Planners have recommended a controversial proposal for a 40-bedroom hotel, country store and playbarn on the edge of Leyburn gets the go-ahead.
Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee will hold a special planning meeting next Wednesday at the Holiday Inn at Scotch Corner to look at the scheme.
The development would be built on a field off Harmby Road, Leyburn, opposite Tennants.
The proposed hotel would have 40 bedrooms and restaurant on the ground floor, with indoor and outdoor seating for 276 covers.
The country store would would also contain a café with seating and WC facilities, as well as a children’s softplay ‘playbarn’.
The store would have an outdoor retail area for larger garden items, including plants and pots.
The shop would be open seven days a week and the hotel would be open 24 hours,
seven days per week.
The applicants say that in total, the proposed development would provide a total of 90 jobs — 50 full time and 40 part-time.
There would be parking on the site for 206 cars.
The application has been submitted by hospitality company Inn Collection (Leyburn) Limited and Northallerton-based country store owners, Sam Turner & Sons Ltd.
The recommendation has been made despite the scheme diving local opinion.
More than 140 members of the public submitted a comment on the application — 128 of these were objections.
The concerns raised include:
- The development is unnecessary; there is no demand or need in the local
area for these buildings/businesses. The area is well served with existing
businesses, local facilities and accommodation.
- There are already enough well-run cafes and also places to stay in Leyburn
which adequately serve the community.
- The development is too large, out of proportion and not appropriate with regards to a rural town the size of Leyburn.
- The proposed garden centre and hotel /restaurant proposals are in direct
opposition to, and adjacent to, similar businesses.
- The development will have massive negative and cultural impacts on Leyburn, its businesses and residents.
- The impact on existing businesses is likely to lead to job losses and adverse impact on people’ livelihoods.
Leyburn Town Council has also raised concerns about the scheme.
In its response, it stated: “The cumulative impact of the development of a hotel and retail outlet on the Leyburn boundary will have a large impact on the area.
“The retail outlet may draw trade away from our town centre and local business park.
“The proposed development site is outside the local plan and reduces the boundary between
Leyburn and Harmby.”
The council said it was disappointed that the consultation with local residents, businesses and
organisations had been limited and felt that “their concerns and views have not been addressed”.
It has asked for a decision to be delayed to allow for a further consultation on the scheme.
Objections have also been received from Campaign for Rural England North Yorkshire, which says there are more suitable alternative sites for future development than this site.
However, despite the objects a report by planning officers at the district council recommended the scheme is approved.
The report concluded that the applicant had demonstrated through a retail impact
assessment that there were unlikely to be “unacceptable impacts on existing centres
in the area”, although further clarification on convenience retail sales is being sought
form the application.
It added: “Amendments to the scheme and clarification provided by the agent has shown that the proposed development will not have a significant adverse impact on highway safety or the amenities enjoyed by local residents.
“Providing an appropriate tree belt can be agreed along the eastern boundary (via condition) the proposed design and landscaping of the development would be appropriate to the surroundings without having an unacceptable impact on the intrinsic character of the landscape of the gap between the settlements of Leyburn and Harmby.”
For more details on the proposal click here.