and disturbance that would be detrimental to the amenity of those living nearby.
Committee member Allen Kirkbride (from Askrigg) told the committee that the application had caused a lot of debate in the village. He summed up the arguments for and against the application before stating that he would abstain from voting.
A planning officer visited The Stables at Marske last year to check on concerns raised by Marske and New Forest Parish Council which included the possibility of the holiday accommodation being used as a “party house”.
His presentation at the planning committee was barely audible but he was heard to say that after monitoring the situation there was no evidence of The Stables being used as a party house.
Oil tanks had, however, been installed to the rear of the Grade II listed former stable block and a wall increased in height so as to screen them without planning permission.
The committee agreed that the oil tanks were necessary for the heating systems and should remain. They also agreed with the planning officer that the section of wall which had been altered looked rough and unfinished, and was possibly unsafe. It should, therefore, be repaired to standard agreed by the planning authority.
The application by the Heritage Property Group (Marsk) Ltd also included alterations to the car parking layout so as to increase the number of spaces from 17 to 34.
In his report the planning officer stated that there had been no increase in the number of accommodation units and added: “The proposed increase in car parking spaces would litter the grounds of the listed building with parked cars when in full use, which would be substantially harmful to the setting of the building and amount to over-development of the site.” He believed the increase could lead to traffic conflict on holiday change-over days.
The applicant had altered the application after being advised to have 20 car spaces which would be two car spaces per unit.
Like the planning officer, members Kirkbride and Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden emphasised the need to ensure that a local farmer could still access a private farm track. For this reason the proposed parking spaces close to that access were removed from the plans.
Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good said the parish council was particularly concerned about parking on the site and the construction of the wall. He told the committee that there was a serious parking problem in Marske especially when walkers left their cars there.
Horton in Ribblesdale
Some community use of the Railway Station at Horton in Ribblesdale should be retained several committee members insisted when the application to convert it into a one-bedroom holiday let and a cafe cum bar was discussed.
The committee did give permission as long as there was a condition, proposed by member Mark Corner, to retain reasonable community use. The chairman, Neil Swain, said this condition would be drafted and if there were any problems it would be brought back to the committee.
Horton in Ribblesdale Parish Council had told the committee that the community had seen a gradual reduction in facilities over the years and so it was felt some sort of community use should be retained at the railway station. It said the station was used by community groups and that the parish council and Horton Local History Group had filing cabinets there. It did not consider that alternative community facilities in the area were suitable.
Those who objected to the application included North Craven Heritage Trust, The Friends of the Dales and Horton Local History Group.
Craven District councillor David Ireton commented: ‘The community needs that protection that they have a facility to meet for business.’
The planning officer, however, stated: ’The minor impact upon the community must be balanced against the positive re-use of this significant building enhancing the railway company’s offering.’
The application to convert the former Midlands Railway building (opened in 1876) was made by Settle and Carlisle Railway Properties (Trusts). A condition of the permission will be that the waiting room will be retained for railway users. The number of car parking spaces will be increased from five to six to provide for those using the holiday let.
The Trust stated that although it planned to open the cafe from 8am to 6pm every day, it was keen to provide a more permanent arrangement for community groups.
Jim Munday, the member champion for development management, described the application as sound as it would give a worthwhile purpose to the building for many years to come.
‘This application will focus more attention on the station and benefit rail travel. Trains are more environmentally friendly, someone else does the driving. They don’t park on the pavement and they don’t obstruct people’s drives.
But he also described Horton in Ribblesdale as being a village under siege due to 200,000 people a year undertaking the Three Peaks Walk. Many of them, he said, took the train to Horton in Ribblesdale station.
For those living in the private road leading to the railway station this can cause many problems as there was, according to one resident, an unwelcome element of drivers who did not heed the No Parking signs and could be very abusive when challenged.
‘We are senior citizens and find it increasingly stressful and upsetting having to cope with abuse. If this application is passed I would ask what happened to the ethos of the national park being jointly for the locals and the visitors alike?’ she said.
She explained that the station was a convenient place for many to either drop off walkers or to collect them. She added that she and her neighbours were often picking up litter and that was likely to get worse if there was a cafe at the station.
During the debate parish council representative Cllr Allen Kirkbride asked if members of the Friends of the Dales should have declared their membership. Mr Corner said he was a member but thought it had been sufficient to say he had been lobbied. North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine stated he had let his membership lapse.
A registered Kennel Club dog breeder can create a live/work unit in a timber shed at Cowside near Langcliffe so that he can care for the dogs without affecting any neighbours.
The committee accepted the planning officer’s recommendation that Ian McKenna could convert the Old Diary into live/work accommodation and another shed (the shippon) for breeding kennels. He explained that such a dog breeding business was ideally sited in a more isolated location so that neighbours would not be affected by the noise, and that Mr McKenna needed to be on the site full time.
Even though a dog breeding business would not usually be classed as an ‘essential rural-based enterprise’ for which an exception to policy could be made he believed Mr McKenna’s application could, therefore, be approved.
The agent, Mike Harris, said Mr McKenna’s present accommodation wasn’t sustainable and that the pragmatic solution was to allow him to live on site where he could care for the dogs 24/7, and continue living in the area near his children.
‘I am very much in favour of small rural businesses,’ said Cllr Kirkbride. And North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock agreed.
Cllr Ireton asked what would happen if the dog breeding business closed down.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, replied that there would be a legal agreement that the Old Diary could only be occupied by someone working in the dog-breeding business, and that it, the shippon and the grassed area used for exercising the dogs should remain in the same ownership. He assured the committee that this would be enforced.
The majority voted to approve the application even though Cllr Heseltine said that the past planning history did not sit well with many of them.
This included an enforcement notice in May 2019 to stop the use of the Old Dairy as a self-contained dwelling house, and an application to convert the shippon into a dog breeding unit being refused in April 2020. The planning officer said that a case had now been made to support the siting of the business and accommodation in a more remote location.
A barn and a farmhouse can be constructed on a new farm – The Crag and Carr – near Appersett, even though 29 trees along the A684 will be felled.
A planning officer reported to the committee that the 360 acre farm did not have a suitable barn for housing cattle in winter or a farmhouse. He explained that the applicants were previously long-standing tenants of the nearby East Birkrigg farm. But possession of the farmhouse and associated farm buildings was taken back by the owner (Myles Metcalfe) in 2017 before subsequent sale.
The new barn and farmhouse will be close to another farmstead and in the only field that has direct access to the A684. The planning officer stated. however, that to obtain sufficient visibility splay 29 deciduous trees will be felled. These trees, he reported, contributed towards the somewhat unusual ‘green tunnelling’ enclosure of the highway.
This special feature was one of the reasons why Mr Metcalfe and David Braybrook objected to the application.
Besides questioning the proposed location of the new buildings, Mr Metcalfe said: ‘This section of the road is truly one of the most scenic in the whole of the Yorkshire Dales and it is now under threat.’
David Braybrook, who lives in Rigg House West opposite the proposed access, was also concerned about the felling of healthy trees that, he said, could well survive for another 20 to 40 years. He also pointed out that the access would be onto a dangerous and narrow stretch of road.
