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Skipton Keelham Farm shop given the green light
1:21pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
Keelham Farm shop in Skipton could open on Yorkshire Day next year after its amended plans were approved by Craven District Council.
Councillors on Monday agreed that Keelham’s plans to convert the existing former Nicholas Smith’s garage instead of its originally planned new eco-friendly building were not as visually stunning.
But having already approved in principle a farm shop on the Gargrave Road site, they agreed that the conversion of the old building, with extensive re-cladding, would be an improvement on what was there at the moment.
The planning committee also heard a convincing argument from Keelham joint owner, Victoria Robertshaw, that the new scheme should not be considered any less worthy and actually represented a larger investment by the company.
Mrs Robertshaw, who insisted that it was a farm shop and not a supermarket, said the development represented a £4 million rather than a £3 million investment, would bring 60 new jobs and would showcase all that was good about Craven.
“Together, we can create something special,” she told the committee. “If we get permission today, we will want to get on with it quickly and I can think of no better way to celebrate Yorkshire Day than to open on August 1 next year.”
She also said that the necessary remedial works to prepare the former garage site for a new building would have required the pouring of cement into the ground, which did not fit in with the company’s environmentally friendly ethic.
And she also believed that the existing buildings were internally attractive and could be made to look like something Skipton would be proud of.
Coun David Ireton (Cons) said the originally approved building was a superb design and would have looked good at the entrance of the town, and although the new plan would be an improvement on what was there currently, it was not as good.
But Coun Alan Sutcliffe (Cons), who agreed it was a disappointment, said without approval, the site could get a lot worse.
“We have already established retail development on the site and I think local residents and Craven in general would like to see this move forward,” he said.
Included in the amended plans are a newly built activity barn and animal croft area and a redesigned car park, of 105 rather than 121 spaces. The approved wind turbine will now be replaced with photovoltaic panels.
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