Malsis School in South Craven has been given unanimous approval to build 46 homes on two separate sites in its grounds.

Despite the site being outside the development limits of Glusburn, permission was granted largely to secure the future of the independent school.

It will be subject to a legal agreement for the provision of alternative sports facilities, to also be used by the community, and for some of the homes to be affordable.

Craven Council’s planning committee was told by its development control officer Ian Swain on Tuesday that the application was being recommended for approval as it stood – and should not be seen as an “enabling”’ development to finance repairs to listed parts of the site.

A smaller application for five homes closer to the main school buildings was approved last month as an enabling development, with money raised from the sale of the land to be used specifically for repairs.

Councillors were told the larger application was a re-submission of one refused in November, but differed in its layout and had the support of English Heritage.

The application is in outline only and will have to be followed by a full, detailed plan.

The committee heard the application had the backing of Glusburn and Cross Hills Parish Council and ward member Philip Barrett, and it had received 100 letters in support and just five objecting.

Coun Ady Green, who originally opposed the application, said he had been persuaded otherwise by the support of village residents and English Heritage, and he proposed acceptance.

And Coun Ken Hart, who seconded Coun Green’s proposal, added: “It is outside the development limits, it is a big site, but I’ve never known so few objections.

“If the people of Glusburn were objecting to this, they would have let us know.”