Expansion of Wensleydale holiday park gets go-ahead after appeal

A lodge at Akebar Park.

The planning inspectorate has given the go-ahead for a major expansion of a Wensleydale holiday park.

Planners initially rejected a proposal to install an additional 27 lodges and caravans at Akebar Country Park, near Leyburn, amid concerns about flooding and harm to the character of the local area.

However, that decision has been overturned after the applicants appealed to the inspectorate.

The additional holiday homes will be built on the existing 18-hole golf course, which will be reduced to a nine-hole course.

The planning inspector stated in their report: “The proposal would be sited within the current golf course, set back from the main road to the north.

“It would benefit from existing and proposed planting within the vicinity of the site, comprising trees and hedgerows along with a 1.0m metre earthmound to the north.

“Accordingly, the proposal would have ample screening, reducing its visual impact on the immediate surrounds and the wider vicinity, and allowing it to successfully integrate with the rural nature of the area.”

The planning inspector added that there was no evidence the expansion would be a flood risk.

Jack Reynard, director of Akebar Park Leisure, which owns the site. said they were “absolutely delighted” with the outcome of the appeal.

“We can now progress with offering top quality holiday homes in a wonderful location, that is in North Yorkshire, whilst ensuring we maintain our good track record on environmental and sustainable practices throughout the development and beyond.

“It has been a long road, the application was first submitted on July 22, 2020 and has taken nearly four years to get this point.

“I urge the government to press forward making reforms to the planning process; the length of time it takes for thousands of businesses across the country to gain planning permission is utterly abhorrent and stifles economic growth across many industries.

“Upon commencement of the development, it will provide a boost locally to businesses and general employment, from civil and groundworks partnerships to long term employment opportunities within sales, housekeeping and grounds maintenance.”

Mr Reynard thanked the company’s agents Barrs and Co Chartered Surveyors for their work on the application.