The listed chapel was designed in the Scandinavian style to reflect the area's Viking heritage

The listed chapel was designed in the Scandinavian style to reflect the area's Viking heritage

National park planners have approved a major redevelopment at a Christian centre in the Yorkshire Dales.

The proposals for the Scargill Movement’s residential and education centre near Kettlewell were unanimously agreed by committee members.

Several large buildings will be demolished and replaced in the modernisation, which will allow disabled access throughout Scargill House.

The site includes the grade II*-listed 1959 chapel designed by George Pace. Dave Lucas, the movement’s operations manager said the plans provided a huge technical challenge in creating step-free access around the steep valley side and respecting the setting of the chapel.

He said: “We want to ensure the long term future of Scargill and contribute to the economic and social fabric of the Yorkshire Dales.

“We want the chapel to be used for its intended purpose and be looked after. We love using this building daily and take our custodianship seriously.”

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority member champion for development management Robert Heseltine said: “Over the years Scargill House and the substantial complex around it has come to rest well into the landscape of Wharfedale.

“This application will only further improve this beautiful and peaceful location.

“The many guests that are attracted to Scargill House bring considerable benefits to the local economy. God speed to the applicant.”

Scargill House’s oldest buildings date from the 18th century and for some years it was used as a hunting lodge, belonging to a wealthy mill owner, until the Scargill Community bought the site in the 1950s for use as a religious retreat and conference centre.

The loss-making centre was forced to close in 2008 and a religious foundation, the Scargill Movement, was set up and bought the site less than a year later.

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