Thoralby barn conversion to go before planners

A high-profile struggle between conservation and community-driven groups over the future use of traditional stone barns in the Yorkshire Dales is set to resurface next week.

The national park authority’s planning committee will consider a plan to convert and extend an early 19th century stone barn in Thoralby into a three-bedroom home to enable a farmer to be near to his farm to look after his livestock.

The applicant, who has received the support of some councillors who are pressing for more homes to be created to stop locals leaving the area, said the conversion would enable him to be more central for the electrical business he runs in the area as well as maintain the barn.

Park authority officers said the proposal was “a very similar, if not identical, application to one refused in 2018”.

They have questioned whether there is an agricultural need for the barn conversion as the applicant also has an electrical business and said the proposal would result in significant landscape harm as the building was on a prominent site on an open hillside.

Recommending the proposal for refusal, an officers’ report states: “This barn falls in the most sensitive category of barns that are deliberately excluded from high intensity uses such as use as a dwelling.” [kofi]