Like Mr Braybrook, Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council pointed out that the traffic survey quoted was carried out in 2020 during the height of the lockdown when there were less visitors. ‘In more recent months this has increased 10 fold and it is, therefore, not a true reflection of daily life here now,’ the parish council stated.
It added: ‘We are more than dismayed at the proposal to remove trees… and we strongly object. One of the YDNP policies is to protect the landscape and support wildlife and the environment and the proposal seems in direct contravention of that.’
The planning officer reported that the Highways Authority had asked for the access to have a 4.5m set back from the road but this had been reduced to 2.4m to limit the number of trees to be felled.
The farmer, Nick Prince, said there had been a full assessment of the new farm and all other possible sites for the buildings had been discounted for reasons such as no potential for secure access or environmental sensitivity, or impact on the landscape.
He told the committee: ‘Our cattle need to be housed over winter to protect the land. Continuing to manage the farm [without] is stressful, impractical and unsustainable.’ The barn he said was also needed for calving and lambing, the storage of produce and machinery and gaining accreditation as a farm.
Regarding the application for outline permission for a farmhouse he said: ‘We currently live in two bedrooms in my mother’s house in Hawes which is impractical for the family and unsustainable.’
He explained that it was difficult to reach the farm when the road between Hawes and Appersett was flooded; nor could they protect livestock from being stolen or take proper care of the animals if they weren’t living there. ‘Living on site would reduce personal stress and anxiety – the worry for the welfare of the stock. Their security and their safety cannot be constantly monitored from off-site.’
The planning officer stated: ‘The proposal, including the formation of a new means of access, strikes a necessary balance between avoiding unacceptable visual and landscape impacts and safeguarding highway safety, whilst it is also acceptable in ecological terms.’ Trees will be planted to compensate for those felled, he said.
Cllr Richard Good commented: ‘I can’t see how you can run a farm if you don’t live on it.’
The committee first gave approval for the barn which must be built and brought into use before the farmhouse can be constructed. There will be an agricultural occupancy restriction on the latter.
The owner of Bainbridge Ings caravan site near Hawes has tried to make a mockery of the National Park’s planning system, said North Yorkshire County Cllr Yvonne Peacock, who represents Upper Wensleydale.
She recounted how the site had, until 2017, had a well-run camping site which enabled many to visit the area. ‘It’s a cheaper way to come and enjoy the Dales,’ she commented.
Cllr Kirkbride said: ‘Ever since they [the new owners] have taken this over they have taken us for a ride. I’m surprised it has gone on so long before we [take] action against it.’
Speaking from his experience as a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme assessor, Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good told the committee: ‘The lack of tent camping in the area is becoming a serious problem. There isn’t a tented site that close to Hawes any more. We definitely do need it.’
The committee unanimously voted for an enforcement notice to be served following what the chairman, Neil Swain, described as an extensive but entirely justified presentation by an enforcement officer.
The officer explained that despite extensive contact with the owner during planning, enforcement and appeal processes significant breaches of planning control had continued at the site. In the field designated to be used only by those with tents there were very visible gravel tracks and hard standings for touring caravans and campervans, a static caravan and a timber cabin which was being used as a guest washroom.
The owner had lost an appeal following the planning decision in June 2018 which required the field to continue to be used for tents only. Showing photos of the gravel track and hard standings now in the field the officer stated: ‘It is clear why the planning inspector was concerned about the use of the field for caravans or caravans. This is exactly what the planning inspector was trying to avoid.
‘The one interesting thing you won’t find in this area are any tents. There is a sign – No tents allowed on site,’ he told the committee.
He said that approval was given in 2020 for an all-weather two-wheelings access track and grass filled grids for the field to be only used by touring caravans. He showed photos of the wide gravel track and the hard standings that are there now, again in breach of planning conditions. ‘You can’t see any grass where the hard standings and parking areas are,’ he added.
Another unauthorised development, he said, was the installation of four cabins in that field. ‘They are permanently sited, they have fresh and waste water plumbing , they have gas installed, they have fencing and they have hot tubs.’
He explained that the planning permission in 2018 had allowed the owner to install eight camping pods on part of the site. But neither the pods nor the layout were in accordance with planning conditions. The owner lost his appeal against the enforcement notice and the officer said the matter was now moving towards prosecution.
He said there was an on-going pattern across Bainbridge Ings of breaches of planning control since the new owners took over in 2017.
In his report he warned: ‘Breaches of planning control impact adversely on the ability of the Authority to maintain public confidence in planning system and, in particular, the Authority’s ability to retain planning control over this site.’
Cllr Good agreed with Cllr Peacock that prosecution should start immediately the six-month compliance order ended. He said: ‘We don’t want a day over six months because these are serious breaches. I hope you enforce very vigorously as soon as you possibly can.’
To a request to start prosecution even sooner Richard Graham, head of development management, explained that was up to the legal officers and that, following the pandemic, the courts were overloaded.
The enforcement notice will be for the following:
In the tents only field: no more touring caravans, static caravans, mobile homes or campervans; the removal of the static caravan and the timber cabin; the removal of the unauthorised tracks and hard standings; and to restore the land to its previous state.
In the touring caravans only field: the complete removal of four unauthorised cabins; the removal of the gravel tracks and hard standings; and to return the land to its original condition.
It was also unanimously agreed that an enforcement notice should be served on the owner of a container in a field near Bog Lane, Stirton.
It was reported that the owner has been told since May 2018 that planning permission was required. An enforcement officer said that the owner had not responded to the latest correspondence sent by letter, email and voicemail, and the container remained in the field.
When Eden District councillor Ian Mitchell asked why it had taken so long to request enforcement action Mr Graham responded that the pandemic had had a severe impact during which the planning department had to deal with planning applications. He said it had been a difficult period and that, with recruitment, they were now getting rid of the backlog.
Chapel le Dale
The Enforcement Closures Quarterly reports usually are approved very quickly and without comment. But not at the May meeting. Craven District councillor Carl Lis was the first to question how the situation at Colt Park Barn at Chapel le Dale could be described as ‘No Breach’ of a planning approval.
‘I am a bit confused, as is the local parish council. Its usage has increased enormously and this has created quite a big problem in terms of safety particularly by the access [to the B6479] . Where are we with this? What’s happening with it?’ he asked.
North Yorkshire County councillor David Ireton agreed. ‘Quite clearly there is a breach,’ he said, pointing out that the original planning application approved in 1992 was for English Heritage to have sole use of the barn.
The situation was reported to enforcement because of ‘multiple use by other organisations’.
The head of development management, Richard Graham, told the meeting that any application needed to be considered ‘without enforcement hanging over it.’ (Ingleborough National Nature Reserve applied for a lawful development certificate on March 23 this year.)
For the application by Ingleborough NNR and comments of residents click here.
Member Mark Corner then asked how it took four and a half years to decide it wasn’t expedient to pursue enforcement action regarding the work carried out to increase the height and re-roof the building to the rear of the Forge at Hawes.
