Farmer given further time to reduce height of “giraffe house” barn

A view of the barn from below the farm before it was taken down.

A farmer has been given further time to reduce — or knock down — a building built without planning permission.

Coverdale farmer Andrew Avison has appeared back in the High Court in Leeds after failing to reduce the height of the barn built at Middlefields Farm in Melmerby.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority submitted a committal application which could have seen Mr Avison found guilty of contempt of court for failing to abide by the previous court order to lower the barn.

This could have meant a prison sentence.

However, the farmer was given a further three months to complete the work, which has started but has not been completed to satisfy park authority officials.

YDNPA member champion for development management, Jim Munday, said: “The High Court granted an injunction order on 18 October 2018 requiring Andrew Avison to reduce in height or demolish a very large agricultural building that was erected without planning permission.

“The committal application was heard in the High Court and subsequently adjourned for three months to enable Mr Avison further time to comply, by either demolishing the building or completing it with the required reduced ridge height”.

“This case has dragged on for four and a half years.

“The authority has spent a lot of time trying to engage with Mr Avison. I would urge him to bring this sorry story to an end by simply complying with the enforcement notice.”

Due to its size, the barn was dubbed the ‘giraffe house’ by locals when it was first built.