Planners move against Dales country show proposal

Kilnsey Crag, opposite the Kilnsey Show field. Picture: Google

A move to secure the future of a Dales agricultural show should be blocked, planners have recommended, as it would compromise one of the most important and widely appreciated views in the national park.

The Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society (UWAS) has been urged to rethink its ambition to build a large building for storing the equipment needed to stage the Kilnsey Show, ahead of the proposal for the building about the size of two double decker buses being considered on Tuesday (May 28).

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee will hear volunteers for the society take three weeks to set up and take down the event in a large field beside the River Wharfe and opposite Kilnsey Crag over the August Bank Holiday weekend, partly because much of the equipment has to be brought to the site.

While crowds of up to 15,000 flock to the showcase of country life, the event remains reliant on a small, narrow and dilapidated storage building with one access door only at one end which makes removal and restorage of items difficult.

Show organisers say numerous items needed to stage the show have to be stored offsite, but if its proposal for a 23m by 9m by 4m building which replicates farm barns across the park was approved additional equipment could be bought rather than hired in each year to improve the sustainability of the show.

The application states: “It is essential that the show has a storage facility for its considerable equipment such as sheep hurdles, crowd control barriers, wooden pay booths, fencing posts, rubber mats for vehicles, picnic benches, signage etc.

“Without such a facility the show could not continue as the cost of hiring all this equipment in would be prohibitive. The proposed building as designed will ensure safe and secure storage for the show is available for many years to come.

“The siting has been purposely selected to be suitable for the show volunteers
whilst putting up and taking down the show, and to be as visually unobtrusive
as possible whilst the equipment is stored away.”

A spokesman for Conistone-with-Kilnsey Parish Meeting said although the show was established in 1897 it now needed “appropriate storage space for the equipment needed to set up a show in the 21st century”.

He added: “We have to maintain a sustainable future for the next generation of the show.”

Highlighting the Kilnsey Show’s value to the cultural life of the park, an officer’s report to the meeting describes it as “an integral part of the life of Wharfedale, an important agricultural show and a demonstration of local crafts, product displays and competitions”.

It adds the society has rejected suggestions to consider alternative storage areas, such as a building on a nearby farm, on a designated business area, on a site next to a village or even outside the national park.

The report concludes: “The landscape in this part of Wharfedale is wide and flat with one of the most iconic, geological landmarks of the Dales, Kilnsey Crag close by. The crag is iconic and features on many cards, in pictures and in photographs and is an integral part of the identity of the national park.

“This important public view will be significantly harmed by the erection of this modern building.

“The siting of this building, whilst providing a useful storage facility is a permanent structure and for 49 weeks of the year, would be unrelated to its function as a building for the Kilnsey Show.”

1 Comment

  1. Please NO not if it’s a ‘modern’ building. Maybe if it was stone built with stone slate roof or possibly better still a grass covered roof. one story high and as far away from the Cragg as possible.

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