Yorkshire Dales business says it may have to relocate and make redundancies if new base isn't approved

An expanding oceanographic surveys firm has warned it may have to relocate from the Yorkshire Dales and make redundancies unless its plan to create a base at a highly-visible site in the national park is approved.

Diving, Survey and Marine Contracting's current base in Threshfield

Despite having removed an underwater sound stage and filming facility from its scheme, Diving, Survey and Marine Contracting's proposal to build a 36m x 25m building and convert a barn at Catchall, between Cracoe and Linton, has been recommended for refusal by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's officers.

Ahead of a meeting to consider the application next week, the firm's managing director Charlie Bayston said as soon as the company had sufficient space it would employ more local people to maintain its diving equipment, electric and hydraulic deep water remotely operated vehicles, confined space entry equipment and sonar systems.

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Planning documents submitted by the firm state its substantial and sustained growth across a number of sectors has led to a significant increase in demand for storage and administration space.

The papers state the firm's central location in the UK makes it ideally situated to take advantage of opportunities from east to west and from the south coast to Scotland. It states: "This unique location forms an important part of the company’s future business plan."

Mr Bayston said: "If our application is successful at Catchall then we would have the space we need to allow us to take on several local apprentices that

we could train up to maintain and operate the electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and computer-based systems we own.

"We would retain our current local employees, put an apprenticeship scheme into immediate effect and would be expecting to recruit a further ten to 15 additional direct employees over the next few years and add to a number of indirect and part time positions we fund within our local supply chain."

However, he warned if the application was rejected he expected the business would be "forced to leave the area completely and make several redundancies".

The scheme has been backed by some 19 letters of support featuring claims the proposed development is in a good location, is hidden from view and is in keeping with the national park, alongside its economic benefits.

However, Natural England has intervened to object to the proposal, saying it would be "a significant detractor within the landscape and have adverse

visual impacts on the national park".

The conservation body has stated the scale of the new building, along with the vehicles and use of the site would have a significant and adverse impact to views from nearby footpaths and roads.

In its seven-page objection Linton Parish Council said a large industrial unit was unnecessary and unsuitable for the location. It stated the scale of the proposed development is "wholly excessive and inappropriate for its highly visible and rural position" in the national park.

Recommending the scheme be refused, officers said they believed the scale and location of the proposed development would have "a significant harmful impact on the landscape" of the park.

Officers stated: "The authority’s planning policies support the expansion of existing business providing they are in an appropriate location and proposals comply with other policies aimed at protecting the special qualities of the park.

"On balance it is considered that, despite the obvious merits of the proposal, they do not outweigh the potential impact on the distinctive landscape character of this part of the national park."