THE royal family of Bahrain has unveiled an ambition to launch a “seven-star” quality peregrine falcon breeding centre off a single track country lane in North Yorkshire.

A planning application, set to be decided by Hambleton District Council’s planning committee on Thursday, states how the controversial Khalifa family, which was responsible for attacks on protesters during the Arab Spring, had approached bird of prey breeding expert Dr Mark Robb to produce the birds of prey to export to Bahrain.

Documents submitted to the authority state how the royal family is bankrolling a proposal to convert a livestock farm in Dawney Lane, near Easingwold into a facility to produce peregrine falcons as Bahrain had joined a global movement to control the importation of endangered species of animals.

The proposal highlights how falconry was once a way of survival in the Middle Eastern country and since Dubai had become “a symbol of extreme wealth and power”, interest for falconry among the country’s elite had not subsided, leading to unscrupulous dealers smuggling birds there.

The application states the Bahraini royals had recruited Dr Robb, who has developed a breeding centre in Great Broughton, near Stokesley over the past two decades, to manage the Easingwold centre, which would offer public open days with educational talks for school groups.

It states: “To breed falcons in captivity is extraordinary complicated and time consuming. Most other animals breed as a natural part of their life cycle. However, falcons need certain conditions to be able to comfortably breed inside an aviary.

“Today most of the falcons in Great Broughton are owned by His Highness Sheik Hamdan Bin Mohamed Bin Rashid, the crown Prince of Dubai.”

The application states the climate in North Yorkshire is much more favourable to the breeding of falcons than other spots in the UK.

It adds: “This property offers everything a falcon breeding project can hope for. It is in a semi-rural flat area well shielded from sight from all angles. The trees and hedgerows provide sufficient protection from weather and wind.

“The trees surrounding the fields also provide sufficient vegetation for natural drainage of the ground and oxygen exchange/water evaporation on hot days.

“This will not be an overnight success, it will require imprinting of new falcons, importation of suitable breeding stock as well as many hours of work.

“At the moment we have eight full-time employees at the site in Great Broughton. Two of these people, as mentioned above, will come with us to the new site as we are now depending on them to be able to get the new project up and running to the quality that our Bahrain clients require.

“We both feel that our new position is further away from less reputable parts of Middlesbrough and we hope that this in itself will give us a natural protection from local fool play.

“We have been informed that the royal family of Bahrain want a seven-star breeding project, the only one of its kind from Bahrain.”

There have been no objections to the proposal and the council’s officers have recommended the scheme be approved.

In a report to the committee, officers said the proposal would help the expansion of an established business and conservation model which will enable the applicants to meet high welfare levels for the conservation, breeding, rearing and export of endangered birds.

It adds: “The development would also create new local employment opportunities, and therefore be able to contribute to economic growth.”