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Scaffolding Bar Pot!

The following planning application may be of interest to BEC members as an indication of the sort of problem we have yet to face!  The BEC has lodged a complaint as requested and has received a not too hopeful reply from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  Latest information is that it has been rejected at the local level but has been referred.

Planning Application: Reference Number YO/5/17/156

Planning Application for the erection of scaffolding structures underground, to allow access in Bar Pot for adventure caving.  No surface works involved,

The application is for permission to erect underground scaffolding structures in Bar Pot to allow access for groups of people to enjoy adventure caving.

This is an increasingly popular recreational and educational activity for all ages, which will allow the inexperienced to enjoy the sport of pot holing or caving in safety.

Similar schemes are also operated commercially by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority operating from Whernside Manor in Dentdale.

The structures will comprise 2 major elements.  A 40 foot high access scaffolding structure to negotiate the first part of the pot hole along with a further 100 foot structure for the major vertical section of the pot hole.  Scaffolding of aluminium with intermediate platforms constructed so as to avoid corrosion and encased in wire mesh for safety purposes.

It will be secured against any unauthorised use.  Other minor works such as a safety hand rail will be needed at the top of the 100 foot vertical section and rope hand rails here and there for general assistance.

No surface buildings or structures will be required.  Underground there will be little or no environmental damage whatsoever, apart form securing bolts drilled into the limestone and miscellaneous support work for the scaffolding.  The work will not be visible from the surface.

It is envisaged that small pre-booked groups of 15 to 20 in number and suitably equipped will be conducted down the cave by an experienced guide for a 2 or 3 hour caving trip. Facilities should be very useful for educational groups and for local hotels and guest houses wishing to offer caving or pot holing activities to their guests.

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Reasoned letters of protest may be sent to:-Mr. Mitchell, Craven District Council Planning Department, Granville St., Skipton, AND Mr. R.G. Harvey, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire.