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Councillors back Carleton holiday lodges scheme

Wednesday, 6 March 2024 09:55

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

An example of how a lodge will look (Credit: Essence lodges)

Councillors backed a scheme to build eight holiday lodges on a farm in Carleton — but final approval will be made by a planning officer subject to conditions being agreed.

Skipton & Ripon’s planning committee met yesterday at Belle Vue Square in Skipton to consider plans by farmer Keith Downes for the timber lodges on land near Carla Beck House, Carla Beck Lane.

Similar plans were refused by the former Craven District Council’s planning committee but this time, councillors were satisfied the applicant had made changes to improve the scheme following concerns about its appearance.

Mr Downes told councillors he had farmed at Lower Biggin Farm for 40 years. He said: “The holiday lodges will enable us to diversify our farm and the family-run enterprise will be run by my children and grandchildren. It will improve the health of the business in the wake of changing farm subsidies.”

There have been long-standing issues in the village around flooding which led division councillor Andy Solloway to suggest it would be “better to create a watersports facility” on the fields instead.

Philip Holmes, chair of Carleton-in-Craven parish council, also spoke out against the plans and said the village was against them.

The application received 58 objections and 8 letters of support.

Will Cartright spoke on behalf of objectors and said he believed the reasons for refusal had not been overcome and urged councillors to reject the scheme.

However, Cllr Barbara Brodigan (Liberal Democrat, Ripon Ure Bank & Spa), said the lodges would allow tourists to visit the Dales without homes being lost to short-term lets through websites like Airbnb.

Cllr Brodigan said: “Too often we complain we are losing accommodation to locals, this is the answer to all that, it still provides to tourists but doesn’t take away from the existing housing stock.”

Committee chair Cllr Nathan Hull (Conservative, Washburn & Birstwith) said it was “really important” the council supports farmers who want to diversify their business. He added: “The applicant has tried to mitigate the damage of previous applications and showed considerable cooperation.”

Councillors voted by 3 votes to 2, with one abstention, to say they were ‘minded to’ approve the plans subject to conditions. Final approval is set to be granted at a later date.


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