Planning for Change

The Society aims to encourage a high standard of new build and renovation, to encourage good civic facilities, and to prevent damage to Skipton’s market town character and loss of significant green or heritage sites.   It does not want Skipton to remain unchanged, but for change to ensure continuance of the unique and high quality built and natural environment in and around Skipton.

All Skipton planning applications are monitored by a committee made up of ordinary members, assisted by those with specialist expertise, such as historians, architects or town planners.  The committee sometimes comments on applications or is involved in consultations on wider issues of planning and design.

Since its inception the Society has been engaged in planning issues and here are a very small selection:

Since 2013/14 Craven District Council has been consulting on a new Local Development Plan which will allow development on most of the green fields around Skipton, to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework.  The Civic Society is particularly concerned about Park Hill and other dominant or historic sites, and the lack of a Neighbourhood Plan to provide a vision for the future of Skipton. The Society has made regular contributions to the new plan which is now expected to be completed late in 2017.

In 2015 the Society proposed to have Waltonwrays cemetery listed. Despite detailed work by members of the Society, the proposal was not accepted by Historic England.

In 2004/5 consultants put forward a Renaissance package that involved high rise buildings on the four town centre carparks.  Skipton Civic Society felt that Craven District Council’s public consultation on the plans was inadequate and it commissioned the Electoral Reform Services to conduct a ballot. The result showed that 72 per cent of voters opposed the package.  Craven District Council later dropped the Renaissance proposals. However a high-rise modern retail building was put on part of the Town Hall car park, an overbearing development which we opposed for its impact on the Town Hall and its lack of conservation area detail and value.

In 1987, the Society opposed the demolition of Victoria Mill, a view shared by the Planning Inspector. The mill was converted to flats in 1990.

In 1977, plans to create a supermarket in the High Street/Coach Street area caused concern. The plans were withdrawn and the area was later developed, more appropriately, for housing and small shops.