A scheme to boost the viability of a village pub has been recommended for approval, despite claims by highways officials it could affect road safety.

Members of North York Moors National Park Authority’s planning committee will next week consider a plan to site six timber shepherd’s huts in the beer garden of The Windmill Inn, in Stainsacre, near Whitby.

Landlord Dan Nelson said he hoped to provide lower cost accommodation at the end legs of the coast to coast walk and cycle routes, to help sustain the pub for the community and visitors.

He said the huts would be aimed at cyclists and walkers, so the scheme would not create traffic or parking issues in the village.

Mr Nelson said: “We will not be able to sustain the pub any longer than about two years without the income from these shepherds’ huts and the wet and dry sales which would benefit from it.”

An officers’ report to the committee states North Yorkshire County Council highways officers had called for the proposal to be refused due to a “lack of adequate on-site parking which would be likely to result in vehicles being parked outside the site on the County Highway to the detriment of the free

flow of traffic and road safety”.

The highways officers added it was not realistic to expect that all of the customers for the huts would be vehicle-free.

In response to the highways officers’ concerns, Mr Nelson stated: “The car parking issues do not exist; there are no lines throughout the whole of the village and plenty of parking on our large car park out front of the pub.

“The parish council think the shepherds huts are a good idea, and the parking wasn’t brought up in the parish council meeting at all.

“I read in the Publican Times that 43 pubs a week shutdown last year and we do not want to be part of this statistic over an issue of parking that does not exist.”

Recommending the plan for approval, the park’s planning officers said they felt Mr Nelson had satisfactorily demonstrated that the use of cars by customers using the huts will be actively discouraged.

The officers stated: “With the decline of many public houses in current times, it is considered that ensuring the long-term viability of such a business is extremely important.”