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Cracoe croft is sold for £700,000
A croft allowed to be built as long as the site was used for agriculture has been sold on the open market – for just short of £700,000.
Michael Vaux won permission to construct a farm building in 1995 at Calf Croft, Threaplands, in Thorpe Lane, Cracoe, so he could rear wild boar and later went on to construct a home for his family.
He started in 2001 and finished in 2006.
The farm folded at the time of the foot and mouth epidemic and Mr Vaux was granted a lawful development certificate earlier this year, which essentially nullified the agricultural tie, because it had been lived in solely as a dwelling house for the past four years.
Members of the watchdog group, the Association of Rural Communities, have consistently opposed the approval of a farm unit on the site and said at the time it was set up that it was not sustainable.
The organisation has now questioned the Yorkshire Dales National Park about how it is to prevent similar units from avoiding agricultural tie conditions under the four-year rule.
In 1999, when Mr Vaux won permission to build a family home on the site, he told National Park bosses he and his wife and two children had been living in a temporary chalet-type home while running the business.
He believed permission to expand could create two full-time jobs and two part-time jobs.
He had reached full production with 35 sows and expected to produce about 550 wild boar over a period of 18 months.
A spokesman for the national park said the Calf Croft case was unusual and complex and had raised issues about enforcement which were being looking into.
They had sought the advice of counsel and the situation was accepted as lawful because the applicant proved the building had been used as a dwelling for more than four years prior to submitting the lawful development certificate application.