Mr Graham replied that there was a backlog as a result of Covid when enforcement had not been a priority. He reminded the committee that at the Full Authority meeting in September 2021 it had been decided, in view of the real time cuts in the budget, that enforcement would be split from development management (planning). The latter had remained as a priority programme but enforcement hadn’t.
Crina Bottom, Ingleton
The importance of enforcement was emphasised when the committee considered the application for a small, wooden kiosk at Crina Bottom, on the walking route to Ingleborough, which would be used to serve hot and cold drinks and cold food.
The owners, Adam Gough and Moira Domican-Gough, were asked to provide a management plan to show how they would ensure that no litter from the kiosk would end up on top of Ingleborough.
Referring to the piles and piles of litter at the top of Whernside Cllr asked: ‘How on earth are we going to police this to ensure that we don’t add to the problems we have already. It’s just the issue of how they are going to guarantee that nobody takes litter from the [kiosk] up onto Ingleborough. It’s a massive issue. We need to do something about the litter problem.’
And North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock stated: ‘We have a statutory duty to do planning but no statutory duty to enforce. My problem would be the enforcement. This is such an important part of the National Park. Someone needs to keep an eye on this and make sure what it says in the application does actually happen.’
Mrs Domican-Gough told the committee that since they bought Crina Bottom just over a year ago they had moved many skip loads of rubbish off the site. ‘The last was a large digger that had been a landmark for about 30 years,’ Mrs Domican-Gough told the committee. ‘We are very proud of the results.’’
She assured the committee that the plates and cups would be washed and re-used. No plastic bottles would be available and there would be a recycling bin for cans. All the food would be sourced locally with the cakes being made in her kitchen. They would include items for the kiosk with their own shopping so that additional deliveries would not be required. And they would encourage walkers to protect and care for the environment and livestock.
‘We feel it will help make the countryside more accessible for some and prevent an elitist attitude towards the outdoors,’ she said.
Cllr Ireton said: ‘I don’t think there is anywhere on Whernside that serves drinks and food so I don’t think we can hold the applicant responsible for the problems that the general public create.In fact, it may reduce [the problem] as this will give them an opportunity to get a drink and a snack that is controlled.’
The planning officer emphasised that this would be a very low key and modest facility which was very unlikely to have a negative impact upon the highly sensitive open upland landscape. He added: ‘The development would offer walkers an enhanced opportunity to enjoy the landscape with a refreshing drink or slice of homemade cake.’
The majority of the members accepted his recommendation to approve the application.
The creation of a new house in Brackenley Lane, Embsay, was approved with the condition that the access, with adequate visibility splay, must be created first.
Embsay with Eastby parish councillor Vince Smith, told the committee that if that wasn’t done the construction traffic would cause chaos. The parish council accepted the need for more housing, he said, but would prefer one wasn’t built at the western end of Brackenley Lane where there was no footpath and which would exaggerate existing problems on a section of single-carriageway road. The road, he added, was not only used by schoolchildren but also as a back route between Skipton and Grassington.
The planning officer explained that it was due to the access onto a narrow road that the applicant had reduced the number of bedrooms from four to three. This should reduce the number of cars at the property. The plans for the garden had been altered to create parking spaces and the position of the garage had been altered.
Cllr Peacock agreed with the planning officer that this would provide a family home for local occupancy.
Previous enforcement action and a court appearance led to the latest application to retain a dormer window at High Winds, Wharfeside Avenue, Threshfield being unanimously refused.
The planning officer reported that in February 2017 the committee had approved a much smaller dormer window to be built with materials which matched the exterior of the Edwardian-villa style of the semi-detached house. The one constructed was, he said, significantly bigger with two larger windows plus a small central opening plus other changes to the approved plans. This led in 2018 to an enforcement notice being served and an application to retain the dormer being refused. Finally, at a court appearance in November 2020, the applicant, Andy Gould, was found guilty and fined. Mr Gould then applied to retain the dormer with new tile hanging and upvc window frames.
The planning officer recommended refusal on the grounds that, even with the alterations proposed by Mr Gould, the dormer would still harm the character and appearance of the Edwardian building and surrounding area.
North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine said the dormer did blend in with the roof and not easily seen from the Skipton to Kettlewell road. Member Mark Corner, however, commented: ‘I think it is a carbuncle on the roof.’
Permission was granted for Chapel Farm Caravan Park at Little Asby in Cumbria to remain open 364 days a year.
Asby Parish Council had objected to allowing the caravans to be occupied during the winter because of light pollution, concerns about drainage and flooding, and the possibility of them being used as permanent residences.
The planning officer reported that the intention was to use low-level bollard-height solar powered lights along internal roadways which would be motion-sensitive and that would be included in the planning conditions.
He and the many members expected occupancy to be low in winter significantly reducing the possibility of drainage problems and light pollution. He added that one of the planning conditions would be that caravans could be used for holiday occupancy only.
Eden District councillor Sandy Lancaster commented: ‘I can’t see it having an effect upon anybody given that it is a cul-de-sac road – it’s very quiet.’
And then Lancaster City councillor Kevin Frea suggested that maybe, in the future, those working in the area should be allowed to use such caravans as residential accommodation in view of the high price of houses.
Mr Graham replied that residential use led to many changes in the environment around the caravans as compared to holiday use.
There was a ripple of laughter when the chairman, Neil Swain, asked if anyone else wanted to say something controversial!
The Angel Inn was once the hub of Hetton, but is now a 21-bedroom ‘hotel’ which over dominates the centre of the village a resident, Richard Jackson, told the committee.
The owners of the Inn, Wellock Estates, have applied for planning permission to erect an extension to Fell View Barn to increase the number of hotel suites there from five to ten. At the planning meeting Richard Armstrong, on behalf of Hetton cum Bordley Parish Meeting, successfully requested a site meeting so that members could see the situation themselves – and especially the preliminary plans for car parking.
The planning officer stated, when recommending approval: ‘It is recognised that the village does experience a high level of visitors to the hotel due to its popularity and that causes concerns to local residents. However, unlike the previously refused scheme [in 2019] which would have resulted in a shortfall of 34 parking spaces, it is considered that the current proposal is much more modest and the scale is proportionate to the current business and would not result with significant impact to the village.’
She reported that an application for ten letting bedrooms in the barn was refused in 1995 and a year later the Authority gave approval for staff to be accommodated there. In 2002 that was changed to five letting rooms.
Mr Armstrong explained that Fell View Barn was part of a complex of buildings in the centre of Hetton owned by Wellock Estates, with the area around them being used for car parking. He pointed out that three years ago a traffic expert had told the planning committee, on behalf of Wellock Estates, that there would be sufficient parking at Fell View Barn if it was converted into a restaurant and guest accommodation.
He said the planning officer had recommended approval of that application but the committee, after a site meeting, had unanimously refused it. When an appeal inspector stated there would be a three-day appeal inquiry Wellock Estates had withdrawn the application citing financial reasons, he added.
