THE owner of a former indoor riding school at Bank Newton, near Gargrave, has lost an appeal to convert it to holiday cottages.

Conversion of the steel-framed building next to Newton Grange farm and ‘rural retreat’ to eight holiday lets would cause ‘significant harm’ to the character and appearance of the area, a government planning inspector has concluded.

The application by Alice Fitton was refused permission by Craven District Council in January this year, and that decision has now been upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

An earlier scheme to demolish the building, which is next to a well used bridlepath and close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal,  and replace it with five homes was also refused by the council in November, 2019.

The appellant argued that conversion of the building would tidy up the site and pointed out there were already a number of holiday lets in the vicinity.

But, the inspector said the building was similar in nature to others close-by and its conversion would require ‘substantial alterations’ including new walls, roof and large patio doors resulting a building ‘very different from its current form’.

The development would also distract from the historic and rural setting of nearby listed buildings.

In making their decision, the planning inspector said: “The proposed development would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area due to its design and less than substantial harm to designated heritage assets and would conflict with the development plan taken as a whole.”