A SENIOR planning officer for the North York Moors National Park Authority warned that a Castleton joiner's proposal to build a home next to his business could open the floodgates for others.

Jeffrey Thompson applied for outline planning permission to build a home for himself and his family at Joiner's Yard, close to Castleton station.

He claimed that living on the same site as his business premises would allow better supervision for the delivery of materials and provide added security.

His plans were supported by Danby Group Parish Council which said: "This is a local man with a long-established business who deserves recognition for his economic support of the area.

"He purchased this area some years ago in order to expand, and we strongly recommend that the application is approved."

But in a report to the authority's planning committee, due to meet in Helmsley yesterday, chief planning officer Val Dilcock recommended refusal.

She said the proposal went against several policies contained within the local plan and could set a precedent that other businesses may follow.

It would not be on an infill site but would be in an area of "sporadic, loose-knit development centred around the railway line", outside the main body of the village.

"If approved, the development would constitute and encourage sporadic development within the countryside, which would harm the character and appearance of the locality," she added.

"If permitted, the application could lead to further proposals from businesses in similar circumstances which would, by reason of precedent, be more difficult to refuse."

Mr Thompson said he would be willing to offer his existing home in Castleton High Street at a discounted price to local residents if permission was granted.