A proposed development which villagers feared would affect the unspoilt setting of their community hall has been refused planning consent.
Tarset village hall was used by folk musician Kathryn Tickell for the cover of her 2012 album Northumbrian Voices, showing the hall against a backdrop of wild Northern countryside.
A scheme by Riverdale Properties (Kielder) Ltd was put forward for a detached, four-bedroom house with laundry, office and storage facilities for a proposed self-catering business on an adjacent site at Greystones, Lanehead, Tarset.
But Northumberland National Park Authority received a number of objections to the scheme, one of which was that it would impact on the setting of the village hall.
National park officers recommended approval but the authority’s development management committee rejected the bid.
The reason for refusal was that “the proposed development, by virtue of its scale, siting and setting does not sit comfortably within the natural topography of the site and would result in a highly engineered development, that is not in keeping with the local quality and character of the settlement of Lanehead and would adversely impact upon the special qualities of the national park.”
Tarset village hall committee had written to the national park saying it was “deeply concerned about the proximity of the proposed house to the hall.”
The letter said: “In 2012 world-renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell used Tarset village hall as the setting for the photo shoot for her new album. One of the key reasons was its original character and unspoilt setting.
“Tarset village hall with its garden is an important community facility and extremely well used for many kinds of events. It is a vital part of community life in Tarset.”
Riverside said that the design of the house was a modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse, predominantly using Northumbrian sandstone and cedar panels.
The applicant owns the self-catering holiday accommodation where a bunkhouse has already been built. Five bothies, approved on appeal, have yet to be built.
Tarset and Greystead Parish Council also objected, saying : “The landscape in the parishes of Tarset and Greystead is characterised by long open views with buildings resting comfortably in their surroundings, below the skyline.
“We do not see how the proposed building can be said to conserve or enhance the special qualities of the national park. The village hall is a cherished and well used facility by our community. It sits well in the landscape but the proposed building will severely detract from this.”<p/>