‘You are now faced with a similar situation,’ he told members. This included a traffic report which he said should be treated with suspicion. Both he and Mr Jackson told the meeting that the car parking plan for Fell View Barn was based upon data from 2006 when cars were smaller needing a turning radius of 5.9m. Today a Range Rover Sport required a turning radius of almost 13m, Mr Armstrong said. Mr Jackson described the layout for parking at Fell View Barn as over-ambitious and would lead to the drivers of large vehicles parking on the road.
They said that no accommodation nor parking spaces were provided for the staff. There was only a limited bus service until 6.30pm with none running on Sundays, so staff and visitors had to drive to Hetton.
Mr Jackson listed the three other properties Wellock Estates had bought and turned into holiday lets and said: ‘In total, at this point in time, The Angel has moved from the original position of five letting bedrooms to a total of 21 bedrooms.’ He added that the total frontage of the properties in the centre of the village was more than 150m.
North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine supported the parish meeting’s request for a site meeting stating: ‘The speakers have given rational and cogent reasons for us to be cautious again over this application. We were proved right last time [about] significant over development.’
When the senior legal officer, Clare Bevan, pointed out that site meetings were costly and asked if the request met the Authority’s criteria for one, he responded: ‘Transparency and democracy is all important.’
North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock stated: ‘It certainly makes a lot of difference when you actually see the site.’
The majority of members voted to defer making any decision until a site meeting had been held.
Horton in Ribblesdale
It was agreed that a housing development at Horton in Ribblesdale can go ahead even if there is no on-site affordable housing.
The planning officer explained that in November 2019 the committee had given permission for five open market and four affordable housing units to be built at Rowe Garth. One of the conditions was that the affordable housing provision should be secured by the involvement of the applicant Craven District Council as the registered provider. But Craven District Council has been unable to progress as the registered provider she said. It has now applied to amend the application to include what the planning officer described as the ‘fall-back position within the Section 106 agreement in the form of a commuted sum in lieu of the on-site affordable housing provision’ should no other registered provider be found.
Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good said: ‘My concern is … are we going to lose an opportunity of affordable housing?’ He asked why Craven District Council would no longer be the registered provider.
The planning officer replied: ‘My understanding of it is that there was a commitment to delivering a lot of new infrastructure which rendered it unviable to the designated provider. I think that is why others haven’t come forward.
‘If they can’t get a registered provider then they would have to pay a commuted sum. The expectation would be that is put towards affordable housing in the locality. At the very most, I would have thought it would be in the Craven part of the National Park but that would be [up to] the housing authority.’
North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock asked about the criteria for allocating affordable housing for rent. She said the Authority’s criteria had not been followed by a housing association which said it had acted correctly in accordance with its own.
Richard Graham, the head of development management, replied: ‘It’s our policy and included in every legal agreement that affordable housing should be made available first of all for people who live in the parish, then cascades out to those who meet the criteria, to those in surrounding parishes, and so on to the wider district or National Park area. We are not a housing authority nor are we a registered provider. Allocation of the housing is dealt with by the registered provider or the housing authority – so they make the decisions [about] who will get that housing.’ He said he would contact a housing association if there was evidence that the Authority’s criteria was not being followed.
Cllr Good told the committee that Craven District and Richmondshire District Councils were part of a consortium in Yorkshire (Yorkshire Housing) which makes the letting arrangements. ‘I don’t think we have a lot of control,’ he said.
The Yorkshire Dales can’t afford to lose caravan and camping pitches Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden told the committee.
The majority of members agreed with him and voted to refuse permission for Swaleview Caravan Park to replace a minimum of 15 of 30 touring caravan pitches with 16 static caravans. Five touring pitches would be created elsewhere.
Andrew Carter, proprietor of the caravan park, said they ensured that those staying there could not use caravans as permanent residences. Hudswell and District Parish Council supported the application and had told the committee: ‘his site has always been operated in a responsible manner, causing no problems and providing good quality longer term holiday accommodation. The applicants have tried short term lets which have not been viable and restrictive to their business.
‘Most important is their assertion that longer term lets would free more properties for those who wish to live full-time in the area, bringing more economic growth to the area.’
The planning officer stated: ‘It is this scenario that the Authority’s policy seeks to avoid. The policy was developed in response to an increasing trend for touring sites to be converted to private static sites or to more expensive lodges, or even permanent park home type sites where single statics were converted to double units without the need for planning permission. There are locations within the Park where this form of development has taken place with permanent harmful effects on the character and appearance of the landscape.’
He added that any significant reduction in the availability of short-term holiday pitches would have a detrimental effect on the Authority’s tourism strategy.
Cllr Good commented: ‘This is probably one of the better caravan sites I have ever seen. It is extremely well run. I don’t have a problem with people staying a bit longer as long as they can’t stay 12 months but I do have a big problem with reducing the number of touring caravans. There are still a lot of people who use touring vans.’
Cllr Robert Heseltine warned that if the application was approved it would create a very serious precedent.
‘This must be one of the worst examples of compliance… I’ve seen in 42 years on the National Park,’ Cllr Heseltine told the committee after seeing the slides shown by the enforcement officer, Ian Faircloth, of the work undertaken around a former Wesleyan Chapel in Ravenstonedale.
The committee voted unanimously for an enforcement notice to be served for the removal of works which were not approved in the planning permission granted in February 2021. These include the reinstatement of land to the west and south of the site; and the removal of an unauthorised car parking space and the new access to the A683.
The chapel is at the junction of the A683 with Murthwaite Lane between Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen. The planning permission allowed an access onto Murthwaite Lane as there were concerns about oneto the busy A683.
Mr Faircloth told the committee that in May 2021 Rangers reported extensive engineering works to the west and south of the chapel exceeding those shown in the approved plans. They had also reported that the car parking area was further west of the chapel; that the package treatment plant had been installed to the south of it outside the red line development area; and terraced areas had been created in the hillside with retaining pre-cast interlocking blocks.
He stated: ‘During a site meeting on 30 June 2021, the owner advised that drainage problems had resulted in the relocation of the car park and package treatment plant. The owner indicated an intention to install stone facing to the pre-cast concrete blocks and further advised his intention to retain terraced areas in the hillside in conjunction with the installation of camping pods, a workshop/”man bar”, chicken sheds and housing for lambs. The owner indicated an intention to submit an application in respect of the unauthorised works but has not done so.’’
Mr Faircloth showed slides to illustrate that: ‘These breaches manifest on the site as a significant scar on the landscape and, although in places to be softening through seeding with grass, the overall impact remains significant and at odds with the approval for a more constrained and less visually intrusive development. The adverse impact on the visual quality and landscape character of the area is significant, and the new access to the highway has not been tested through the planning process with consequent concerns over highway safety remaining.’
Cllr Peacock commented: ‘It’s appalling what they’ve done. One thing I do not want to see is retrospective [application] because that is what often happens. They come back later expecting us to agree… because it’s already done. That gets me really cross.’
Member Jim Munday added: ‘These isolated chapels on the road to Kirkby Lonsdale are some of the most charming in the area.’
And Cllr Heseltine said: ‘This applicant has completely destroyed the simplicity of the rural setting of this remote chapel. It’s the remoteness in the landscape that gives them the character. This has been urbanised to a very significant degree and it’s not acceptable. I wish we could do more than just put enforcement on.’
