COUNCILLORS in Nidderdale have won a battle to secure conversion of an unused barn into a home, despite planning chiefs saying it would harm an area of natural beauty.

Planning officers had recommended refusal of the conversion of an old stone barn on land between Rose Cottage and Book House Farm, off Top Wath Road, Pateley Bridge.

But planning committee member Councillor Les Ellington, who sits on the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty committee, said there was support for the project and disagreed its conversion would harm the area.

Fellow Nidderdale borough councillor Stan Beer also supported the development, saying it would mean only a small home.

The stone field barn, which sits on the valley side above Pateley, will be converted into a two-bedroomed property with vehicle access and parking for two vehicles at the side of the building.

Pateley Bridge Parish Council supported the application in principle, but planning officer Phil Jewkes said a similar proposal had been dismissed by an independent Government inspector following an appeal in 1991.

He concluded that the scheme would have an unacceptably harmful effect on the character and appearance of the locality.

But councillors disagreed and backed the application.