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New lodges approved for Long Ashes at Threshfield
9:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
National park planners have approved the erection of 11 timber lodges at Long Ashes Park, Threshfield – but they voted for the scheme with heavy hearts.
Craven district councillor John Roberts told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee that the vote went against the first purpose of a national park– to conserve and enhance its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
But he said the scheme would bring a “planning gain”.
Members were told the application was a revision of one approved in the early 1980s which had been partly implemented.
The applicants, Lakeland Leisure Estates Ltd, could still fully implement the original permission but this would affect an archaeological site and would put the new wooden holiday lodges in a more prominent position.
The new plan placed the lodges within a fold in the hill slope and, if approved, the applicant would sign a legal agreement rescinding its right to complete the 1980s scheme.
Several members agreed this was a planning gain but none was comfortable about voting in favour. “It is with the heaviest heart I support this,” said William Weston.
District councillor Robert Heseltine said he remembered the days when Long Ashes was a small caravan site.
“We now have an urban village of 300 chalets and the population of Long Ashes is probably larger than that of Threshfield. But in this instance there is a degree of planning gain.”
Coun Roberts told the committee it was possible there were archaeological remains at Long Ashes which dated back to the earliest settlements in the Dales.
The applicants had brought in Durham University Archaeology Unit to carry out an excavation study and this work would to be included as a condition of approval.
Other conditions include ecological management to control bracken on the threatened calcareous grassland around the site and restricting the lodges to holiday accommodation only.
n Report by ARC News Service
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