A landowner in the North York Moors has been told his ambition to launch a glamping site close to one of the national park’s most popular villages could become a reality with a scheme that is more sympathetic to the protected area’s unique landscapes.

Both national park officers and leading members issued assurances to Keith Austin as his planning application to create a tourism venture on farmland overlooked by The Cleveland Way on the edge of Osmotherley was refused as it would be “alien” to the surrounding area.

Ahead of the meeting of the national park authority’s planning committee, residents of the popular village had questioned whether Osmotherley could cope with any further tourism given frequent issues over queueing traffic and inconsiderate parking outside their homes.

Residents, the parish council and North Yorkshire Council’s Highways officer had also highlighted safety concerns over the access to the proposed glamping site from a private lane, however the latter said the issues were not sufficiently extreme to warrant recommending the scheme be rejected.

Nevertheless, the proposal for five one-and-a-half storey cabins, each with a decking area and glazed balustrades, was backed by several businesses in the village, while others argued the venture would counter the threat of second homes turning Osmotherley into a “desert”.


An agent for the applicant told the meeting at the authority’s headquarters in Helmsley that the scheme was a farm diversification project to “support upkeep and maintenance of the associated lands”.

He said its position beside rights of way made it an ideal location for holiday lodges.

The meeting was told the lodges would be screened from public rights of way by existing hedgerows, which had been “significantly bolstered” recently and that a landscape architect had been employed to further obscure the development.

The agent said the lodges had been positioned to offer more space to guests and arranged in a semi-circle to offer panoramic views of the Cleveland Hills, to make it more attractive to visitors, and alternative locations and layouts would undermine the viability of the proposed venture.

However, a resident told the meeting the access to the proposed glamping site, Cuddy Lane, was “a stoney and unlit lane” which amounted to nothing more than a wide footpath.

He warned any increase in traffic on the private lane would exacerbate safety issues for dog walkers and children visiting the nearby playground.

However, an authority planning officer said while the park authority’s policies did allow small-scale holiday accommodation in the open countryside, they had to be “closely related” to the existing property and screened by existing vegetation or buildings.

The officer said the development would have a suburban appearance, which would be “incongruous in a very agricultural setting”.

Members said the proposal was “unacceptable” both in the design of the lodges and the impact it would have on the landscape.

The authority’s chairman, Jim Bailey, said: “I don’t think this is a no, not ever, never. I think to say this was fine would be to give the wrong message to many others.”