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Hellifield Flashes under threat

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 14:07

Hellifield Flashes Hellifield Flashes

Hellifield Flashes, on the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, next to two conservation areas, with watercourses linked to two SSSis and an important place for local people are under threat…

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2017:  

http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/15518650.Amended_plans_for_controversial_Hellifield__quot_flashes_quot__proposal/  - a clear report by Clive White of the Craven Herald 

Amended plans have now been accepted with a date for comment on the amended plans of 14th September.  The amended plans still show 300 lodge homes, parking and developement on this special landscape which currently has a local green space application pending decision in the emerging local plan.

CPRENY and YWT were not notified of these changes nor the date of the revised period for comment.

The original planning officer has been replaced with Neville Watson of CDC.

Please urgently note the following information received:

Objections made to the original plans will not necessarily be taken into consideration. This is a significantly revised application and people need to respond to it if necessary confirming that their objections to the original are still applicable and adding any further objections to the revised scheme.

Update - apparently a revised planning application is currently with the local authority.  This time for the Kellwell Leisure Centre.  CPRENY awaits sight of this application with interest....

The application to build over the Flashes outside Hellifield, lodged in November 2016, is due to go to planning committee soon. A copy of our objection written on advice received from environmental QC Robert McCracken of the Francis Taylor Building in London can be found at the bottom of this page.

The first thing an organisation such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England does, when presented with a major application for development, is to look for the positives and the good things about the proposal so that we can understand the principle of the idea or WHY.
 
We’re not trying to preserve or pickle the countryside, we work to protect and enhance and keep it alive and thriving.

A major development more suitable to urban England than rural England is planned on green field in the open countryside, consisting of 300 lodge homes, 91 bedroom hotel, park and ride, two cinemas, swimming pool, associated roads, ancilliary buildings, lighting….bus drop off….

There are 26 files containing some 1200 pages of information  on Craven District Council’s web site, each one had to be carefully examined. We’re supposed to come out with technical comments on a planning application but when faced with a proposal such as this - well, it’s best to speak from the heart without political correctness.

When the application was posted online, our phone rang all day with people asking for help and advice - those people expressed disbelief, horror and some anger. Many of them were distraught. Many have lived with the threat of a controversial development on the site of the Hellifield Flashes for over 25 years.
 
We’re a charity, it’s our job to listen and offer help where we can.

Hellifield is a thriving village in the Yorkshire Dales, it’s alive with a great sense of community and spirit. The Flashes, as they’re known locally, are of great importance to villagers and they have been for generations.

It’s a special place
People care, people matter.
 
The Hellifield Flashes sit next to and on the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, one of the big jewels in the County’s crown, we should be protecting and enhancing the setting of the Park, not degrading it.

The development site is also next to two conservation areas and three listed buildings, all of which would, in our opinion, be adversely affected.  Parking spaces alone would gobble up an area larger than the pitch at Wembley. This isn’t a brownfield site it’s agricultural and farmed, the land is already working for people and the countryside.

We should be protecting the existing businesses in the Craven area to allow them to thrive - we already have countless bed and breakfasts, small hotels and campsites in existence. The famous and quite stunning Hellifield Peel is nearby and is, perhaps, one of Hellifield’s own jewels. Just three miles down the road lies the Coniston Hotel, with 71 rooms, conferencing facilities, spa, swimming pool, clay shooting, off road experience, walks and four restaurants ranging from fine dining to afternoon teas and snacks.

As for choice? There’s even a more affordable option down the road at the Premier Inn. There’s Spa at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey and swimming pools at Skipton and Settle. The area is already well served - further development will impact negatively on existing business and facilities. Hellifield already has a large scale trailer park, lodge home and caravan site with permission for over 260 static caravans. The proposal would dominate the village and change the character for ever. 

It’s easy to say after less than 24 hours that CPRE North Yorkshire viewed this application with scepticism. It's even easier to say, planning and development should about common sense, after all that’s what sustainability really means - it’s about making sure we look after what we have now so that the next generation can live successfully and thrive.

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