A restaurant expansion in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has won councillors' support, against planners' advice.

Members of Ripon area planning committee of Harrogate Borough Council voted unanimously in favour of extensions and alterations to the Millstones Restaurant, in Felliscliffe.

Because councillors voted against planning officers' advice under new council rules they must reconsider the application at a future meeting.

In recommending that the plans be rejected, planning officer Mike Parkes said the development was not appropriate for such an isolated site because of the scale, design and form of the main extension.

He also expressed concern about an increase in activity and traffic.

Councillors also raised concerns about traffic visibility, landscaping and coach parking in front of the building.

In a letter on behalf of the restaurant Andrew Ashby said it was hoped that the scheme would create a better atmosphere for visitors and improve the kitchens to meet with new legislation. It was also hoped the scheme would increase employment opportunities locally.

* Members of the borough council's Ripon area planning committee have also approved plans to convert a former hardware shop in Masham, near Ripon, into a home.

Other plans given the go-ahead include a detached property to be built behind 42 to 53 North Street, Ripon and a scheme to erect two cottages in the grounds of the Sawley Arms, near Ripon.

However, an application to create four flats in a two-storey extension to Holmfield House, in Harrogate Road, Ripon, has been refused.