Planners again refuse Wensleydale barn conversion plans

The barn off Old Gayle Lane, near Hawes. Photo: Google.

An application to convert a Yorkshire Dales barn into a house has again been refused by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee.

At its meeting on Tuesday, August 3 Neil Heseltine, who is chairman of the authority, told the committee that there had been no significant change in the latest application for the site off Old Gayle Lane, near Hawes, since an inspector dismissed an appeal in April this year regarding the previous one.

“To agree with it at this stage after that inspector’s assessment, would be to drive a bus through our own local plan,” he commented.

He added that the present application submitted by GTEC Property Holdings was contrary to five of the policies in the authority’s local plan.

Member Allen Kirkbride, however, maintained that it did fit the authority’s policy for a roadside barn including having had a track to it.

“A barn of this size would have had a track to it [and] it would have been used two to three times a day,” he said.

He and North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock argued that it was not in the open countryside as stated by the planning officer, because there was a caravan site on the other side of the road, and dwellings and a cattle market nearby.

Craven District councillor Richard Foster said that without another use the barn would decay.

He added: “We have a barn policy that doesn’t specify definitively how close to a road a barn has to be. I would like to see some work done with the applicant about the curtilage  – let’s pass this and put the right conditions in.”

“We are a bit hypocritical about roadside barns,” said Richmondshire district councillor John Amsden.

He, like Kirkbride and North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine, pointed out that sometimes applications to convert barns had been refused permission even when they were right next to a road, and others had been granted permission when there was no track across a field to them.

The majority of the committee, however, agreed with the planning officer who stated: “The traditional field barn, some 29m from the roadside and not served by an access track, does not accord with the locational requirements of (local plan) policy.

“Furthermore, the proposed development would lead to a significant degree of landscape harm through the creation of a dwelling with a large curtilage and the associated domestic paraphernalia that would be expected with it, the proposed parking area and a widened access track.

“The proposal would harm the rural, pastoral setting of this visually isolated farm barn and the scenic beauty and pastoral character of the landscape.”

ARC News Service



  1. The YDNPA is not fit for purpose! It does as it wants when it wants, even if that means not giving notice of change of use for properties to people living next to properties

  2. The planning committee have been know to refuse permission for a permanent home in favour of a holiday let being granted because of their perception that the need for “domestic paraphernalia” requirements are much less in holiday accommodation.
    I’m assuming that is waste bins, satellite TV aerials, lighting, outside seating etc – they clearly have no idea how holiday accommodation standards have changed- properties now have to have every thing, hot tubs are one of the most requested facilities nowadays.
    Back to the issue under debate …
    If the track to this property was of the type that grass can grow under it (as on Reeth Green) and the bins fenced in with bushes planted to disguise them, i am sure walkers passing by (that’s the only way anyone has chance to look at it for any length of time) would see it as a fabulous place to live and an excellent use of a redundant building. Inconsistencies of decisions again … from where I live I can see many conversions and renovations none of which in my opinion detract from the beauty of the landscape in which they are set. I’ve never once been detracted from the views by the lighting, bins or any other “domestic paraphernalia” and I live here permanently !!! In the Cotswolds, much of the attraction of the scenery is attributed to the lovely cottages.

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