Cononley residents keen to save 300-year-old barn

The historic barn

The historic barn

First published in News

Despite the withdrawal of outline plans for a controversial housing development in Cononley, residents are still concerned about a historic barn at the site.

The scheme to build 25 homes at Madge Bank, on Crosshills Road, was withdrawn after North Yorkshire County Council recommended refusal.

The authority was concerned about the design of a mini-roundabout said to be unacceptable in terms of highway safety, as well as access to the site, which it claimed did not meet visibility requirements.

There has been strong opposition in the village to the plans, which is on land once owned by the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem.

Villagers and Cononley Parish Council are keen to preserve a barn on the site which is nearly 300-years-old. They also want to retain the open space of the field itself.

A resident, who did not want to be identified, said the field, which had been used as grazing land for many years, was a “big green wedge”.

“Houses shouldn’t be built there because it would change the whole dynamic of the place. There are better places to build in the village rather than losing the heart of it.”

He also said that the barn’s stone had recently been measured for potential demolition because “it could fall down”.

“If you look at it, the barn is completely straight,” he said.

Parish council chairman Coun Lois Brown said: “The barn is not a massive building but it is significant to the village.”

She said the parish council was approaching English Heritage about getting ‘listed building’ status for the barn.

However, it is likely that the formal application process would take six months.

The parish council is seeking emergency listing for the building. However, even an emergency application would have to be dealt with by English Heritage.

Paul Mason, the agent for the landowner, Mrs H Watts, of Skipton, said if the application was to be resubmitted, he believed the barn would have to be demolished.

However, Mr Mason, of Skipton-based Windle Beech Winthrop, confirmed that he had received no instructions to submit a new plan to Craven District Council.

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