Richard Alderson told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee he had lived in Swaledale and Wensleydale all his life, but it had become apparent he needed another income stream after his work “dried up completely” due to the pandemic.
He told the meeting at Grassington Town Hall his proposal for “luxury low-key cabins” venture in Askrigg would help secure his future, enable his family to move back into the area, stopping the village “from becoming a ghost town”.
Mr Alderson said he had identfied a niche business opportunity that would create less noise and disturbance than other holiday accommodation in the village, while attracting younger visitors to the Dales, which is a leading aim of the park authority.
However, the meeting was told the proposal has sparked alarm among numerous Askrigg residents, who feared noise from the glamping site would impact on their quality of lives.
They said visitors accessing the site along the narrow lanes of the conservation area would exacerbate the already significant road safety issues in the area, a claim which North Yorkshire highways officers supported.
Leading classical composer and Askrigg resident David Blake said many of Mr Alderson’s claims were “nonsensical”. He said the development was entrely out of keeping with the conservation area.
The meeting was told the proposed site was “a very important part of Askrigg conservation area” and the glamping cabins would affect views of the landscapes.
Authority member and Askrigg farmer Allen Kirkbride said the proposal had stirred controversy in the village.
He said the venture would help the local economy and help achieve the authority’s aim of bringing more people into the countryside.
Ahead of the vast majority of the committee voting to refuse the plan, Mr Kirkbride said the parish council already received regular complaints about the access to the narrow Silver Street and emergency services could struggle to access properties there, so the development was unacceptable on the proposed site.