Residents of a village featuring an scheduled ancient monument castle have claimed a proposal to site 24 holiday lodges on nearby farmland would create “a prominently positioned eyesore” dominating the skyline.

The impact of John Wilson’s ambition to the change of use of agricultural and equestrian land for two and three-bedroom holiday lodges and a warden’s lodge, north of Sheriff Hutton, will be considered by North Yorkshire Council’s Thirsk and Malton area planning committee on Thursday (May 23).

The meeting comes just days after a full meeting of the authority heard concerns that the county’s shortage of housing was being exacerbated by proposals to build holiday accommodation on land that could be used for permanent homes.

The scheme also follows Ryedale District Council granting a proposal for 16 holiday lodges on the site in October 2021.

In planning documents lodged with North Yorkshire Council, agents for Mr Wilson state while he hoped to create a “high-quality tourism site”, to make the venture more viable he was proposing to increase the number of lodges approved for the site.

The papers state the greater number of lodges would be mitigated with a reduction in the unit sizes, a reconfiguration and the relocating of the

managers lodge away from the nearest dwellings.

The application states: “The staycation has become the key component of tourism in this country, and it is sites like this one, in an attractive rural location, which will bring prosperity to a rural community, in particularly the local villages and its shop and public house.

“The rationale for the proposed holiday lodges is for providing additional, more luxury facilities at the site to meet the demands of this thriving local business. Small local businesses such as this need to move and react to demand in order to preserve financial buoyancy.

“The modest increase in holiday lodges within this site would not result in an adverse altered state of and the character would not undermine the character of the local area.”

However, the proposals have been met with opposition from residents and the parish council, some of whom have criticised the scheme as a “gross misuse of farmland” and an “overdevelopment of the site”.

Residents have claimed the historic church and castle in the village form an important part of the skyline in the village near the Howardian Hills National Landscape.

One objector wrote: “Not only would this development be a prominently positioned eyesore dominating that skyline and view from the north, but also extremely damaging to the nature of the village by virtue of its scale and proximity.”

Another added: “I have found no-one in the locality who supports this proposal. In my view it is unwanted, unhelpful to the location, inappropriate and poses significant danger and disruption to local road and village users, to absolutely no local benefit.”

Others have claimed the village already suffers from overprovision of holiday accommodation with two caravan sites, a small holiday lodge development and rural glamping operations.


However, recommending the scheme be granted, planning officers said the proposed site was acceptable being “a significant distance” from both the village’s conservation area boundary and the Scheduled Ancient Monument boundary of Sheriff Hutton Castle.

The officer’s report concludes: “The scheme is considered acceptable in terms of character and form and subject to the strict conditions, will be deliverable without harm to the surrounding wider landscape.”