DEADLOCK between a landowner and a national park authority over the environmental rights and wrongs of an eyesore building has further delayed the completion of a wildlife haven.

George Winn-Darley, owner of the 7,000-acre Spaunton Estate, near Kirkbymoorside, said he had been left “very frustrated” after the North York Moors National Park Authority rejected his scheme to create a holiday park at Spaunton Quarry.

The authority’s planning committee heard doubts had hung over the future the largest quarry in the national park since its closure was announced in the mid-1990s, despite a restoration masterplan having been agreed for numerous years.

Mr Winn-Darley’s latest scheme for the site, which would see a holiday chalet and caravan park created amid an expansive wildlife haven, received strong support from members.

Member David Jeffels said: “The whole concept of it has great potential to be an asset to the tourist industry in the park and this part of Ryedale.”

However, the landowner was told his plan to re-use the quarry offices as a shower and toilet block was completely unacceptable in an area that needed “returning to nature” to comply with the restoration agreement for the quarry.

Member Jeremy Walker added: “This site is a complete mess. It badly needs to be restored and should have been restored by now. We need to do all we can to get on completing the restoration masterplan.”

Despite Mr Winn-Darley pledging that a facelift for the former offices would give it “a wow factor” that would “set the scene that this is the North York Moors National Park”, members insisted the structure was “hideous”, and said it was also in the wrong location for holiday-makers using the caravan site.

The meeting also heard Jonathan Allison, of Spaunton Common Protection Association, urge the committee “to keep faith with the inspired masterplan” for the restoration of the quarry, before members voted to reject the scheme.

After the meeting, Mr Winn-Darley said he had presented the authority with three options to transform the building, including creating a stone-faced property similar to those in Hutton-le-Hole, another using rocks from the quarry to highlight the site’s history and a modern-style alternative, but none of the alternatives had been shown to the planning committee.

He said bulldozing the building would be environmentally unfriendly and contradict the authority’s sustainability objectives.

Mr Winn-Darley said: “The authority’s new plan says we must re-use buildings before we get rid of them, so we may wait for that.

“I find it really jarring, against my principles, to pull down a perfectly structurally sound building to comply with something they have put on a piece of paper.”