A SCHEME to convert a former mill building in Carleton into two homes was deferred by Craven councillors because of concerns over the access.

A proposal to go against officer recommendation and refuse the application by RN Wooler &Co to convert the three storey workshop off Park Lane - which has twice been given planning consent for residential conversion before - was put to one side and, following the advice of the planning manager, was deferred to a future meeting.

Craven District Council’s planning committee, which debated the application for two hours before deferring it, will now consider the plans again, with clarification about the proposed visibility splays at the access - where traffic can be seen in both directions - from both North Yorkshire highways and the applicants agents, Rural Solutions.

Ward councillor Richard Pringle, whose proposal to refuse the scheme on highways grounds was seconded by Cllr Robert Heseltine, abstained from the deferral vote and called on the applicant to come back with an acceptable scheme.

“I am a retired chartered surveyor and I believe that the splays are not possible,” he told the meeting.

Cllr Andy Brown suggested if the garage close to the access onto Park Lane was to be removed, it would improve the visibility splays.

And, Cllr Heseltine said he believed if the garage was to be removed he did not think that 'many of us would have a problem about the application'.

Members were however told the developer had no intention of demolishing the garage and that highways officers had made ‘more than three’ visits to the site and were happy with the proposals, subject to conditions.

Both the planning manager, Neville Watson, who said he felt members were ‘getting very emotional’ about the application, and planning solicitor, Alex Strickland warned against refusing the scheme because of the access, as there had been no objection from the highways authority and the council could open itself up to an award of costs, if it went to appeal.

Committee chairman, Linda Brockbank, said while recognising there were concerns, she would accept the advice of the highways engineers.

And Cllr Carl Lis, in response to suggestions that the developer be asked to remove the garage, reminded members they must consider the application before them.