Hawes Methodist Church changes to be decided by planners

Hawes Methodist Church before its closure.

Plans to convert Hawes Methodist Church into housing will be discussed by planners today.

The building has been sold off and the new owners want to create three apartments and two cottages for holiday lets.

Documents submitted with the plans to Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority state: “Whilst the property is a deconsecrated church, it is part of the cultural and architectural heritage of Hawes, helping to form a gateway to the town.

“The combination of tourism, security of the street scene through reoccupation and holiday occupancy would help contribute to Hawes economy.

“The buildings retention through sympathetic rehabilitation as proposed would ensure that the principles and objectives of the National Park are put into practice.”

However, Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council has objected to the plans.

Members said at a recent meeting that they could not understand a Highways recommendation that no parking was required for the holiday lets when the nearest available parking was 300 metres away.

Chair of the parish council John Blackie said: “There is general agreement amongst all the parties involved that the proposal at Hawes Methodist Church will create enduring parking and traffic obstructions on both the A684 in the town and also Chapel Street.”

The parish council said it would accept these problems if the proposal was for local occupancy dwellings rather than holiday lets.

However, the occupants consider that permanently occupied houses would not be viable.

The application will be discussed by YDNPA members today.