PLANS to replace 25 permanent residential caravans in Gargrave with 12 new houses have been lodged with Craven District Council.

Proposals for the Old Mill site in Marton Road also include the conversion of the old sawmill building, which has been empty for some time, into two apartments.

Later extensions to the old sawmill would be demolished and the main building converted into two apartments over four floors. The 25 caravans would be replaced by 12, three storey homes.

Rural Solutions, agent for applicant Rebecca Hill, says in a planning statement that the proposed development will make use of a brownfield site already in residential use and safeguard the former sawmill building, considered 'to be of local interest'.

Replacing a prominent caravan site close to Gargrave with traditional stone built houses would result in 'visual betterment'.

The planning statement says: "The proposal will contribute towards the supply of housing and provide a mix of housing in accordance with the needs of Craven district."

If approved, it will also 'contribute to the local community and increase the spending power within the local village', and 'will generate a number of jobs during construction' to the 'benefit of the local economy'.

The proposed development says Rural Solutions will 'result in a significant improvement in the visual appearance of this residential site'.

It states: "The development will result in net biodiversity gain through the planting of new native species of trees and hedgerows and the provision of bat and bird nesting and roosting features within the site.

"It would provide electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage facilities to support sustainable means of transport and would result in a net reduction of vehicle journeys compared to the existing situation."

It is a re-submission of a plan submitted in 2020 and refused because of the risk of flooding.

But, the proposed new homes would be 'less vulnerable to flooding' and would include measures to protect the site from the risk, says Rural Solutions.

The caravan site is between Gargrave and Bank Newton, and lies next to the River Aire. It is also close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the railway line.

In conclusion, the planning consultancy firm says: "It is considered that the benefits are significant, such that the balance is heavily in favour of the scheme. The development scheme is therefore considered to represent sustainable development and planning permission should therefore be granted."

At the village end of Marton Road, a planning application for 36 new homes was submitted in January and is awaiting decision.

In March, the highways authority recommended the application by builder, RN Wooler, be refused saying; "the current highway drain is running at capacity in times of rainfall and therefore cannot accommodate any additional flow from the proposed development."