Residents are still concerned about a historic barn despite the withdrawal of outline plans for a controversial housing development in Cononley.

The scheme to build 25 homes at Madge Bank in Crosshills Road was withdrawn after North Yorkshire County Council highways officers recommended refusal.

They were concerned about the design of a mini-roundabout – said to be unacceptable in terms of highway safety – and access to the site, which they claimed did not meet visibility requirements.

There has been opposition in the village to the plans, which is on land once owned by the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. Villagers and Cononley Parish Council are keen to preserve a barn on the site. They also want to retain the open space of the field.

A villager, who asked not to be identified, said: “Houses shouldn’t be built there because it would change the whole dynamic of the place. There are better places to build in the village, rather than losing the heart of it.”

She added the parish council is approaching English Heritage about getting listed building status for the barn, which she said would protect it from demolition and prevent it from being “lost to the village forever”.

However, it is likely the application process will take six months. In the meantime, Coun Brown said the parish council is seeking emergency listing for the building, but this will still have to be dealt with by English Heritage.

Paul Mason, the agent for the landowner, Mrs H Watts, of Skipton, said if the application was to be re-submitted, he believed the barn would have to be demolished.

Mr Mason, of Windle Beech Winthrop, confirmed he had received no instructions to submit a new plan to Craven District Council.