THE article in last week’s Craven Herald “Canal side terrace approved despite strong objections”, demonstrates, in my view, that Craven District Council (CDC) has little regard for the objectors to planning applications.

We now have an approved planning permission to build 5 houses along the canal, which will obliterate the view of Firth Mill from the Canal and Towpath.

Cllrs Heseltine and Cllr Solloway made a great case for refusal at the planning committee meeting, but Cllr Thompson’s comparison of canal side houses in Skipton with canal-side houses in Amsterdam won the day.

Skipton is not the Amsterdam of the North, it has its own unique character, and should not be compared with anywhere else.

CDC are currently consulting on a major improvement project for the canal basin and the towpath out of Skipton towards Liverpool. There seems to be no joined up thinking with regards to improving the towpath at vast expense, whilst encouraging house building right up to the canal on the other side. If we want to improve the canal corridor in Skipton, then let all aspects be considered including halting inappropriate development adjacent to Skipton’s Heritage Asset’s close to the canal.

The other article of note with regards to planning in last week’s Craven Herald, “Extra staff to speed up plans process”, shows that there are serious problems within the CDC planning department in handling the large volumes of planning applications, at the same time trying to get an approved Local Plan sorted out. I believe the two things are related.

Owners, developers and planning consultants see an opportunity to get applications rushed through, because there are no proper planning policies or Approved Local Plan in place, and the CDC planning department are seriously under resourced.

 There is a risk of the councillors, on the planning committee, being presented with planning reports containing errors and omissions.

With the current seeming disregard for objections by CDC planning and their under-resourcing issues, get used to some outrageous planning decisions over the next few years.