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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Purpose-built disability accommodation is first for national park

Yorkshire Dales national park visitors with mobility, visual or hearing impairments will soon have a purpose-built place to stay.

Planning permission has been granted for the change of use of a single-storey outbuilding at Eastburn Farmhouse in Newbiggin to self-catering holiday accommodation for people who need fully accessible facilities.

And the development will be the first of its kind the national park and one of only six in North Yorkshire as a whole.

The national park's planning committee heard that the application had the support of national tourism body VisitEngland, which says there are only five existing businesses in North Yorkshire providing suitable independent or assisted wheelchair user holiday accommodation.

Members were told the accommodation would meet and exceed standards set by the VisitEngland National Accessible Scheme and provide additional accessibility tourism facilities.

The VisitEngland Great Britain Tourism Survey 2013 predicted that groups that have accessibility requirements have the potential to spend more and would stay longer if there was suitable accommodation.

Robert Heseltine, member champion for development management, said:  “We want the national park to be a friendly, open and welcoming place with outstanding opportunities to enjoy its special qualities”

“This is the first accommodation of its kind in the national park and I hope it won’t be the last. It is vitally important that this type of self-catering is available so that people with specific needs will have the choice of being able to stay for longer periods to enjoy this beautiful landscape and the communities in it.”

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