Planning in Middleham is the responsibility of Richmondshire District Council or, when the application falls within the nearby national park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park authority. They are known as the ‘Planning Authority’ within their respective areas. Anyone wishing to submit, or comment upon an application, should refer to their websites.
The Town Council is always consulted on planning applications within the township and this review usually takes place at its monthly Council meetings. If Council does not support an application it can either raise an objection, or request that specific conditions are imposed before consent is granted. The Planning Authority will listen to these comments but it alone makes the final decision, which may not reflect the Town Council’s wishes.
When you, or the Town Council, wishes to object to an application, you can only raise what is called a ‘material consideration’ A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision and can include (but are not limited to):
- Overlooking/loss of privacy
- Loss of light or overshadowing
- Highway safety
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
- Layout and density of building
- Design, appearance and materials
- Government policy
- Disabled persons’ access
- Proposals in the Development Plan
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
- Nature conservation
However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations. You cannot simply object because you don’t like a proposal, it must be on one of the above grounds.
Middleham Conservation Area
Conservation Areas are defined as “areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. A significant part of Middleham (as shown on the attached map has been designated as a Conservation Area and special rules govern proposed changes to buildings, their surrounding spaces and all trees.
Richmondshire District Council (RDC) as the Local Planning Authority is responsible for designating and overseeing Middleham’s Conservation Area and further details are available from RDC at http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/planning/development-management/507-conservation-areas .
The rules applicable in Middleham were drafted in conjunction with the Town Council that fully supports their implementation by RDC. If you are a Householder within Middleham’s Conservation Area Development, you are reminded that there are particularly strict rules regarding any alterations to the appearance of your home and the removal of trees (even if the tree is not covered by a Tree Preservation Order). You are strongly recommended to talk to RDC before committing yourself to any changes – for example erecting a satellite dish, replacing wooden windows with PVC, new doors or external painting. The Town Council always supports RDC when it is required to take enforcement action to restore or reinstate unauthorised changes.
The relevant documents are available below: