Concerns over impact of tourism site on sewerage system in Aysgarth

Some Aysgarth residents are very concerned about the impact of a new tourist site on the sewerage system,  Aysgarth Township Parish Meeting was informed this week.

At last year’s annual parish meeting residents heard that the one-and-a-half acre site at Townends, near the centre of Aysgarth, had been accredited by the Camping and Caravanning Club to have ten tents and five motorhomes or caravans at any one time.

In addition the owners, who had already added an extension and created rooms in the roof, applied for planning permission for a five-bedroom  guest house.

At the 2016 parish meeting some residents said this would be an over-business use of the site which could have a negative impact upon the amenity of those living nearby.

At the meeting this week it was reported that the application for a guest house was withdrawn and the retrospective application for the work already carried out was approved in August 2016.

It was reported that in July 2016 Matt and Clare Colman told Aysgarth and District Parish Council that they intended to use the five-bedroom bungalow as their home and wanted to build up the caravanning and camping business.

The meeting heard that in January Colman’s Guest House was advertised on Booking-com as offering five guest rooms, one with an annex with twin beds.

The planning authority had been queried about this and other issues and the response of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s  enforcement officer was read at the parish meeting.

This stated that a shower block had been formed within the house to be used by the caravan and camping guests and the owners had informed the officer that they will shortly be submitting a planning application for its retention.

The officer had explained that the rules about the need to apply for a change of use to a guesthouse related to the proportion of the property that had been given over to the business and if more than six bed spaces were being used for guests.

The meeting was told that the officer had reported that the property contained six bedrooms; that the Colmans had assured the YDNPA that the guest bookings would not exceed six bed spaces for the coming season; and that they will submit details of their bookings to the Authority on a monthly basis so that this can be monitored.

The clerk, Pip Land, reported: “With six guest bed spaces, two other adults in the house, plus a full camping and caravanning site there could be 50 people on the site. That doesn’t include if any friends are visiting and staying either in the house or in their own motorhomes or caravans.

“In the past few years there have been problems with the sewerage system with sewage flowing into the beck and down into the river [at the east end of the village]. So residents living near Townends do want to know what is happening regarding the additional sewage.”