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Skipton Hall, Skipton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire

Client: The Mills Family

Local Authority: Hambleton District Council

Skipton Hall is a Grade II listed early 19th-century dwelling with later alterations constructed in red brick laid in a Flemish bond with a graduated stone slate roof. It is situated in the village of Skipton-on-Swale, around 3 miles south-west of the market town of Thirsk.

The Proposal

The proposed development sought to undertake a series of internal and external alterations in order to make it a functional family home suitable for 21st-century living, whilst also maintaining the existing character and charm of the property. Works to the various outbuildings within the grounds of the property were also proposed and for the purposes of this assessment, those outbuildings were considered to be non-designated heritage assets.

The Challenges

Following submission of the application for Listed Building Consent, the local authority Planning Officer pushed back on several aspects of the proposals, ultimately concluding that some elements would result in 'substantial harm' to a designated heritage asset. At this point in time, Hambleton District Council did not have a Conservation Officer in post and this assertion was extremely out of proportion with the actual resulting impacts of the proposed development. 

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The Solutions

To counter the initial feedback from the local authority, Blue Willow Heritage was commissioned to draft a formal written response which meticulously addressed each of the issues raised. In particular, the conclusion of 'substantial harm to a designated heritage asset' was called into question with reference to both local and national planning policy, demonstrating that the proposed development would - as originally concluded in the submitted Heritage Statement - result in an overall neutral impact to the significance of the listed building, thereby contributing to one of the three objectives of sustainable development as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The Outcome

Following extensive engagement with the local authority, in conjunction with the architect (DC Architectural Design), including some minor alterations to the scheme, both planning permission and Listed Building Consent were duly granted. This allowed the Mills family to be able to create their perfect family home, as well as ensuring the optimum viable use of this beautiful Grade II listed building.

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