A HOLIDAY lodges site has been told it can offer year-round occupancy after planners agreed to lift a planning condition.

The owner of Milton Park Lodges, in Marton Road, Gargrave, asked for the removal of condition one from previous planning approval for the 17-lodge site to allow occupancy of the lodges between January 6 and February 6.

Currently the site must not have anyone staying there between those dates as part of the original planning agreement.

Members of Craven District Council’s planning committee were initially concerned allowing year-round occupancy would lead to people permanently living on site.

Councillor Linda Brockbank said: “The rink involved in this becoming a permanent site is too great, while Councillor Brian Shuttleworth said: “If we were to accept full time occupancy on the site it could set a precedent for an ‘open-all-hours’ site and could become a total enforcement nightmare.”

However, planning manager Neville Watson said that was purely assumption and that, taking that view, people could ‘occupy the site for 11 months and then go off to Lanzarote for a month in winter’.

He added that some other sites in the district had 12-month occupancy and could not, under those circumstances, suggest it would set a precedent.

Members were told it was up to the owners of the site to ensure people were not using it as a main home.

Gargrave Parish council opposed the application. In its representation it stated: “We see no reason why this site should be exempt from such a condition. The site is outside the village in open countryside and would not have been considered suitable for development without strict conditions.”

Councillor Steven Place moved the plans for approval and they were narrowly approved at two votes to one with two abstentions.