Shepherd hut turned award-winning holiday let in Yorkshire ordered to close by council

The owners of an award-winning romantic getaway near Scarborough have been told they should shut it down.

The award-winning getaway has been forced to close.
The award-winning getaway has been forced to close.

Paula and Martin Goodrick opened The Brae in Snainton as a holiday let in 2018 as a means of income after self-employed joiner Martin fell seriously ill.

The quirky shepherd hut was a huge hit, receiving glowing reviews from guests and beating 35,000 other properties to win a Sykes Cottages Silver Best for Romance Award.

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But the couple have been left facing closure after their retrospective planning application for the hut as holiday accommodation was refused by Scarborough Council’s planning manager.

Martin and Paula Goodrick, with daughter Katy, outside their holiday let

“We’re devastated,” said Mrs Goodrick. “It’s obliterated my faith in everything. We feel totally powerless.”

Mr Goodrick, 58, originally built the hut in the family’s garden in 2017 for family and friends to use. He has chronic heart disease and has needed two operations, undergoing his second heart surgery only a few weeks ago.

Running the holiday let was flexible enough to allow Mrs Goodrick – who was previously a stay-at-home mum – to care for her husband and their eight-year-old daughter Katy, and provide the family with an income.

“It was so busy,” said Mrs Goodrick, 50. “So many people said it was just the best thing because it was totally private and really relaxing and that the village was so beautiful.

“Guests would text me to say they didn’t want to go home.”

The application attracted four letters of objection and nine letters of support. It was turned down because of fears of extra noise from holiday-makers causing disturbance to people living nearby as well as road safety concerns.

In his report, planning manager David Walker said: “The use proposed would be incompatible in this quiet residential area and would unacceptably harm residential amenity.

“The main source of disturbance is noise generated either by additional traffic attracted to the site, or by the noise disturbance from holiday makers outdoors (outdoor playing of children, barbecues, talking) more regularly than in a typical residential environment.

“A site for holiday use in this type of accommodation generates considerably more outdoor activity than a family house.

“It is considered that the proposal would cause a level of noise disturbance that would significantly harm the residential amenity of adjacent properties in this quiet residential area. It is likely that the level of car activity, the number of people entering and leaving the site and the number who could be using the outdoor space would generate noise in excess of normal residential use.”

But Mrs Goodrick said The Brae is advertised as a couple’s break destination, with no children or pets allowed.

The Highways Authority raised concerns about the safety of the existing access to the site, which already serves several homes.

Mr Walker said: “The Highway Authority also considers that the proposed development would give rise to additional vehicles waiting in the carriageway, and leaving and re-joining the traffic stream on an open stretch of road where vehicle volumes are high, and would thus cause interference with the free flow of traffic and consequent danger to highway users.”

Mrs Goodrick said she and her husband can ask their visitors to park on neighbouring roads to avoid this issue.

They plan to appeal the council’s decision.