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Park delays ruling over Grassington House Hotel flue
8:00am Friday 25th October 2013 in News
Possible enforcement action against a Grassington hotel has been delayed for a month in a bid to reach a compromise.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is considering taking action against Grassington House Hotel to secure the removal of an unauthorised extraction flue and advertising signs.
While most members of the authority’s planning committee agreed the flue on side of hotel looked “awful”, not all were ready to approve an enforcement notice demanding its removal.
Councillor John Blackie argued that although the flue was ugly the hotel would lose its star rating from the Food Standards Agency if it did not have one. He said, as the authority was committed to supporting businesses during the Tour de France Grand Départ next year, it was not reasonable to enforce the removal of the flue within three months.
“I agree we must do something about it, but let’s give them a chance to put forward positive proposals,” said Coun Blackie, who proposed a one month deferral.
Chris Armitage, however, reminded the committee it was a criminal offence to carry out such work on a listed building without planning consent.
Peter Charlesworth added: “This is one of the most iconic buildings in the southern part of the national park.
“It has been listed for well over 50 years. It is a building of great architectural and historical importance. And yet in 2008 they decided without planning permission to plonk this dreadful extraction flue on the outside of the building.”
He said officers had been negotiating with the owners since then and three months was now adequate for them to do something.
A report to the meeting stated holes had been drilled into the stone face of the building to support the brackets of the flue and one of the fixings had been screwed into the window jamb of an 18th century stair window.
Like other members, Coun Roger Harrison-Topham felt there had to be a long-term solution to hotels and pubs being able to meet environmental health requirements without placing ugly flues on listed buildings.
Officers were also seeking enforcement action to remove advertising signs from the front of the main building and on a listed wall and glazed branding in the conservatory.
They said their modern character was inappropriate and could harm the listed building’s special historic and architectural interest.
By just two votes, the committee voted for a one-month deferral and the recommendation for enforcement action to be taken will be discussed in November.