Craftsman's frustration at learning traditional shepherd's huts need park permission (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Stokesley craftsman's frustration after shepherd's huts require national park permission
A CABINET maker who diversified into making traditional shepherd's huts says he is losing vital business after a national park authority ruled they need planning permission to be sited in fields.
The wooden huts - ideal for holidaymakers - were used for several centuries by shepherds so they could keep a closer eye on their flocks.
The wheeled shelters included the basics; a stove for warmth and cooking, a bed, stable door and a draw bar for moving them around the fields and fells.
Richard Wood, of Woodrose Shepherd’s Huts, in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, began building them after demand for handmade wooden furniture fell.
He constructs them to an original 17th century blueprint passed to him by another cabinet-maker.
However, he was alarmed to find the huts which have been used for centuries on upland farms now contravenes North York Moors National Park planning rules.
While consent is not needed if a hut is for personal use and it is placed in the garden of a property, park authority permission is needed if one is sited in a field or open land.
Mr Wood said he lost one order for three huts after the customer found he needed planning permission to place them in fields within the national park.
“A lot of people who are in listed buildings use them as a spare bedroom because they can’t extend their homes, or use them as holiday accommodation. A lot of farmers also want them for holiday lets,” he said.
“But it seems if you are going to use it as a holiday let in a national park you need planning permission, almost like opening a campsite.
“They’re traditional solid oak made to an original plan from the 17th century, on cast iron wheels; they have one at Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole for goodness sake.
“My trademark is a Yorkshire rose and yet I can’t put one in Yorkshire.”
A spokeswoman for the North York Moors National Park said: “If it’s going to be used by a third party them it would require planning permission.
"When it becomes part of a development and it’s not in your own garden, but outside in the country, then it’s changing the use of an existing site.”
Comments are closed on this article.