I HAVE just returned from attending a planning meeting at the National Park Office in Bainbridge relating to the change of use by the Burgoyne Hotel of a piece of land that overlooks my property, in particular the noise impact and loss of privacy that its use will have on my property.

I would describe it as being like a Whitehall farce were it not for the way that some members of the planning committee treated the ordinary residents of the Dales, who have done nothing other than exercise their right to object to any planning application.

The contempt shown by some of the committee towards those who have chosen to object was mind blowing. Only one member of the committee seemed to fully understand the concerns of myself and others.

Comments made in the general discussion indicated that members had not read any of the accompanying paperwork or viewed the photographs. One member even suggested that the guests of the Burgoyne Hotel were too high class to be a problem!

I offer an invite to all members of the Planning Committee to come and sit with me in my garden and then tell me I should have remained silent.

We appear to have taken another giant step down the road towards “Yorkshire Dales Land” when the villages are filled with holiday lets and the only residents are those directly involved in tourism. Facilities that maintain a living mixed community are disappearing year on year. We have seen the closure of a school, post offices, a shop, the local garage, chapels and even a pub. Business start ups seem to be entirely tourist based and some businesses have become seasonal, closing during the winter. Tourism may be seen as the saviour of the Dales but it may also be its destruction.

Is it the intention of the Planning Committee to make the Dales such an unpleasant or impossible place for older people in order that they will no longer wish to live here?

Martin Sunderland, Reeth