Mock medieval castle at Forbidden Corner must be torn down after planning appeal fails

An appeal against an order to rip down a ten-metre high mock Medieval castle at a rural North Yorkshire visitor attraction has been rejected.

The Forbidden Corner's castle folly which must be taken down. Photo by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority served an enforcement notice on the owners of the Forbidden Corner near Leyburn last year.

The three-storey structure was built without planning permission and has been described by the authority as “inauthentic” and “pastiche”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The attraction’s owners lodged an appeal to fight the order but the Planning Inspectorate has now ruled in favour of the National Park and the building must be taken down.

Recap: ‘Inauthentic’ castle folly must be removedMore: ‘Mock’ castle could confuse Park visitorsAnalysis: David Behrens: Park planners bounced into a bad decision by fake castle follyIn a decision letter, the planning inspector said the building is “obtrusive” and “has a harmful and disruptive effect on the understanding and enjoyment of the landscape”.

The inspector dismissed attempts to cover up the building with fake ivy and screen it with planting as proof that the building is harmful to the “character, appearance and natural beauty of this part of Coverdale”.

Jim Munday, member champion for development management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Throughout this process we have always made clear that we recognise and celebrate the success of the Forbidden Corner as a tourist attraction and an important employer within the National Park.

“The enforcement action does not seek to harm the business, but to remedy a breach of planning control that significantly harms the cultural heritage and landscape quality of this part of the National Park.

“The completed building is a large mock medieval castle which provides a commanding viewpoint over Coverdale and part of lower Wensleydale. It is located outside the walled folly garden of the Forbidden Corner, so it is not only separate from all the other follies, but is in open view.”