Plans for new yoga retreat in Harrogate district could be refused by council

A scheme that would lead to the creation of a yoga retreat in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could be about to be thrown out by planners.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:28 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:30 pm

Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee will meet on Tuesday (28) to discuss plans to build a yoga studio and six accommodation pods in woodland near Bewerley.

Planning officers had recommended that the application from Sophie Bickerdike be refused as it was felt it had not been proved that the plans would not harm heritage assets.

The plans would see a yoga retreat including accommodation at the heart of the Nidderdale AONB.

There are also concerns about an area for car parking that was located in a flood zone.

The retreat would be located in the grounds of the now-demolished Bewerley Hall.

The plans originally went before the planning committee last November and were deferred to allow more information to be gathered.

But planners are now once again recommending that the scheme be thrown out.

Their report to the councillors states: “It has not been demonstrated that this development cannot be provided within development limits, or that there is an operational need for the development be located in an open countryside location.”

Mrs Bickerdike’s application set out what her vision was and why she wanted it in that location.

It said: “The retreat would offer yoga, meditation, therapy and training courses based around on-site accommodation in six minimal ‘eco pods’.

“The pods would be clad with timber boarding to reflect their rural setting. ”

It will now be up to the committee to decide the fate of the application.

Carl Gavaghan , Local Democracy Reporting Service