Developer loses appeal over rejected plans for Hawes Methodist Church

Hawes Methodist Church before its closure.

A decision to reject plans to convert a church in Hawes into holiday accommodation has been upheld by a planning inspector.

Members of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee voted to refuse an application to transform Hawes Methodist Church into three apartments and two cottages for holiday let accommodation in March.

Concerns over parking provision for the occupants were key to the decision to refuse the scheme.

An appeal was lodged by applicants Matthew and Sally Faulkes; Ian Morton; and Heritage Apartments Ltd with the Planning Inspectorate, however this now also been rejected.

In his report planning inspector, Graeme Robbie said he did not find the absence of on-site parking to be solely

He said the proposal would be likely to place a lesser burden on parking in Hawes than the continued use of the building as a church or other similar uses.

However, he added: “Rather, it is the severe lack of space around the building and the constrained and restricted nature of the local highway network which combine to such an extent that the proposed scheme of holiday accommodation would fail to provide appropriate access for the level of development that the conversion would bring forward.

“The quantum of development proposed, when combined with these factors would be such that ad-hoc and transient arrangements for loading and unloading would be detrimental to the amenities of nearby residents through the disruption and inconvenience which would arise.”

The original application was opposed by the late Hawes community leader John Blackie.

When the application was going through the system, the applicants threatened legal action if Cllr Blackie was allowed to take part in the meeting to decide the application.

They claimed he had shown bias against the application, however the complaint was found to be unsubstantiated and the councillor did take part in the meeting.

Th developer also lost an application to have their costs reimbursed by the national park authority.