Plans to turn eyesore fish farm into holiday let near All Creatures Great and Small village wins backing

A proposal to transform an eyesore former fish farm into a small-scale holiday let site has received the backing of planners, despite local residents claiming the proposal would exacerbate flooding issues and impact on their safety and quality of life.

Ahead of a meeting on March 12, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority officers have advised its planning committee the plan for four shepherd’s huts off Old Mill Lane, Grassington, would in fact benefit the area.

The recommendation follows the Environment Agency withdrawing its objection to the original proposal for “more vulnerable” holiday lodges at the site as it lies within Flood Zones 2 and 3, with a medium to high probability of flooding from rivers.

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In the planning application, the developer states the site features redundant concrete structures, hardstanding and rubble remaining from the demolition of a building.

Plans to transform a former fish farm near Grassington have won planners' backingPlans to transform a former fish farm near Grassington have won planners' backing
Plans to transform a former fish farm near Grassington have won planners' backing

He states: “This is an opportunity to clear the site, to bring part of it back into eonomic use and to significantly improve the appearance and biodiversity of the site.”

However, in a letter of objection Grassington Parish Council said the proposed development was on a flood plain and introducing more holiday lets to the area was overdevelopment of the site.

Residents have claimed the shepherd’s huts would have a negative impact on local infrastructure and services and that extra vehicles on Old Mill Lane would be a danger to walkers and children.

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Objectors have also the four shepherd’s huts would generate too much noise, overlook neighbouring properties and compromise fishing in the area.

Objectors also wrote that shepherd’s huts are not typical of the area and would undermine the stone vernacular of the Dales and underlined that local planning authorities should have “special regard”‘ to character of listed buildings and surrounding areas.

However, planning officers have stated they consider the proposal would result in “the considerable enhancement of the site in the landscape”, through the removal of the fish farm infrastructure.

In a report to the authority’s planning committee, the planning officers state the development of the site would not result in an encroachment into open countryside and would be reasonably well screened, particularly with the proposed extensive native tree planting along the roadside boundary.

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The report states: ” It is considered that the proposed modest shepherd’s huts would provide sustainable fixed but reversible short-stay holiday accommodation in a location that is sufficiently screened and enclosed so that it would avoid an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape.

“The proposed development would not have a significant impact on residential amenity providing a suitable management plan is in place. The proposed development would not increase flood risk or significantly impact on the safe and convenient use of the access lane.

“It is considered that the proposed development as a whole would significantly aid the nature recovery of the site through the removal of the unsightly redundant structures and hardstanding and enhancement through landscaping, walling and tree planting.”

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