Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream visitor attraction is set to expand despite objections (From Craven Herald)
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Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream visitor attraction is set to expand despite objections
A successful visitor attraction in Halton East has been told it can be extended – despite the opposition of the majority of villagers.
Craven District Council’s planning committee was told on Monday that the owners of Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream wanted to expand its indoor visitor facilities at Calm Slate Farm to cope with the wet weather.
Mandy Rogers, who runs the farm in Holme Lane with husband, Gary, told the meeting it had been their dream to set up an old-fashioned visitor attraction for all the family as an addition to the farm, which has cattle and sheep.
She said it had proved a success, but that in order for it to thrive, they needed to provide somewhere for visitors to go when it was wet, as it had been in recent years.
Councillors heard that the Rogers planned to more than double the size of the American-style diner ice cream parlour and to make an existing over-spill car park a permanent arrangement.
But the meeting heard from councillor Chris Knowles-Fitton, parish councillors and residents that the venture had gone far beyond farm diversification that brought unwelcome noise and visitors to the village. Coun Knowles-Fitton said that there was clear flouting of the original planning permission in what it now sold and the hours it was open.
He believed the fact that the farm sold meat-based products as part of “craft foods” and stayed open beyond its agreed hours had led to the Rogers losing the trust of the villagers.
“It is absolutely wrong that a clear set of conditions should be so cavalierly ignored from the start,” he said.
And he called on the committee to either defer making a decision or to include additional conditions to make sure the Rogers stuck to the original conditions.
But planning officer Roger France reminded councillors there were no planning conditions, but there was a legal agreement and it was not entirely clear that there had been any breach.
He added councillors should not withhold planning permission in order to punish the applicant.
“If they are in breach, we will deal with it, but you cannot refuse permission for something that might happen or because there has been a breach in the past.”
Coun Alan Sutcliffe, who recommended approval, said he could understand why the Rogers wanted to expand as every successful business needed to expand to safeguard its future.
Coun Ady Green called for a deferment so he could fully understand the interpretation of the wording “craft foods”.
Coun Paul English said he was supportive of the plans, but that he was also mindful of the feelings of the villagers and that he was aware of one survey that had indicated 100 per cent were against any further expansion of the facility.
He said he could see no reason why a condition on opening between 10am and 6pm could not be included and also a defining of the words “craft foods”.
But Coun Mark Wheeler, who seconded approval, accepted any breach of the legal agreement was not in the remit of the planning committee.
Ian Swain, development control manager, told councillors it was the opinion of the environmental health department that there had not been any evidence of a noise nuisance at the site.