Cllr Amsden wondered why enforcement action hadn’t been started earlier.
A decision concerning the application by the owners of The Angel Inn at Hetton to increase the number of guest suites at Fell View Barn has again been deferred by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee.
When proposing deferral at the planning committee meeting on Tuesday August 2 North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine said: ‘This application is anti-social and disruptive to the quiet living of Hetton residents.’
He quoted the planning officer’s report that Hetton had a quiet, traditional character and that The Angel already had a dominant and busy business in the centre of it. ‘The plan before us today will significantly exacerbate this already unacceptable dominance,’ he said.
The reasons he gave for deferment were: the inadequate and unworkable parking arrangements; significant increase in parking on the highway; the detrimental impact on the well-being and health of livestock in an adjoining agricultural barn; a new residential unit (holiday suite) within six inches (15mm) of a livestock building and the removal of any maintenance facility to the latter.
He said the construction of a residential unit and a storage shed so close to a livestock barn would completely stop any ventilation which was critical for livestock. He pointed out that planning officers would never support a substantial livestock barn being built that close to a residential unit. And he was concerned about a new 1.9m high stone wall being built 150mm from the barn.
‘It does concern me greatly that we are going to allow buildings so close to a farm and we could easily end up losing the livestock on the farm. I have seen that happen,’ said North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock.
The planning officer stated that whether it was legal or not to construct the wall was a private matter between the owner of the farm building and the applicant and was not a planning requisite. But Cllr Heseltine and several other members pointed out that the wall was included in the planning application.
Cllr Heseltine reported that there had been a professional survey of the parking situation in the village which had concluded that the proposals in the application would be dangerous to both drivers and pedestrians in Hetton. He said that North Yorks County Highways had not carried out due diligence on the critical parking proposals and had accepted on face value the provisions by the applicants.
Both he and Craven District councillor Richard Foster questioned the lack of parking for those employed at The Angel and Fell View Barn. Cllr Foster told the meeting that there was no bus service in the evenings and so staff had to drive to Hetton.
Some members were also concerned about the lack of biodiversity especially in the car park at the front of Fell View Barn and the impact on the appearance of the village.
The majority of the members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee voted to approve the siting of four glamping pods at Town End Farm, Airton, subject to a new landscaping plan.
The planning officer had recommended refusal. She stated: ‘The proposed pods, lighting and associated development would form prominent and incongruous visual features within the landscape as well as introducing a high level of human activity in a landscape with a quiet and undeveloped character.’
But North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine told the meeting: ‘This is a small scale development related to the existing business and I would have thought that, subject to tree planting, that the proposal will blend into that landscape. I do think, in this instance, that the recommendation for refusal is rather a harsh one.’
Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good agreed with him and stated: ‘This is an excellent plan. I cannot understand refusing it.’
Member Mark Corner, however, said that although the Authority had a duty to support economic development it also had a duty to conserve the landscape and the natural beauty of the dales. Unlike Member Allen Kirkbride, he did feel that in the proposed location the pods would stick out like a sore thumb. He asked why the pods could not be sited nearer to the farm instead of in the open fields.
The farmer, Chris Hall, told the committee: ‘With the support of the YDNP in 2003 my wife, Jane, and I diversified by converting a modern agricultural building into a farm shop and tearoom, and a traditional barn into three self-catering holiday lets. These businesses have been a great success – the PO [post office] is now part of the farm shop, providing another service to the community. Town End is at the heart of Airton and needs to continue in its role within the community, ensuring its future by this small scale addition of alternative guest accommodation.’
He said that his children wanted to take over these businesses now he and his wife wished to retire but there wasn’t sufficient income to support two families. The glamping pods would, therefore, provide crucial income he explained.
The pods, he said, would be well screened from the south, west and east by the farm steading and drystone walls. ‘They would be positioned in such a way that only the top of the gables will be visible from the north above the dry stone wall, when driving south from Kirkby Malham. The planting of mature trees will further screen them.’
He added: ‘We have visited other sites where pods, shepherd’s huts and caravan sites within the YDNP have been approved and noted that they are far more visible than this proposed site. We also note that these approvals haven’t requested that dry stone walls and mature trees exist at the time of application, only that they should be put in place during the development of the sites.
‘The chosen site for the pods is the best site for them, taking landscape and the visual impact into consideration and we do want to make the least impact possible.’
He also told the committee: ‘Over 95% of the National Park is in private ownership, our farm being part of that and, therefore, it is us and other local people who farm the land and run the businesses who are the custodians of the National Park. We, as custodians, acknowledge that this is a special landscape and want to keep it as such.’
When asked later if the decision would be referred back the head of development management stated: ‘The application will not be referred back to the next meeting but will be determined pending the submission of an acceptable landscaping scheme. We have not had an acceptable landscaping scheme yet so the application is still outstanding.’
Once again an application to convert a barn in Old Gayle Lane, Hawes, into a dwelling has been refused by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee.
At its meeting on Tuesday August 3 Neil Heseltine, who is chairman of the Authority, told the committee that there had been no significant change in the latest application submitted by GTEC Property Holdings since an Inspector dismissed an appeal in April this year regarding the previous one. ‘To agree with it at this stage after that inspector’s assessment, would be to drive a bus through our own Local Plan,’ he commented. He added that the present application was contrary to five of the policies in the Authority’s Local Plan.
Member Allen Kirkbride, however, maintained that it did fit the Authority’s policy for a roadside barn including having had a track to it. ‘A barn of this size would have had a track to it [and] it would have been used two to three times a day,’ he said.
He and North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock argued that it was not in the open countryside as stated by the planning officer, because there was a caravan site on the other side of the road, and dwellings and a cattle market nearby.
Craven District councillor Richard Foster said that without another use the barn would decay. He added: ‘We have a barn policy that doesn’t specify definitively how close to a road a barn has to be. I would like to see some work done with the applicant about the curtilage – let’s pass this and put the right conditions in.’
‘We are a bit hypocritical about roadside barns,’ commented Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden. He, like Kirkbride and North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine, pointed out that sometimes applications to convert barns had been refused permission even when they were right next to a road, and others had been granted permission when there was no track across a field to them.
The majority of the committee, however, agreed with the planning officer who stated: ‘The traditional field barn, some 29m from the roadside and not served by an access track, does not accord with the locational requirements of [Local Plan] policy. Furthermore, the proposed development would lead to a significant degree of landscape harm through the creation olf a dwelling with a large curtilage and the associated domestic paraphernalia that would be expected with it, the proposed parking area and a widened access track. The proposal would harm the rural, pastoral setting of this visually isolated farm barn and the scenic beauty and pastoral character of the landscape.’
Calls to secure the future of the last dairy farm at Hebden won the day at the meeting.
North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine was among those who told committee members that they must secure the future of the family dairy farm. The majority of members agreed and did not accept the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse the application by Gavin and Helen Herd to erect an agricultural building for 70 cows with a slurry store underneath in a field near their farmhouse at Saxelby Farm.
