Controversial hotel and country store plans to go back before planners

The site of the proposed development.

Plans for a 40-bedroom hotel and country store which have split opinion in Leyburn are to go back before councillors next week.

Members of Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the scheme proposed for a field opposite Tennants on the edge of the town.

A decision on the plans was deferred at a meeting last month with developers told to address residents’ concerns and fill in “great gaps” in the application.

An emotionally-charged hearing over a plan to create the T-shaped hotel and 276-cover restaurant alongside an S-shaped 2,501sq m country store, play barn and cafe on the former Dales Festival of Food and Drink showground heard numerous residents call for clarity over how the scheme would impact on them.

Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee was told those behind the Sam Turners store and Inn Collection hotel scheme had not consulted with residents over the major development and had not responded to requests to lessen the impacts of the scheme on those living nearby.

Residents told the committee the noise mitigation, biodiversity and drainage plans were grossly inadequate, while proposals to manage traffic around the site were an accident waiting to happen near the store which could open for 66 hours a week and the hotel which would be open 24 hours, seven days a week.

However, planning officers are still recommending the scheme is approved.

In his report to members, planning officer Ian Nesbit concludes that the applicant has been able to demonstrate through that there are “unlikely to be unacceptable impacts on existing centres in the area”, although further clarification on convenience retail sales is being sought form the application.

He adds: “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.

“An appropriate landscaping scheme (including landscaping belt along the eastern boundary) is proposed, which along with the high quality design of the buildings, will ensure that there is no unacceptable impact on the intrinsic character of the landscape or on the gap between the settlements of Leyburn and Harmby.

“The proposed development will not have a harmful impact on archaeological remains or heritage assets, and sustainable surface water and foul drainage can be achieved for the site.

“Overall, the proposed development will be in accordance with the requirements and expectations of the Local Plan, the nPPG and the revised NPPF.”

The report recommends councillors approve the scheme at the meeting.

For more information on the application click here.