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