Yorkshire village high street to be recreated in miniature at children's role play centre

Councillors have approved an application to build a children’s role play and gymnastics centre on a farm in North Yorkshire.

The role play centre would be run by the company My Mini Highstreet and would recreate Crosshills’ high street in smaller form so children can act out jobs in restaurants, hairdressers, vets, travel agents and other businesses. The gymnastics centre would be a seperate business run by Ambition Gymnastics, which offers popular gymnastics programmes in Barnoldswick to children and adults.

All activities at the Station Road site will be linked to the early years and key stage 1 curriculums and there will also be baby and toddler groups offered as well as a cafe. Six jobs would be created and it proposes to open from 9.15am until 3pm, seven-days-a-week.

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North Yorkshire Council’s Skipton and Ripon planning committee met in Ripon to consider the application.

A CGI image of the proposed buildingA CGI image of the proposed building
A CGI image of the proposed building

Georgina Mitchell, owner of Ambition Gymnastics, said the facility would offer “endless opportunities for children” whilst helping to inspire them. She said: “My love of gymastics started when i was seven and the experiences I had as a child have helped shape the person I am today.”

A report prepared by officers ahead of the meeting recommended councillors approve the plans and said the facility would be widely used by locals as well as those visiting from outside of Craven. The plans received 32 comments of support and 18 objections.

Glusburn & Crosshills Parish Council said the facility “could be of value” to the local area but that the building should not be allowed due to concerns over traffic and the land being further developed in the future.

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Green Party councillor Andy Brown also raised concerns about the impact of traffic on a nearby roundaout. He said: “Almost all the locals are flabbergasted that the council said it’s fine to put extra traffic on the road. It’s gridlocked for hours a day. I think it will disrupt through traffic in a very disturbing way.”

Andrew Williams, Ripon Moorside and Minster councillor for the Conservative and Independents Group, said he would be happy to support the plans as long as any future change-of-use application related to the building comes back to the planning committee.

He said: “There’s a benefit to the wider community in terms of a facility for children and young people which is clearly lacking in that part of North Yorkshire. I speak as a parent where these activities are greatly needed across North Yorkshire.”

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