“Luxury” holiday cottage in Gayle should be stripped back to basics says council

Tim's Barn, Gayle. Picture from holiday cottage website

By Betsy Everett

A field barn in Gayle that was converted into a fully-equipped “luxury” holiday cottage should be stripped back to provide basic camping facilities, the parish council has ruled.

National park planners had approved the conversion of Tim’s Barn, Beggarmans Road, to a stone tent in 2011, but the applicant had “got away with” creating a “luxury, five-star holiday cottage,” said Councillor John Blackie, chair of Hawes and High Abbotside parish council.

The national park authority had ruled it unauthorised, and an enforcement order would have been served if the owner had not made a new application by August 7.  That deadline had been met with an application for retrospective planning permission to convert it to a “camping barn,” which would have a much lower level of facilities than currently, the council heard.
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However, Mr Blackie said the plans put before the council looked “very similar” to what was already there. The design and access statement said it would be used by large and small parties, such as Duke of Edinburgh Award participants, who were not seeking a luxury self-contained holiday cottage, but basic accommodation.

“It looks to me that instead of calling it a luxury holiday cottage he’s just calling it a camping barn and a camping barn is not what we see in these plans,” he added.

Resident Rob Ward said he believed the owner was planning to retire there, and fellow resident Brenda Peacock said before it could be described as a camping barn it would have to be “stripped out and taken back to what was originally proposed.”

Councillor Ian Woolley said before the parish council could support the planning application, members should insist that it could not be used for permanent  accommodation. “It has to have the basic facilities of a camping barn, and not be a holiday cottage in disguise,” he said.

Members agreed to support the application provided the building was taken back to the basics of a camping barn, had no parking, and could not be used for permanent occupation. It will be considered at the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s next planning committee meeting.