A PLAN to convert an Edwardian Sunday School and a former Methodist Church into flats and two holiday cottages has been recommended for approval.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park’s planning committee will consider the scheme for the church buildings in the historic heart of Hawes, which last hosted a service in 2014.

The application has generated numerous objections, including from the parish council, which has raised concerns over whether holiday cottages were the best and only new use for the premises.

A parish council spokesman said: “The proposals represent an unacceptably significant overdevelopment of a site with no outside curtilage of its own.”

However, the application has been backed by a 52-name petition of support.

Planning officers said while the buildings are part of the town’s heritage and as such are worthy of retention and a viable economic use that would ensure their future, the applicants had demonstrated they were no longer needed for use by the community and that they could be sensitively converted to holiday letting premises.

In a report to the committee, which is set to consider the application on Tuesday, officers state: “The proposal would not be detrimental to the character or appearance of the surrounding area or harmful to residential amenity.”