PLANS to build five new homes on the site of a former indoor horse riding school at Bank Newton, near Gargrave, have raised strong objections from nearby residents and the parish council.

An application submitted to Craven District Council proposes the demolition of the indoor school on a public bridlepath close to Newton Grange Farm, and popular with walkers and horse riders, and the redevelopment of the land,which backs on to open fields, with five homes.

But, Bank Newton Parish Council has objected to the scheme, along with neighbours, and North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department says it is unable to support the scheme because of the amount of additional traffic likely to be generated by the additional houses on a narrow road.

In its submission to the council’s planning department, Bank Newton Parish Council, says all those who attended its meeting when the application was discussed were opposed to the development.

The farmer of Newton Grange said farm buildings next to the site were used to house sheep during the winter and were also attended to at night during lambing time.

In addition, heavy farm machinery and quad bike movements, as well as sheep and lambs shared the short section of narrow, single track road. The farmer was also concerned about the possibility of domestic pets close to his flock of sheep and working dogs.

The parish council also raises concerns about the provision of parking within the development itself, and points out there would be no ‘on-street’ parking available, while residents of the proposed new homes would only create more pressure on the single track lane.

“This lane is already carrying a great deal of heavy farm traffic, HGV deliveries, tractors with slurry tankers or silage trailers,” says the parish council, adding there is a blind section on a steep hill, with no passing places, which requires skilled reversing for a considerable distance when vehicles meet.

Residents of the proposed new homes would also have to navigate a canal bridge, which is accessed on both sides by a blind bend, adds the council.

North Yorkshire Highways comments that the site is accessed only by narrow country lanes which are popular with walkers, cyclists, horse riders and are also used by farms, bed and breakfasts and residents, so the reliance on the car is a major concern when assessing the highway implications of adding five more dwellings, and in the absence of a transport statement, is unable to support the application.