A new campsite can be created in Kettlewell it was unanimously agreed at the June meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s planning committee.

Craven District councillor John Roberts, who lives in the village, told the committee that the lack of camping sites in Kettlewell and Upper Wharfedale meant that the Authority was not fulfilling its second purpose (to encourage the public to have access to and enjoy the National Park) particularly to those on low incomes.

He said that the loss of a campsite in Kettlewell had, in part, led to the closure of one of the pubs and a fall in income for the village shop. The village was also in danger of losing its post office. He added:

“The economic sustainability of Kettlewell is therefore considered by the parish council and myself to be a major planning issue in this case.”

He did request, however, that the Authority should ask North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department to consider ways to protect children going to the village playground on Conistone Lane. He also emphasised the need to retain the footpath which crosses the camping field.

The field, Staple Croft, is large enough for 40 tents and vehicles and will be open to campers all year round. There will be no formal pitches or hard surfacing, and no-one can stay on the site more than 28 days at one time.

A new gateway will be created at the south-western corner leading to Conistone Road, and a single storey stone clad amenity building will be constructed on the southern boundary. This will house not only the toilets, showers and pot washing area, but also a biomass boiler room and the reception.

The applicant, Nigel Lambert, has agreed to plant more trees and bushes to provide additional screening and to make sure that the site is well supervised.

N Yorks County Coun Richard Welch commented that each year the Authority aimed at increasing the number of visitors to the National Park and asked: “But where are all these people going to stay?”

He was pleased, therefore, that at that meeting they had an opportunity to approve more camping sites – at Kettlewell and at Aysgarth Falls Hotel in Wensleydale as well as at the extension to Cross Hall Caravan Park, Cautley, Sedbergh.

ARC News Service