AN ice-cream business which appeared to have been frozen out of a popular beauty spot after more than half a century looks set to be given a reprieve.

North York Moors National Park Authority officers have recommended granting consent to Whitby-based entrepreneurs Larraine Burgess and Tony Cervone for a refreshments facility at the Hole of Horcum just weeks after they were refused permission to do so.

In December, the authority, which granted itself permission to site a refreshment facility at Saltergate car park last year after planning permission for Ms Burgess and Mr Cervone’s venture had expired, ruled “a second refreshment facility in this location would result in an unacceptable concentration of commercial activity in this open countryside location”.

The entrepreneurs’ facility, which had been sited near the 120-metre deep and 1.2km-wide chasm, north-east of Pickering since 1965, was also rejected over “potential conflict with other vehicles/pedestrians entering and existing the car park”,

Lockton Parish Council has said the couple’s ice-cream scheme was “a more favourable option to the one park authority granted themselves” as it their facility was in a less prominent position than the authority’s facility, which used car park spaces.

In response, the entrepreneurs submitted a revised proposal, locating their refreshments van further within the car park to address concerns over people queuing up for ice-creams next to the A169 exit.

An officers report to a meeting of the authority’s planning committee next week said while a second concession could harm the character of the area, “with the traffic conflict issues addressed, it is not considered that a refusal could be upheld on the basis of over commercialisation and landscape impact”.

The report states: “On balance, whilst there is some concern regarding the increased commercial activity created by a second mobile refreshment van at this car park, it is not considered that this alone would be so substantial to justify refusal of the application.”