Proposals for cafe 'half-way up Ingleborough' backed by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planners

Planning professionals have backed a proposal to launch a café "half-way up Ingleborough", despite a Yorkshire Dales parish council warning it will exacerbate litter issues in the national park.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will next Tuesday consider Adam Gough's proposal to serve refreshments for walkers from a croft at an isolated property next to the main path approaching the summit of the 723m-high Ingleborough, the second-highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales.

The site is highly protected as it is in the national park, designated areas of open upland, special scientific interest and a special area of conservation.

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Although several plans to make alterations to the property have previously been rejected, the kiosk is already in-situ and the upper half of the structure is visible from the public right of way.

Planning professionals have backed a proposal to launch a café "half-way up Ingleborough", despite a Yorkshire Dales parish council warning it will exacerbate litter issues in the national park.

In planning documents, Mr Gough said he was committed to keeping waste to a minimum to avoid the possibility of additional litter in the Ingleborough area.

He said drinks and food would be served in cups, glasses and plates so they could be washed and used again, while napkins would be made from recycled materials, so the only waste from the venture would be drink cans, which would be recycled.

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The proposal follows the authority issuing appeals to people walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to be aware of the consequences of dropping empty wrappers and plastic water bottles, saying "the fragile environment can be damaged and spoiled by a few unthinking people".

Such volumes of rubbish are already left on the route that volunteers organise annual litter picking events.

In its response to the proposal, Ingleton Parish Council said it did not "believe that half-way up Ingleborough is an appropriate place for a kiosk serving hot and cold food".

A spokesman for the council added: "One of the main concerns is the litter that this would generate and how this would be managed. Councillors were aware of the recent litter problem at the top of Whernside and do not want a similar issue to develop on Ingleborough. One of the main attractions to this area is its rural and unspoilt appearance."

The officers' report states while the sensitivity of the landscape meant only very modest developments would be acceptable, of greater concern was adverse impact the use of the kiosk could have on the surrounding landscape.

It states the modest scale of the kiosk and its proximity to the nearby house meant the structure does not have an adverse visual impact and with the original proposal for a seating area being dropped, the scheme was of a "very low-key nature".

The officers' report concludes the development would be "very unlikely to have a harmful visual impact on the landscape", but would offer walkers "an enhanced opportunity to enjoy the landscape with a refreshing drink or slice of homemade cake".