CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn an historic hall into a children’s activity centre have been recommended for approval by councillors.

Villagers have protested over PGL’s plans to transform the former North Yorkshire Police headquarters at Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, into a base for children’s holidays, with 550 guest bed spaces.

The plans include an extension to the lake to enable visitors to take part in rafting, kayaking and canoeing, an outdoor games area with climbing walls and rope courses and alterations to the grade II listed property.

A planned outdoor tent area has been removed from the scheme and the number of multi-use games pitches has been reduced from three to one.

Many Newby Wiske residents oppose the plans and signs reading ‘PGL Get Lost’ - a play on a the ‘Parents Get Lost’ phrase associated with the company - sprung up around the village when the plans were first submitted.

Members of Hambleton District Council’s planning committee are set to consider the proposals and make a decision over whether to grant planning permission at its meeting on Thursday.

An officers' report to the committee states 221 objections have been lodged, and seven submissions in support and recommended the plans be approved, subject to conditions.

Environmental Health officers noted concerns over the possible noise disturbance to nearby residents and suggested a Noise Management Plan should be made a condition of planning approval.

The Environmental Health officers said the absence of the multi-use pitches and camping area from the scheme and the re-positioning of the sports area further from the nearest houses were positive changes in terms of noise from the development impacting on residents.

The report states: “In conclusion, the Environmental Health Team is clear that whilst the proposed development would result in changes to the noise profile and levels in the area, subject to appropriate controls it would not result in any significant detrimental impact on residential amenity.”

Villagers and Newby Wiske, Maunby and South Otterington Parish Council have raised concerns over whether the road network would capable of accommodating traffic generated by the site, particularly coaches.

However, The Highway Authority said it was satisfied the proposals would raise no highway safety issues, but suggested a number of planning conditions.