Villagers oppose holiday park next to 200-year-old listed Yorkshire windmill

Plans for a new holiday park in an East Coast hamlet next to a listed windmill have run into opposition from local villagers.

Developer Owen Bantin has applied to East Riding Council to put 24 touring caravan pitches and four static caravans on a field next to the disused windmill at Garton, which is around 200 years old.

Documents submitted as part of the planning application say the applicants have a licence for a small caravan site to the west of Aldbrough Road, but feel the site to the east will be “better in terms of desirability, amenity value and better access".

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It adds: "The applicants are looking to utilise the setting at the foot of the Garton Mill to provide a provide an attractive caravan site, allowing tourists to see the well preserved mill.

The windmill in GartonThe windmill in Garton
The windmill in Garton

"This diversification in income will help to maintain the mill for future generations."

However it has caused concern in the village, with fears that it will set a precedent - as happened at nearby Fitling, where a large number of holiday units have been developed, despite objections from residents.

Holiday accommodation in and around the roughly 40-home hamlet now outnumbers residents by about six to one.

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Objections have gone in from East Garton parish council and from over a dozen residents.

Locals have pointed out that the entrance is near a bend on the busy B1242, which on some days can be "like a racetrack" with motorbikes heading to Withernsea.

There are also no footpaths in that part of the village.

One objector states on the online planning portal: "The last thing needed is large numbers of cars and caravans entering and leaving the site on such a dangerous part of the road."

Another wrote: “The proposal would see a major development which at capacity would double the population of our small rural village. I do not believe this project would bring any positive impacts.”

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The park would occupy 1.10 hectares of 7.35 hectares of agricultural land owned by the applicant.

The council’s conservation officer Stephen Walker said in his report that the mill, which can be seen by passing motorists, stands in isolation in an open field, and the holiday park would "result in a high degree of harm to the setting of the mill".

The entrance would also be opposite grade two star listed Blue Hall, which was built around 1700.

Residents who commented on the online planning portal said they had been shocked when the proposed site – a ridge and furrow field – was ploughed.

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The field is thought to have been in use since the 1800s, and prior to ploughing, was used by breeding lapwing and skylark, which are both in huge decline.

One said: "The mill is a well known picturesque monument and is lovely in its current setting with the Hall as a backdrop. It would be a criminal loss of a heritage asset."

A heritage report states that income from the development would be used to keep the mill - which dates from the late 18th century to the early 19th century - wind and watertight. However it says full restoration would be complex, expensive and "outside of the scope of the applicants’ budget".

Mr Walker concluded that “there is no mutual direct public benefit resulting to the listed building resulting from the application”.

If approved, a legal agreement for maintenance and repairs would need to be agreed to ensure that there is benefit to the listed building.