PLANS to demolish a 1930s bungalow on "one of the steepest residential hills in the country" and replace it with two new homes have been unanimously refused by Craven District Council.

Despite a recommendation to approve the demolition of Fairmount in Starkey Lane, Farnhill - a re-submitted scheme following the rejection of a plan for three homes on the site which was also dismissed on appeal – councillors refused the plans on the same grounds of over-development, over-shadowing of neighbouring properties and impact on the conservation area.

Planning committee members at the remotely-held meeting were told the plans had been adapted following the earlier refusal and were now deemed suitable.

The single-storey bungalow would be replaced by two, instead of three, two-storey homes, both with attached car ports, and the window arrangement at the rear had been changed to prevent over-looking.

Applicant Elliott Exley, in a statement read out at the meeting, said previous concerns had been addressed and if his application was successful, work would get underway soon with sensitivity and respect to neighbours.

But Farnhill parish councillor David Atkinson said the scheme was still a ‘gross over-development’ of the site which failed to enhance or conserve the conservation area. He said the proposed new homes did not reflect the style of existing properties and claimed highways issues created by the development would only exacerbate what was already an issue in the village.

Resident, John Arnott, for objectors, said while villagers were not against development of the site, the plans were just "too big".

“The proposal is overbearing and intimidating and it is too big for the plot,” he said.

Aire Valley with Lothersdale ward councillor Patrick Mulligan urged the committee to refuse the plans.

“The adverse impacts of this scheme far outweigh any benefits to the community, particularly in terms of scale, design and visual impact on the Farnhill conservation area,” he said.

Fellow ward member, and committee member, Cllr Andy Brown, said while development of the site made sense, the application represented a larger development footprint- wise and should therefore be rejected on over-development grounds.

It stood on "one of the steepest hills in the country with houses on it", and there was insufficient local need. “We rejected it on a smaller footprint, why would we accept it on a larger footprint?” he said.