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Councillors refuse housing scheme at Carleton farm

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 15:38

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors have refused a scheme to build four homes in Carleton near Skipton.

Plans were submitted to North Yorkshire Council for the homes at Grundy Farm by RN Wooler and Co.

Skipton and Ripon’s planning committee met at Belle Vue Square to consider the application which had been recommended for approval by a council officer.

However, councillors judged that homes would be built on a green field outside of development limits and said they feared it could lead to the field being developed further.

Coun Robert Heseltine (Conservative and Independents Group, Skipton East & South) said: “We need a robust response from this planning committee so we can close the gate on the aspiration of housebuilding on that field for generations to come.”

There is already an approved application from 2009 for five houses in the farmyard of Grundy Farm.

Councillors heard that the homes were not built although an entrance was created so the planning permission remains valid.

In 2017, an outline application for 21 homes at the site including on a field next to the farmyard was withdrawn following concerns by the government body Historic England.

In 2019, Craven District Council refused plans for a larger scheme of six houses at the site due to a “harmful encroachment and urbanisation in the countryside.”

Liz Walker spoke on behalf of the Wooler family and said the scheme had been reduced since the previous refusal. She said: “The plans have been described as a considerable improvement by the council’s conservation advisor. The provision of new homes carries significant weight as a public benefit. Jobs will be created at the construction stage and residents will support the village pub, shop and pharmacy. ”

However, the plans were met by fierce resistance within Carleton and the public gallery was full of objectors who came to observe the meeting.

Angela Dowbiggin spoke on behalf of the objectors and said new housing “should not be built at any cost”. She added: “This green field makes a strong contribution to our village. Towns and villages are losing their identity and sense of place by overdevelopment.”

Coun Andy Brown (Green Party, Aire Valley) referred to a policy in the council’s local plan that states housebuilding on land that isn’t allocated for development can only occur if there is a shortfall of housing.

He said Carleton is currently only facing a shortfall of five houses with several larger schemes for the area in the pipeline. Cllr Brown added: “Within one mile of this site 300 homes are being built or will be built.”

Coun Andrew Williams (Conservative and Independents Group, Ripon Minster and Moorside) added: “I have grave concerns that this is opening the floodgates to establish even the principle of development on part of the field.”

The plans were refused unanimously. The developer can appeal the decision.

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