Timeshare plans Halted

Started by TimeshareTalk, April 30, 2019, 07:04:36

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North York Moors estate owner defends common land caravan site plan

The owner of a huge shooting estate has defended his scheme to create a caravan site on a historic common after national park officers recommended it was rejected.

George Winn-Darley, of 7,000-acre Spaunton Estate, on the North York Moors near Kirkbymoorside, said the proposal for 12 touring caravan pitches with associated package treatment plant would help complete the restoration of Spaunton Quarry, which had been an employment site since 1840.

A meeting of the North York Moors National Park Authority's planning committee heard the scheme had been submitted following a plan to site 50 timeshare houses, cottages and apartments, together with a central clubhouse with leisure and sports facilities on the land being withdrawn.
Officers said they had initially supported Mr Winn-Darley's latest plan, but had called for it to be rejected after he had refused to demolish a building that was an "ugly reminder of the quarrying".

Chris France, the authority's director of planning, told the meeting Mr Winn-Darley had signed a legal agreement to remove all the quarry buildings.

The meeting heard Mr Winn-Darley and the park authority had agreed on a masterplan for the 12th century common in 2003, which included the restoration of sheep grazing on the land for commoners. Mr France said: "There's a commitment once you undertake major development in a national park to renovate it and restore it completely. We are now 12 years on with the restoration of this quarry, but the applicant has stymied this restoration and hindered it at every stage I'm afraid."

Members said while Mr Winn-Darley hoped to win government approval to swap some of his land for the common land to enable the caravan site plan to go ahead, they were concerned about helping destroy the common's "laws, rules and regulations that go back to the 12th century".

Janet Frank, a former Ryedale District Council chairman, added: "I think it's important to all of England that we do this, not just our commons. If we set a precedent that can be rolled out across the country and feudal laws on common land that has been there since the 12th century could be eroded and done away with."

After members postponed making a decision on the scheme to gather more information, Mr Winn-Darley dismissed claims the restoration of the quarry had not been actively pursued.

He said: "The site is over 200 acres and 99 per cent of the restoration has been done. The only bit we are debating is whether to pull down a former quarry building. It strikes me as a very strange thing for a national park authority to want to destroy a perfectly sound building."

He added the authority had a history of approving schemes on common land.

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