Future of Grade-I listed 18th century inn in Wensleydale uncertain after planners delay decision on restaurant plan

The future of a listed 18th century inn which has been registered as a community asset remains unclear after planners postponed a decision in the hope that road safety concerns could be overcome.

Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee agreed to give UK Estates Management more time to find extra spaces for parking near The Green Tree, in the Lower Wensleydale village of Patrick Brompton, before considering a proposal to build a two-storey extension and change the use of its first floor from a hotel to a restaurant.

The scheme has attracted support from numerous residents, particularly as the pub has remained closed for several years and the building is overlooked by the 12th century grade I listed St Patrick’s Church, which is ranked among the 1,319sq km district’s finest buildings.

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North Yorkshire County Council’s highways officers have calculated 38 parking spaces would be needed at the proposed ‘destination restaurant’, but the plans show a minimum of 17 parking spaces would be provided on site as part of the revised scheme.

The Green Tree, in the Lower Wensleydale village of Patrick Brompton

Recommending the scheme be rejected, highways officers said the lack of car parking spaces could see cars parked along the main east-west route through the Yorkshire Dales, creating a road safety hazard on the A684.

Even before the proposal for the inn was lodged, villagers had road safety raised concerns and following a survey of residents in 2019, the parish council drew up an action plan to ensure the community was safe.

It stated: “The continuing challenge caused by the passing of the A684 through the village brings with it issues to do with speeding, road markings, and the condition of the road surface.”

Despite this, the parish council has concluded if the inn was well managed the benefit of retaining The Green Tree as a viable business outweighed concerns over the lack of parking.

Planning officers have previously suggested to the developers that an extension to the inn’s car park out partly into a neighbouring field is considered.

Planning experts say it is rare for a proposed development where road safety issues have been highlighted to be approved and a meeting of the planning committee heard the only major issue planning officers had identified was over the lack of parking spaces.

Officers told the meeting while it had taken two years for the application to reach the planning committee, it remained in everyone’s interests to try to find a solution to the potential traffic concerns.