AN unauthorised barn built on the site of original 200 year old ruins near Gargrave will have to be demolished after Craven councillors refused to accept it was essential to the farm business.

Farmer John Howard, owner of Newton Grange Farm, Bank Newton, an intensive sheep farm and hospitality business, will now have a month to demolish the building, or face possible court action.

Monday's planning committee meeting of Craven District Council heard it was the seventh application for the barn, including one for its conversion to leisure use.

Enforcement action issued by the council last year was upheld on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and a date set for its demolition as July 6.

On July 1, the latest application was received by the council for retrospective retention of the barn.

Cathy Dakin, planning enforcement officer, told councillors it was officers' opinion that the barn had not been built for agricultural use and too far from the main farm buildings to be of any use.

Photographs taken from a site visit in October last year showed a modern date stone showing 2012 in Roman numerals and Mr Howard's initials and wooden floors throughout - although covered with straw for the councillors' visit.

Ms Dakin said wooden floors were 'unusual' for an agricultural building and that it was sited 680 metres from the main farm and 300 metres from a modern build lamb shed.

It was further pointed out to councillors that approval of the application with all its past history would be 'unwise' after Cllr John Dawson suggested looking at the application with fresh eyes.

Rachael Berry, daughter of the applicant told the committee she and her family lived at the farm and said that the barn was essential to the efficient operation of the farm business.

She said the barn was worthy of retention,that it fitted seamlessly into its drumlin hill surroundings and that the family would happily enter into an agreement with the council that it was always used for agriculture.

"It saddens me that the council is calling for it to be refused," she said.

Cllr Dawson said the applicant had not done himself any good by his previous actions, but he believed councillors should consider it without its history.

But Cllr David Ireton said he would not expect to see wooden floors in an agricultural building and moved officers' recommendation to refuse the application.

"I would also expect it to be a modern building, next to existing modern buildings, it does not lend itself to an agricultural building."

And Cllr Chris Rose said giving planning permission would send out the wrong message.

"It would worry me if we allowed this one to go ahead, others would come forward. I feel it is a shame it will be demolished, but that doesn't colour my view that it would be a retrograde step."