Fake castle could be confused with real one at Yorkshire attraction

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It is a labyrinth of magical tunnels, chambers and follies - dubbed the ‘strangest place in the world’.

Yet planning permission for a new viewing platform and works to complete an existing gatehouse, towers and turrets of a mock medieval castle at North Yorkshire tourist attraction The Forbidden Corner look set to be denied by planners - partly because visitors could confuse the ‘ruined’ attraction with an authentic heritage site.

A report to be considered by the planning committee at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority next week recommends refusing the application, claiming the introduction of an “inauthentic, pastiche building” would lead to substantial harm to the heritage significance of the National Park, and recommends an Enforcement Notice is issued to require the partial demolition of existing “castle” buildings in line with previous planning permissions.

The report says: “From a distance it would appear to be a castle with associated curtain wall.

“This is likely to alter and confuse the visitor’s perception and understanding of the authentic medieval landscape in this part of the National Park.

“Visitors to the Forbidden Corner may also be led to believe that it was of historic and architectural significance. In the opinion of the Authority’s Senior Historic Environment Officer this would introduce an unacceptable amount of pastiche and potential confusion into this historic landscape.”