By Pip Land
Tim’s Barn at Gayle is unauthorised development and the subject of an enforcement investigation, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee was told this month.
This was in response to this statement made by the Association of Rural Communities.
The statement said: “The Association is very concerned by what appears to be considerable inconsistency surrounding barn conversions at present. At the May meeting of the planning committee the application to convert Tup Gill Laithe near Kettlewell into a local occupancy dwelling was refused on the grounds that such a dwelling would have a negative impact upon the landscape. Compare that with the situation regarding Tim’s Barn near Gayle.
“Planning permission was granted in 2011 for conversion of what was a traditional barn into something similar to a bunk barn with very rudimentary facilities inside.
“The conditions stated there should be no vehicular access track and no external lighting.
“Earlier this year there were on-line adverts for ‘Tim’s Barn’ stating that it was fully equipped and beautifully furnished with en-suite shower cubicle, underfloor heating, a super king-size bed, electric cooker, washing machine, a private car parking space for one car and much more.
“The planning department was informed about this in January following a very angry debate among Dales’ residents on Facebook. Some even suggested organising a protest march.
“Many feel that the way Tim’s Barn has been converted, contrary to planning permission, sets a very clear precedent. If it is allowed to remain as it is, it will completely undermine your policies concerning which barns can be converted.
“How can you then, as a committee, argue that any barn conversion should be refused because it would have a negative impact upon the countryside?”
To this Richard Graham, the head of development management, made the following response: “The statement from the Association of Rural Communities refers to ‘considerable inconsistency surrounding barn conversions at present’ comparing the refusal of planning permission for the conversion of Tug Gill Laithe at Kettlewell with the conversion of Tim’s Barn at Gayle.
“In reply, there is no inconsistency in decision making in relation to these two cases. Tug Gill Laithe was a planning application that Members considered against Local Plan policy L2 and decided to refuse permission.
“The conversion of Tim’s Barn on the other hand is unauthorised development and is the subject of a current, ongoing enforcement investigation. The Authority has not made a decision but will need to consider whether it is expedient to take enforcement action and in doing so will need to consider whether the unauthorised development complies with or conflicts with Policy L2.”
Policy L2 allows for the conversion of traditional agricultural buildings within existing settlements and building groups, or other suitable roadside locations.
The barn is advertised as a holiday cottage on-line.
One advert states that the property is not taking reservations at present.
ARC News Service