‘Inauthentic’ castle folly must be removed

The Forbidden Corner is at the centre of a new planning dispute.
The Forbidden Corner is at the centre of a new planning dispute.
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A CASTLE folly built to bring magic and wonder to a corner of the Yorkshire Dales must be demolished after councillors agreed it was “inauthentic” and “pastiche”.

Tourist attraction the Forbidden Corner near Leyburn had applied for retrospective planning permission for the folly, which lies in the grounds of the park, but withdrew the application ahead of yesterday’s meeting of the Planning Committee of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

Officers had recommended that enforcement action was taken, claiming the 10-metre high folly would “introduce an inauthentic, pastiche building of significant scale and prominence into a nationally important, protected landscape”.

“The Forbidden Corner is a very welcome success story, which makes a significant positive contribution to the local economy,” said Robert Heseltine, the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Development Management.

“But it cannot be right to build a large castle folly, visible for miles around, in an historic and culturally important landscape, without even bothering to seek planning permission.”

Owner of Forbidden Corner, Colin Armstrong, said he was upset about the decision, and believed that the general opinion was that the folly was a “harmonious” addition to the landscape and that the application had received minimal objection.

He said he would now appeal the enforcement notice, which gives the attraction three months to remove the folly.

“It looks to me as nimbyism,” he said. “We feel surprised and rather hurt at the outcome.”