AN application brought by a young couple from Hawes to convert a barn on the eastern fringe of the town into a house has been approved – despite objections from the Highway Authority.

It brings to 79 the number of barn conversions that have received planning permission in the Yorkshire Dales National Park since the new Local Plan started to be used in late 2016. In that time only one has been refused.

The Hawes barn is located off the A684, opposite the Methodist cemetery, where the speed limit is currently 60mph.

However the committee was told proposals to reduce the speed limit to 40mph would mean visibility from the barn access road would be sufficient to ensure highway safety.

Steve Calvert – partner of the applicant, Stacey Moore – said house prices were extremely high for first-time buyers in Hawes, and planning permission would allow the couple to stay in Hawes for the rest of their lives.

The newly-elected member champion for development management at the authority, Jim Munday, said: “This local couple has brought forward a well-considered application, which respects the historic environment.

"Although our barns conversion policy is a conservation policy, not a housing policy, we are delighted to see it being used by a young couple keen to continue living and working in the town they were brought up in.

"We’re confident that the planned changes to the speed limit east of Hawes will nullify any objections based on highway safety.”

*At the same meeting, the committee refused planning permission for a car park pay station and control barriers in and out of Hartlington car park near Burnsall.