Long-running legal case over unathorised farm building resolved

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

A long-running legal case involving unauthorised development in the Yorkshire Dales National Park has been resolved.

A large agricultural building at Middlefields Farm, in Coverdale, erected without planning permission, has been taken down.

The work comes after Yorkshire Dales planning officers went to the High Court to obtain an injunction to force farmer Andrew Avison to lower the height of the barn, so big it was dubbed the “giraffe house” by locals.

Mr Avison was told in January that if he failed to comply with the injunction issued by the court in Leeds, he would be in contempt of court, an offence punishable by imprisonment.

The farmer appeared back in the High Court in July after failing to reduce the height of the barn.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority submitted a committal application which could have seen Mr Avison found guilty of contempt of court.

However, the barn has now been taken down.

Mr Avison was ordered to pay national park authority legal costs in connection with injunction orders which were granted by the High Court after her did not comply with the original enforcement notices.

In a separate case, a camper van and other materials stationed on Storrs Common just inside the park boundary near Ingleton have been removed.

These were the first High Court injunctions ever sought by the authority.

Member champion for development management at the park authority, Jim Munday, said:  “We acted in both cases after receiving complaints from members of the public.

“We hope the resolutions, although coming after a protracted legal effort, will help to retain the public’s confidence in the planning system.”