Controversial plans for 14 luxury holiday lodges near Aysgarth Falls have been approved despite objections from local community leaders.
Yorkshire Dales National Park gave permission for the development at the Aysgarth Falls Hotel, which also includes extra restaurant space, on Tuesday.
The hotel was bought by Barnsley-based company The Brook Group two years ago.
The company has already refurbished the 11 bedrooms, the bar, lounge and Palmers restaurant, which re-opened in April this year.
Chief executive Jason Brook said: “When we acquired the hotel, the rooms were tired and lacked any recent investment, but the restaurant had a good local reputation for food.
“We knew that we had found a very special property in a beautiful and unique location, and our aim has always been to elevate the offering more in line with current demand and tastes.
“Our long-term plans are to offer a retreat-like environment for a wide range of customers, whilst also offering excellent facilities for corporate and international guests.
“Integral to that plan is the provision of the hotel lodges, which really will place guests at the heart of this spectacular Yorkshire landscape, just a short walk from the celebrated Aysgarth Falls, alongside other local attractions such as Bolton Castle, Wensleydale Creamery, and the Forbidden Corner.
“Our plans were first submitted at the start of 2023 and have been subjected, quite rightly, to detailed scrutiny by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Planners.”
The application was approved despite concerns from the local community.
Aysgarth Parish Council submitted an objection to the scheme, saying it was cause light pollution and would mean the loss of touring and tent pitches which previously used the site.
Other concerns included the impact on the sewage system.
Carperby farmer and chair of the Association of Rural Councils, Alastair Dinsdale, also raised the issue of sewage in a statement read out at Tuesday’s meeting.
He questioned whether the small sewage plant which serves the area would be able to cope with waste from the new lodges, adding: “The system discharges directly into the river above the middle falls.
“When I visited the outfall last Wednesday afternoon it was discharging milky coloured liquid with unfiltered solid sweetcorn kernels.
“These plants work on bacteria and will not work with the amounts of fats, oils, cleaning chemicals, disinfectants and certainly not the contents of hot tubs.”
He added: “A full environmental assessment should be undertaken of the whole catchment area of the sewage treatment plant as it is now without further development.”
The application was unanimously approved however.