Temporary planning permission granted for Kidstones chalet

The possible support of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning officers for the construction of an agricultural worker’s cottage in the open countryside in Bishopdale has been described as a ‘bit contradictory’ by Richmondshire District councillor John Amsden.

At the authority’s planning committee on Tuesday, the majority of the members agreed temporary permission could be granted for 12 months for a chalet at Kidstones Gill Bridge at the southern end of Bishopdale while Robert and Helen Brown worked with the planning department on an application which would include a permanent rural worker’s cottage there.

Aysgarth and District Parish Council had strongly objected to extending planning permission for the chalet partly because the time allowed for a temporary dwelling had long expired.

North Yorkshire County councillor Yvonne Peacock told the committee: “The problem with this application is that it should have been enforced long before now.

“What has happened to the fact that they [Mr and Mrs Brown] were given permission for two cottages at Howsyke and they have never materialised?”

The planning officer explained that permission was granted in 2017 for two rural workers’ cottages at Howsyke in Bishopdale as part of the development of that site.

She stated: “The case presented in the 2017 application was that the applicants [Mr and Mrs Brown] would live in the farmhouse at Howsyke and the business would be grown to increase ewe numbers from 100 to 1000. Suckler calves would be purchased each autumn.”

She added that planning permission was granted for the temporary accommodation at Kidstones Gill Bridge in 2019 and that expired in December 2020.

“The siting of the chalet and its occupation has been unauthorised since that date. The intention was that the occupant would move back to Howsyke upon completion of the permanent dwelling,” she said.

Mrs Brown told the committee: “There have been huge changes made with our farming enterprise which has made us take stock. Our aim is to relocate one of the worker’s cottages we have permission for at Howsyke to Kidstones Bridge.

“If the temporary planning is not extended there is no alternative accommodation for the two [living there].”

When asked about the plan to have one of the cottages located at Kidstones Gill Bridge the head of development management, Richard Graham, said: “There is an argument to have one permanent dwelling there, our agricultural consultant is happy to go along with that rather than two at Howsykes. It is a large holding and a lot of land.”

Wensleydale farmer, Allen Kirkbridge, who is a parish council representative on the Authority, commented: “They [Mr and Mrs Brown] had planned lots of sheep but it is more into game and wildlife than it was.

“They should have started at least one of the cottages at Howsyke.”

North Yorkshire County councillor Robert Heseltine and Cllr Amsden agreed with him that they did not want to see a new house built at Kidstones Gill Bridge. Cllr Amsden compared this to a farmer not being allowed to convert a barn which was in the middle of the field. “A bit contradictory I think,” he remarked.

Cllr Heseltine asked how much acreage was being farmed at Howsyke and how much at Kidstones Gill Bridge.

The planning officer replied that the rural worker was employed to manage 700 acres of land and 1,400 acres of woodland and the work included the maintenance of the hydro-plant which is housed in a new barn beside the chalet.

As Kidstones Gill Bridge and Howsykes were only two miles apart neither Cllr Heseltine nor Mr Kirkbride could see any justification for a new dwelling at the former.

North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Foster, like others, felt he could approve a 12-month extension for the chalet especially as there was no other accommodation for the rural worker and his partner.

Member Jim Munday commented that enforcement action should be taken after a year if things weren’t sorted out.

At the end of the debate North Yorkshire County councillor David Ireton asked if this would be the final extension for the chalet. He did not receive an answer.

ARC News Service