Yore Mill redevelopment plans recommended for refusal despite roof collapse concerns

Yore Mill at the rear of the photo. Photo: Dr Neil Clifton.

Planners are recommending a proposal for the redevelopment of a historic former Dales water mill are rejected, despite concerns that a delay could mean the building is lost.

A developer has submitted plans to convert Yore Mill at Aysgarth Falls into flats and a visitor centre.

The planning application also proposes to install a hydro-electricity plant within the building.

Documents submitted with the plans to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority say a new future needs to be agreed urgently for the building as the roof has now collapsed inwards.

A report for members confirms the grade-II listed building is at risk.

It states: “Members will be aware that the condition of the mill is deteriorating quickly since a small collapse in the roof a few weeks ago.

“It is a real possibility that the roof could be lost soon and once it and the lateral timbers have gone, there would be structural issues with the walls with the risk that the building could be lost completely.

“The mill is a landmark building that forms a set piece with the surrounding buildings and to lose it would have a significantly detrimental affect on the remaining listed buildings, the setting of the falls and the wider cultural heritage of the national park.

“There is therefore significant incentive to find a development that would enable the restoration of the building as soon as possible.”

However, it recommends that the application should be rejected because the plans do not include sufficient parking for users of the building.

It adds: “The provision of car parking for the mill is perhaps the most critical issue in respect of this application for redevelopment.

“The development potential of Yore Mill has been severely compromised by the owner selling off the surrounding land and buildings so that there is very little land left around the mill to directly serve any new development.

North Yorkshire County Council Highways recommends that the application is refused.

“The Highway Engineers have advised that the proposal requires 24 car parking spaces – two per apartment and six for the retail/business unit and heritage interpretation space.

“The applicant has removed a cycle wash area from the layout and now proposes four spaces for the development, an increase in one space from the previous scheme but still a significant under provision of 20 spaces.”

Use of the national park authority car park at the Falls has been suggested, although the report states that this can get very busy in the summer and at weekends, and use by mill visitors could use up around a quarter of the  79 spaces.

The report notes that the applicant has been in negotiation with the owner of a nearby parcel of land that could accommodate 15 dedicated spaces for use in connection with the mill.

It adds: “Whilst this would have remained an under provision, it is only an under provision of 5 spaces and therefore considerably better than the current scheme.

“However, such provision has been left out of the current submission for reasons that are not known. No weight can be attached to the possibility of this land coming forward at a later date once planning permission has been granted, as car parking is a fundamental consideration of the proposal as it stands.

“There would be no guarantee that the applicant would provide it in the future, should negotiations be positive and indeed granting planning permission would be a disincentive to the applicant pursuing it further.”

The plans will be discussed at a planning meeting on Tuesday.

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1 Comment

  1. Note to applicant: You should have left the cycle wash in; our planners always cast a blind eye to anything involving two wheels.

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