Mrs Herd told the committee they wanted to pass on the farm to the next generation. She said ‘We are a farming family passionate about milking our cows in a traditional way. But we are afraid that without these slurry facilities and associated livestock housing we will have no alternative but to cease farming.’
She explained that they believed that by incorporating the shed and slurry store it would be less intrusive on the village than two separate structures. She said they had considered all possible sites and added: ‘We believe our planned site is the least intrusive on our village or the National Park landscape. We discussed all the possible sites with the parish council and residents.’
Craven District councillor Richard Foster said he knew the area well and also believed there wasn’t another suitable site. He told the committee: ‘If we turn this down we won’t have a dairy farm at Hebden.’
Several members agreed with Cllr Heseltine that the small dairy farms had played an important part in the development of the landscape in the Yorkshire Dales and needed to be supported through the planning process when they had to modernise their facilities in line with government legislation.
Members Mark Corner and Neil Heseltine (chairman of the Authority), however, agreed with the planning officer that the application should be refused. The planning officer said: ‘The proposed development would result in a large wide spanned building that would introduce intrusive modern development beyond the distinct and clearly defined boundary of Hebden and extend the village out to the west. The proposed development would be seen in the landscape as a stand-alone building not visually linked with the existing farm buildings and so would have a harmful effect on the visual quality of this part of the National Park.’
Mr Corner reminded the committee that the primary purpose of the National Park was to conserve the landscape and its members should not consciously allow developments which would damage it. Both he and Neil Heseltine were concerned about the siting of the building.
The planning officer stated that the proposed site was unacceptably close to nearby dwellings and would prove harmful to the residential amenity of neighbours, and potentially their health, by reason of noise and odours arising from the housing of animals and associated farming activity.
She also reported that the Environmental Health Officer had dropped their original concerns after the slight re-siting of the proposed building. She stated:’It should be noted that environmental health responses are based on whether a Statutory Nuisance is likely to be caused and not on the basis of how a proposal would affect ones “amenity” or enjoyment of ones property, which is more subjective but a much lower threshold.’
Member Allen Kirkbride (a parish council representative) said that for over 30 years he had had a barn with a slurry store within similar close proximity to six residential dwellings and there had been no complaints about smell or noise. He asked why the planning officer had not sent the farm conservation advisor’s report to members. (Nor was it specifically mentioned in the planning officer’s report). The planning officer replied: ‘This was an omission on my part.’
The farm conservation advisor had stated: ‘I believe [the application] would safeguard the future business of a well-established small family farm which are so important to the landscape, culture and communities of the Dales. Currently these farms are in a very precarious position and we risk losing these working assets as financial and environmental pressures are significantly increasing in the near future.
‘All dairy farms need to provide at least four months storage of slurry and ideally six months. Over the next few months new grants are being offered to help dairy farmers with financial assistance to provide this. There are issues with the location and siting of the new building but it seems that these have been largely overcome with the amended plans.’ (from YDNPA Citizen’s Portal).
Hebden Parish Council strongly supported the application stating that it wished to encourage the only remaining dairy farm in the village. It added: ‘After a site meeting the councillors are satisfied the barn is located a reasonable distance from residential properties and it was explained that the up-to-date design and structure of the building minimises noise and odour. Hebden is a working village and the council hopes that it remains as such.’
After the majority of members had voted to approve the application contrary to the officer’s recommendation, the head of development management Richard Graham told the meeting that, as sound reasons had been given, that decision would not be deferred to the next meeting. The reasons were: to protect the viability of a local dairy farming enterprise in accordance with modern farming requirements; to ensure adequate safeguards for those living nearby; and that the visual impact would be reduced with a landscaping scheme.
The committee decided that the gym on the Cautley Road once used by Baliol School can be converted into three holiday cottages.
Sedbergh Parish Council had objected because it was part of the only site allocated for business development within the parish and approval, it said, could set a precedent.
South Lakeland District councillor Ian Mitchell pointed out that the building had not been used for business purposes for 11 years and now looked appalling. He agreed with the planning officer that it was unlikely any business use could be found for it.
The officer said: ‘The gym building forms a complex with two dwellings, being in close proximity to them and sharing the same access, turning and parking area. This arrangement would compromise the type of business use that the building could be put to.’
Two members emphasised that it was already part of a residential site and that converting it to holiday lets would be a planning gain given the deteriorating condition of the building. The committee accepted the planning officer’s assurance that changing the use of the traditional building would not prevent developing the rest of the site for business uses.
Approval was given, without any discussion, about the retrospective planning application for alterations to the access, garden and curtilage at the Old Hall at Conistone.
The applicant had applied for permission to rebuild a collapsed wall and pier, to widen the driveway, the installation of an underground LPG gas tank, and the erection of a greenhouse, chicken shed and a log shelter.
Conistone with Kilnsey Parish Meeting had objected because, it said, the greenhouse was highly visible; there were safety concerns about the siting of the gas tank and its proximity to neighbouring properties and a public right of way; and as the application did not include the development of the garage.
The planning officer told the committee that the siting of the LPG gas tank was not a planning issue. About the garage, she said the applicant had been advised that ‘proving that there are no external alterations to the building, the first floor of the garage can be used for residential accommodation’.
She concluded: ‘The retention of the greenhouse and other structures, the widening of the entrance and the change of use the land from a field to domestic curtilage would have a negligible impact on the wider landscape and would cause less than significant harm to the setting of the listed building [Old Hall].
A decision on the application by Endless Developments (Grassington) Ltd to build 23 houses and flats in Moody Sty Lane, Grassington, was deferred.
Grassington Parish Council’s objections included: building 23 instead of 20 dwellings, with only 30 per cent affordable housing when there should be 50 per cent; and the likelihood of access and drainage problems.
The planning officer had recommended refusing the application. Her reasons included that the seven proposed affordable housing units would not fulfil the Authority’s primary aim for allocating the site for housing which was to support the social and economic well-being of the local community. Like the parish council she was concerned about the segregation of the proposed affordable housing from other dwellings on the site.
She said that the proposed design and layout would lead to over development and inadequate off-street parking. She added that insufficient information had been provided to assess impact from drainage and surface water runoff.
She told the committee that the developer had now asked to discuss all these issues and so she asked for a deferral.
It was decided that the number of guest suites at The Angel Inn complex in Hetton can be increased.
The decision was deferred in August because committee members were very concerned about the impact of a new wall on a livestock shed and questioned if the car park would be adequate. Wellock Estates Limited, which owns The Angel Inn, had applied to create five new guest rooms and to alter the car parking provision at Fell View Barn.
The planning officer told the October meeting that an amended application there would be a wall only at the end of the proposed extension which would be 500mm from the livestock shed.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Robert Heseltine argued that it would still be difficult for the farmer to maintain the livestock shed if there was such a small space between it and one end of the extension. He added that the three guest rooms in the extension would be so close to the shed that there would be complaints about the smells and noise. ‘This could lead to the disappearance of another Dales farming business,’ he said.
He agreed with Craven District councillor Richard Foster who commented: ‘This is over-development in a very small village. The car park will not accommodate what the business is producing.’
