A PLANNING application that proposes building homes on a residential caravan site in Gargrave and has been pending for more than a year, will be decided by councillors and not by council officers.

Proposals for the Old Saw Mill in Marton Road, outside the built-up limits of the village, were validated in July, 2022 by the former Craven District Council and followed an earlier application that was refused by the council in 2020.

It was hoped that the scheme would be decided before the council was replaced by the unitary North Yorkshire Council in April this year. That did not happen and there is still no indication when the application will be decided - but the council's planning manager has confirmed it will be decided by councillors.

Applicant Rebecca Hall is proposing to remove the 25 permanent caravans on the site, which is next to the River Aire, and build 12 new homes. Also applied for is the conversion of the existing saw mill into two apartments.

The 2022 application was a re-submission of plans which were refused by Craven District Council two years earlier, in June 2020 because the applicant had failed to provide evidence that the scheme would not result in an unacceptable risk of flooding.

In a design and access statement with the application, it says the sawmill building itself has been redundant for several years and is surrounded by a 'number of ancillary single-storey structures that are of a poor standard'. There is also a barn on the site that has previously been converted to residential use.

The caravans will be replaced by 12 three storey homes; including five two bedroom terrace homes, parallel with Marton Road; six three and four bedroom semi- detached homes, and one three bedroom detached property. Access onto Marton Road will be improved and parking will be on site.

In July this year, the Environment Agency said after reviewing additional information it was still objecting on flood risk grounds, but was no longer objecting on grounds of risk to nature providing certain conditions were taken on board.

Gargrave Parish Council has raised no objection to the proposed development, subject to an extension of the speed limit and that it be reduced from the current 30mph to 20mph. The council has also asked that lighting and a footpath be constructed to the village.

North Yorkshire Council planning manager, Neville Watson, said: “The application is due to be considered at a forthcoming meeting of North Yorkshire Council’s planning committee.”