Planning application submitted to convert former Arkengarthdale C of E School into B&B and outdoor activities business

The new owners of a village primary school in the Yorkshire Dales which closed when pupil numbers dwindled to just five have submitted their plans for the building.

Arkengarthdale C of E School
Arkengarthdale C of E School

Martin and Sue Stephenson purchased Arkengarthdale C of E School from the local Parochial Church Council last autumn and announced that they planned to relocate their guided walking and yoga holidays business from Snowdonia.

The sale was mired in controversy as the PCC sold the school to the Stephensons as the highest bidders, thus turning down an offer from the Upper Dales Community Land Trust, who wished to convert it into affordable homes.At the time the Stephensons, who are from Richmondshire originally, said the school would be their own 'forever' home and business premises.

Yet a planning application submitted this month to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority reveals that they intend to turn part of the site into bed and breakfast accommodation.

Two of the three new bedrooms will be used for paying guests.

The proposal includes a new car port with a yoga studio and classroom space above and the installation of an air source heat pump.

An orchard will also be planted over the children's playground and a new garden/patio area formed if permission is granted.

Once they are resident in the village of Langthwaite, Martin plans to join the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team and Sue is considering volunteering as a first responder for the ambulance service.

The application is currently being considered.