They proposed that the application should be refused. But the head of development management, Richard Graham, said that if the majority voted for refusal the application would be referred back to the next meeting. He explained: ‘I have doubts about the soundness of the reasons put forward. If it went to appeal officers would have to produce evidence to convince an appeal inspector that the North Yorkshire County Council’s highways engineer is wrong [about the car park] and that Craven District’s environmental health officer is wrong on health issues.’
The environmental health officer had stated that although noise and odour from the cattle shed would affect the hotel suites that would not be classed as a statutory nuisance given the temporary nature of the accommodation. They did not believe this would jeopardise the farm business but might affect the uptake of the hotel accommodation by guests. The officer explained: ‘Therefore it would be at the risk of the hotel to build new suites there. There is guidance on new agricultural buildings not being built within 400m of an existing residential dwelling … as this is for guest accommodation, I’m not aware of any similar guidance.’
The planning officer reported that the applicants had submitted an amended parking plan which showed 23 parking spaces each measuring 2.4m by 4.8m in line with the county council’s specifications. The highways officer had confirmed these dimensions were acceptable and that vehicles would be able to manoeuvre within the site.
The majority of the members felt that the amendments were sufficient and voted to approve the application.
Sedbergh School can build a Technology Centre which will not only transform the educational facilities of its own students but also serve other local schools and businesses.
The committee unanimously approved the school’s application even though the Authority’s own senior listed building officer and trees and woodlands officer had objected to the application.
Richard Graham told the committee: ‘ It has been a difficult planning application for officers to assess. There are clear elements of harm in this proposal – the removal of trees and harm to heritage assets. On the other hand there are clear benefits both to the local and wider economy.’
The committee accepted the planning officer’s recommendation to approve the application which included a replacement of the car parking area and the demolition of a toilet block. She reported that the school with 450 employees was the largest employer in the National Park and the development would create a further seven full-time jobs.
Peter Marshall, the school’s Chief Operating Officer, told the committee: ‘The purpose of the Technology Centre is not just for a new technology-based curriculum. It will enable the transformation in teaching to our children for tomorrow’s jobs, and to maintain our competitiveness as a major employer.’
He said that several sites had been considered but it was believed that on the north side of the listed buildings would be the best option for movement between the academic facilities and would form a new heart of the school around a central courtyard. He added that more trees would be planted including a memorial plantation.
Member Mark Corner commented: ‘I think it’s a very impressive facility and I have got no issue with the need for it or the benefits it will bring. I just want to be convinced that all the alternatives have been assessed. I realise that a trade-off has to be made if they want students to get to their lessons quickly but there must be alternative sites which would work without damaging the trees and the historical assets.’
The planning officer reported that several mature trees would be felled and that the toilet block to be demolished was within the curtilage of listed buildings. She said the Technology Centre would be close to and affect the views of three listed buildings.
She told the committee, however: ‘It is considered that the proposed development would cause less than substantial harm to several heritage assets.’ She said that the benefits to the local economy and community had been considered as well as the proposed building being of high quality design and materials and added: ‘[This] would create a a visually interesting and highly sustainable feature building. The loss of the mature trees is highly regrettable. The trees have significant amenity value in their own right but also contribute to the setting of the listed buildings.’
South Lakeland District councillor Ian Mitchell said the advantages outweighed the disadvantages and the application was supported by Sedbergh Parish Council and South Lakeland District Council.
The latter had informed the Authority: ‘The development would assist in building the wider South Cumbria area’s reputation as a centre of science, technology and engineering with the opportunity to link the centre to the advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses in Kendal, Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness and to local universities. It would provide opportunities for other local schools, such as those listed in the Community Access Opportunities Report, to make use of the facilities and improve their education provision.’
Despite a strong objection from a parish meeting the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve two applications for further livestock facilities at Gildersbeck Farm at Melmerby in Coverdale.
The applications by J H Simpson & Co were for a 30m extension to an existing cattle shed and an additional livestock building. The planning officer explained that these would be in a complex of large farm buildings which were widely visible particularly from across the dale as they accommodated an intensive enterprise with 650 dairy cows and 200 dairy followers.
About the new building she said: ‘The landscape and visual impact is considered minimal relative to the scale and layout of the existing farm complex.’
The committee accepted that this applied to the extension as well and that the facilities were needed. The chairman Neil Swain commented, however: ‘I am concerned about the scale of this particular operation.’ He felt limits needed to be set within the National Park.
Coverham with Agglethorpe Parish Meeting had strongly objected. It had told the committee: the farm was overstocked and further intensification was not appropriate; the proposals were more suited to an industrial estate; all the feed stock was brought in by road and so would increase pressure on the road network; degradation of water quality of the River Cover; and the severe impact on dark skies from the existing development on the south side of the dale.
The committee also unanimously approved an application for a new agricultural building at Daisy Farm, Hebden.
The planning officer said that an unsightly building close to a listed barn would be demolished which would significantly enhance the appearance of Hebden Conservation Area. The new building, which would not be much larger than that demolished, will be on the site of an open storage area and would be seen in the context of the rest of the farm, she said.
Burnsall Parish Council, however, objected because it believed the building would be too large for the location and its size could not be justified for the number of sheep currently on the farm.
Cllr Foster explained that it was an expanding sheep business.
The committee unanimously agreed with a planning officer that an ice cream trailer could be parked in the car park at Burnsall from April to October.
The application was brought to the meeting because Burnsall Parish Meeting had objected. It had informed the Authority: ‘ Concerns were raised about a loss of amenity in that the ice cream trailer looks unsightly and spoils the view of what is a beautiful village green with the bridge and river in the background.’ There was also concern about the impact upon trees nearby.
The planning officer told the meeting: ‘The proposal represents a minor commercial addition addition of a small trailer to a busy car park. The development is semi-permanent and will be removed from the site for five months of the year. The proposal provides some part time employment.’
The applicant had confirmed that there was no desire to carry out tree works.
Ingleborough Estate, Clapham
Permission was granted for the timber lorries from Thwaite Wood on the Ingleborough Estate to take a different route through Austwick to the A65 when necessary.
The committee was told that when the work began the lorry drivers found it was dangerous turning left onto the A65 from Clapham Lane as, due to the length of the lorries, they crossed the white line onto the opposite carriageway. The applicant asked permission for lorries to use Greystonber Lane from the centre of Austwick to the A65.
The committee had approved an application in October 2021 for preparing for and extracting timber from Thwaite Wood, with no more than 12 lorries a week passing through Austwick along the approved route via Clapham Lane to the A65.
Residents have pointed out that lorry drivers already found it difficult to drive through Austwick where many cars were parked, and that there were also cars parked along Greystonber Lane even though it was quite narrow. The Highways authority accepted the amended route.
It was decided that the Shop on the Bridge at Hawes can be converted into a holiday let but a barn on the outskirts of the town cannot become the home of a local farming couple.
Emma Blades told the committee that converting the barn 150m from Hawes along Burtersett Road would allow her parents to remain part of the Hawes community. ‘They have now come to retirement age and want to stay in the dale where they have lived and worked extremely hard all of their lives and let the next generation go forward.
