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Christian retreat plans approved in the Yorkshire Dales

Listed Chapel at Scargill House

10:37am 13th June 2018

Controversial plans to transform a Christian Retreat in Upper Wharfedale have been unanimously approved.

The Scargill Movement had faced opposition to proposals to bulldoze buildings around a grade II listed chapel near Kettlewell as part of a new residential and education centre.

Several large buildings will be demolished and replaced to provide modern visitor facilities and disabled access throughout.

The operations manager at Scargill House, Dave Lucas, told the committee that the "benchmark" for the development would be "quality, simplicity and beauty".

He said working up the plans had been a "huge technical challenge" with much of the site built on the steep valley side of Upper Wharfedale.

The priority had been to create "step free access" around the site while respecting the setting of the Grade II-listed chapel (pictured) designed by George Pace and built in 1959.

"We want to ensure the long term future of Scargill and contribute to the economic and social fabric of the Yorkshire Dales. We want the chapel to be used for its intended purpose and be looked after.

"We love using this building daily and take our custodianship seriously."

Heritage bosses had been investigating whether more buildings at the site near Kettlewell should be listed and the Twentieth Century Society raised concerns over the potential loss of heritage buildings and the effect it would have on the chapel.

Those concerns were dismissed.

YDNPA Member Champion for Development Management, Robert Heseltine, said:

"Over the years Scargill House and the substantial complex around it has come to rest well into the landscape of Wharfedale.

"This application will only further improve this beautiful and peaceful location.

"The many guests that are attracted to Scargill House bring considerable benefits to the local economy.

"God speed to the applicant."

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