CONTROVERSY has reignited over a charity’s plans for the future of a dedicated community for learning for disabled adults.

Dozens of relatives of residents of Botton village on the North York Moors have objected to the Camphill Village Trust’s (CVT) proposal to create a 20-space car park beside the main road into the village, saying it illustrates the charity’s divergence from the founding principles of the village.

Botton, in Danby Dale, was established in 1955 following the donation of land and buildings by Macmillian publishing family, enabling the community of more than 150 people, including 90 adults with learning disabilities, to live and work together with a close harmony with nature.

However, in recent years, the longstanding co-worker extended family residential care model was challenged on safeguarding, tax and employment law grounds, resulting in more commercial arrangements being introduced over how Botton is run, leading to more vehicle movements.

The CVT became engulfed in protests in 2014 after stating a Charity Commission report advised the organisation to make changes to the way the volunteer co-workers had been financially supported and tax advice which led to it proposing to make co-workers employees. 

A report on the plan to a meeting of the North York Moors National Park Authority’s planning committee on Thursday states the key issue is whether there is sufficient justification for a car park and its impact on the protected area.

The CVT said it would like to focus as much visitor car parking at the entrance to the village and encourage walking along the narrow roads.

A CVT spokesman said: “There is an immediate pressing need for a new car park within Botton Village principally as a result of recent organisational changes which means that existing parking provision is no longer sufficient to meet CVT’s operational requirements.”

Objectors to the scheme have claimed Botton villagers “dare not object in public for fear of upsetting their CVT landlords” and said there had been a “trebling of traffic since we sadly lost our pioneering eco-community approach”.

One parent of a villager, Kay Wilson, said the extra car parking spaces would be “completely unnecessary” and the charity appeared to have “other ideas in mind for the future of the village”.

She wrote: “If CVT’s eventual plans mean bringing much more traffic and visitors to the dale, the villagers’ wellbeing would be compromised. The safety of the residents and the peace of the place they live in, is very important to them and therefore to us.”