‘This barn conversion will provide an affordable retirement home and it’s on our land close to the farm where my dad can still be on hand to tend to the livestock.’ She added that if there wasn’t another use for the barn it, that and the iconic dry stone walls would be left to fall down for the dales landscape depended upon the farmers.
She explained that as house prices were so high in the dales and with no affordable housing available, her parents would have to sell some of the farm land to be able to buy property. That would have a huge impact upon the sustainability of the farm’s future, she said.
She and some members of the committee asked that young farming families should be encouraged to stay and work in the dales to help retain sustainable communities.
North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock was one of those who agreed with her. She emphasised how close the barn was to Hawes, that there had been a track to it in the past, and that four years ago permission had been granted for one on a neighbouring farm to be converted.
But the head of development management, Richard Graham, said that converting that owned by the Blades’ would not be in accordance with planning policy as it was not a roadside barn, did not have an existing track to it, and the county council Highways Authority had objected as the visibility from the access onto the A684 was not sufficient. And, unlike the other barn, converting it into a residence would have a negative impact upon the landscape.
The Authority’s senior listed building officer had stated: ‘The [Blades’] barn has a very high landscape value. It is a landmark in a stunning setting – a barns-and-walls landscape – when approaching and exiting the east side of Hawes. This barn is not suitable for conversion as it does not seem to meet policy, and due to the harmful impact on the wider landscape the proposed residential use would have.’
The planning officer stated that creating a new access would cause more landscape harm as some of the dry stone boundary walls would have to be removed.
The majority of the committee members agreed that the application should be refused. The committee did, however, unanimously approve the conversion of the Shop on the Bridge to a one-bedroom holiday let.
A planning officer stated that, whilst the marketing of the shop since September 2020 did not meet the usual justification requirements for converting it to a holiday let, there was such a small loss of commercial space [30sqm] that there would be no significant harm to community vitality or employment opportunities.
One of the reasons for Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council objecting to the application was because the original plans showed an extension on the back of the shop overlooking Gayle Beck. The planned extension was removed from the amended plans. The parish council also stated concerning the one-way road past the shop: ‘This is a very narrow cobbled street and already suffers from high volumes of traffic and associated wagons etc and does not allow parking.’
The Highways Authority, however, did not object. The planning officer reported that public parking, as for many houses in the centre of Hawes, was available within easy walking distance.
He added: ‘The proposed development would see this vacant property brought back into economic use, helping the viability of this part of Main Street.’
Permission was unanimously given for the commercial buildings in Kings Yard off Bainbridge Road, Sedbergh, to be demolished and replaced with seven residential dwellings.
Members were told that three will be in a terraced row fronting Bainbridge Road and designed to reflect the existing Victorian houses in that road. Three will be of a modern design and built around a courtyard. Two of these will be designated as affordable housing. The seventh will look like a traditional cottage.
Peter Marshall, the chief operating officer of Sedbergh School, told the committee that he and his wife owned the site and were, themselves, looking for a permanent home in Sedbergh. ‘We acquired the site two years ago and have worked closely with officers, architects and the developer to design a scheme which is sensitive to surrounding residential properties. With your support this development can transform this central area of Sedbergh town,’ he said, and added: ‘ The site is challenging to develop.’
The planning officer explained that a balance needed to be struck between making the best use of an awkward, tightly constrained site whilst protecting the amenity of existing neighbours. She said that the new residents would be buying into the traditional character of the area where dwellings were positioned ‘cheek by jowl’.
She explained that the existing buildings were in reasonable condition even though they hadn’t been used for nine years. The application was in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) regarding the development of brownfield sites including the number of open market houses.
There was concern about the loss of unofficial parking spaces on the private site especially as there was limited parking in Bainbridge Road. The planning officer said there will be two parking spaces for each new dwelling and spaces for those who already have access rights due to their properties backing on to the site. It was hoped that more car parking spaces would be made available in Sedbergh.
Killington and Mansergh
An application by United Utilities (UU) to replace sections of the aqueduct which carries drinking water to Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester from Haweswater was approved even though there will be significant impacts upon bio-diversity and the people living in the area.
Members accepted that this will be a major development of regional importance. The planning officer explained that new tunnel for the Haweswater aqueduct would be 53 kilometres long involving seven different local planning authorities and nine planning applications. That within the Yorkshire Dales National Park would be 6.43 hectares long through the parishes of Mansergh and Killington, with the latter especially being affected during the four to five years it would take to carry out the work.
Besides all the earthworks the application included a new valve house building within a fenced compound with vehicular access, a temporary construction compound with storage areas, and drainage infrastructure, plus local highway works along the Old Scotch Road (OSR).
The planning officer reported that none of the routes for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) to the M6 were ideal with each raising safety concerns. ‘In different circumstances that might be grounds or refusing planning permission. But in this case, where we are considering one element of a wider scheme to upgrade a piece of regionally significant infrastructure, compromises will be necessary.’
Killington Parish Meeting objected strongly to the OSR being chosen, disagreeing with UU that it had been fully consulted. It stated: ‘OSR is a dangerous road with many blind summits and bends which even the proposed new passing places cannot eliminate. A traffic survey indicates 2,500 vehicles using it during the last week of June. UU’s proposals for a further 1,100 vehicles per week (UU’s estimate) are both dangerous and unrealistic.
‘The turn on to the OSR from the A684 that the lorries would need to make, is itself on a blind bend. This turn is from a road that is classified as one of the 20 most dangerous roads in the country. Why is this route UU’s preferred route when another two-lane route via Hophouse Lane is available but has been rejected?’
Member Libby Bateman told the meeting about OSR: ‘You can’t see vehicles coming, its full of potholes and the verges are really, really soft. If you pull off you are stuck…’
She agreed with the planning officer that others would be affected – the walkers, cyclists and horse riders who wanted to enjoy the countryside. The planning officer said that there should be signage to warn such road users.
His recommendations that there should be legal planning obligations temporary traffic orders, ‘Haulier Rules’ to establish procedures and practices for all the HGV drivers, and for a Highway Stakeholder Group be set up were accepted. Craven District councillor Richard Foster emphasised the need to consult with local residents and parish councillors.
Member Neil Heseltine was concerned at the plans for HGVs to be using that route not only from 7am to 7pm on weekdays but also from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. He commented: ‘For those people to have their lives disrupted for six days a week for five years is too much. So to me I would take Saturdays out.’
He was also concerned that the compensation being offered might not be sufficient for all the negative impacts of the scheme. The planning conditions include a site reinstatement and restoration plan, tree replacement and biodiversity.
Widening the OSR in some places, providing temporary passing places, altering junctions and creating temporary compounds would, the planning officer said, have significant landscape and visual impacts due to the removal of dry stone walls and the loss of trees and other vegetation. It was reported that UU intended to replace trees on a three to one basis and to re-instate areas used as passing places and what had been high value habitat verges. There will be additional compensation for the loss of some lowland meadow.
Cllr Peacock questioned why the removal of dry stone walling by a large company was acceptable, but not for a local family to create a safe access to a barn.