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North York Moors historic estate holiday park plan set for approval

A holiday park in the grounds of the former home of a world famous industrialist looks set to be approved.

Classic Lodges hotel group has submitted a revised application for 47 holiday lodges and three holiday cottages spread over a wider area of Grinkle Park, in the North York Moors National Park, near Easington, after original plans of a 57-lodge proposal sparked concerns over its scale, density, location and changes to the lake and loss of woodland, with planners worried that it would “irreversibly change the character and integrity” of the undesignated heritage asset.

Members said they felt the scheme would be damaging to the core area of Grinkle Park, which covers some 157 hectares and represents one of the larger country house landscapes in the national park.

The estate was developed by 19th century shipbuilder and Liberal MP Sir Charles Palmer, who helped solve the issue of transporting coal from the North to London by building the first iron screw collier and several other steam-colliers.

While local councillors say the scheme is vital for the area’s economy, the Loftus Community Forum said it would enrich the area’s amenities and increase visitor numbers.

A forum spokesman said: “This will benefit an area of high unemployment by offering employment to local people. Recent reductions of over 200 in mining jobs at Boulby Mine have meant redundancies and hardship.

“The benefits will be felt by the coastal communities located between Saltburn and Whitby as tourism increases, and in the wider national park.”

Planning chiefs “loved a lot of things” about the original scheme for a woodland lodge park at Grinkle Park, but after a “long discussion”, planners at North York Moors National Park Authority said more talks were needed with agents to come up with a scheme that’s “more focused on the surrounding landscape”.

An officer’s report to the planning committee says following numerous revisions, the proposal has been recommended for approval.

It states: “Officers have negotiated a scheme which still allows for the development within the lower grade areas of woodland and away from the lake, without adversely impacting upon the historic setting, to redesign the layout within the Walled Garden and to reintroduce elements of Palmer’s naturalistic designed landscape to allow better appreciation of the setting.” 

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