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Yorkshire Dales tourist attraction ordered to tear down 'obtrusive' mock castle

Mock medieval castle at Forbidden Corner up close, , covered in green plastic ivy netting

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 10:48am 22nd August 2018. (Updated at 6:02pm 22nd August 2018)

The Planning Inspectorate has rejected an appeal by the owners of the Forbidden Corner against an enforcement notice served by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

In a decision letter, the Inspector agreed with the Authority’s concerns about the impact on the historical landscape of lower Coverdale of a new three-storey high mock medieval castle.

He said that the building is “obtrusive” and “has a harmful and disruptive effect on the understanding and enjoyment of the landscape.”

The 10m-high pretend castle, completed in March this year, was built without planning permission.

During its construction, the YDNPA issued an enforcement notice requiring that the building be demolished or reduced in height.

The Inspector dismissed attempts to cover up the building with fake ivy and screen it with planting as proof that the building is harmful to the “character, appearance and natural beauty of this part of Coverdale.”

Mock medieval castle at Forbidden Corner from a distance
The mock medieval castle at Forbidden Corner from a distance

The Inspector’s decision means that the owners of Forbidden Corner must comply with the notice and take the unauthorised building down.

YDNPA Member Champion for Development Management, Jim Munday, said:

“Throughout this process we have always made clear that we recognise and celebrate the success of the Forbidden Corner as a tourist attraction and an important employer within the National Park.

"The enforcement action does not seek to harm the business, but to remedy a breach of planning control that significantly harms the cultural heritage and landscape quality of this part of the National Park.

“The completed building is a large mock medieval castle which provides a commanding viewpoint over Coverdale and part of lower Wensleydale.

"It is located outside the walled folly garden of the Forbidden Corner, so it is not only separate from all the other follies, but is in open view.” 

Forbidden Corner architect, Malcolm Tempest, said: 

"We want to go through the inspector's decision in detail before making our next move.

The Inspector allowed time for us to reach an agreement with the National Parks on what should be done and we shall pursue that and other courses of action open to us.”

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