Bid to offer restored railway carriage as holiday let in North Yorkshire turned down

An unusual spot for an overnight stay in North Yorkshire has been dealt a blow after councillors judged it wouldn’t fit in with its surroundings.

The restored railway carriage would have been sited just off Brass Castles Lane, near Middlesbrough Golf Club

Blueprints aiming to place a restored railway carriage at Ryehill House East, off Brass Castle Lane, were lodged in November last year.

But Middlesbrough Council’s planning committee has voted the plans down over concerns the former passenger car would hit the area’s rural character and was in the wrong place next to the road.

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Planning officers had recommended the carriage near Middlesbrough Golf Club for approval, judging it would not significantly affect the special landscape area, or prevent safe access to the site”

Drawings to show how parking spaces would be created and turning areas would be set out were also submitted by the applicant.

But councillors still had worries and disagreed with where the carriage was set to go.

Coun David Coupe, member for Stainton and Thornton, said he’d been out to have a look for himself and wasn’t convinced a railway carriage would fit in with the area.

He added: “There’s no history of railway lines in that area – it’s something which is going to stand out.”

Coun Carolyn Dodds was surprised how close to the road the carriage was earmarked to go – and questioned why it couldn’t go elsewhere.

She added: “They have acres and acres of land – why can’t they move it towards the house? Perhaps it’s because of the delivery of the carriage, I don’t know – but I do think with all that land that they own, they can move it away from Brass Castle Lane.

“As you come round the corner, that’s the first thing you’ll see and I think it will distract drivers – they’ll wonder what it is when they haven’t seen it. Apart from that, I just think it’s in the wrong place.”

Councillors deferred their decision in March after sharing doubts about the placement of the carriage, potential access troubles, and to find out why it couldn’t go elsewhere on farmland.

There were seven objections to the plans – with misgivings from neighbours about the railway carriage “not being in keeping” with its surroundings, and there being no history of railways nearby.

Housing developer Kelt Properties also complained that the carriage would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area given its efforts on its own Bridlewoods project.

A design statement on behalf of the applicant said the classic carriage would offer visitors and rail enthusiasts the chance to stop overnight in a traditional sleep carriage.

It added: “The carriage will be updated internally to offer high standards of comfort and interior design without diminishing the novelty of the experience. There is significant available parking space very close to the intended carriage location and the facility will be a short walk from the main home – Ryehill House.

“We offer bed and breakfast at the main residence and this will be additional to what is already in place.”

Coun David Branson told the committee he lived nearby and had no objection to the railway carriage itself, but the member for Coulby Newham also had concerns about how close it was to the road.

“I can’t see why it can’t be located a little bit further away,” added Coun Branson.

Coun Coupe believed the carriage was “simply in the wrong place” – and requested whether the applicant could move it further away from the road.

“It’s really in the wrong place – I’m not against the principle, it’s just in the wrong place,” he added.

Officers said the applicant could put another application in if the plans were refused to adjust the carriage’s location.

However, Coun Lee Garvey struggled to find planning reasons to say no to the bid.

He added: “I’m going to pass on this one. It would be nice if we could use the number of objections as a planning consideration but we can’t.”

After a short debate, six members voted against the plans with two abstentions.