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National Park celebrates first accredited ‘access for all’ holiday cottage

Bainbridge, 5 September, 2017

A small holiday cottage business – which has become the first in the Yorkshire Dales to have one of its properties officially accredited as providing ‘access for all’ – has been warmly congratulated by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

Assessors from VisitEngland, the official national tourist board, said ‘The Dairy’ in Newbiggin in Bishopdale met National Accessibility Scheme standards for providing mobility, visual and hearing support for guests.

‘The Dairy’ was converted from an outbuilding into a holiday cottage after the owners, Diane and Andrew Howarth of Cottage in the Dales, received planning consent from the YDNPA in September last year.

“This is really good news,” said Julie Barker, Head of Visitor Services at the YDNPA.  “We want everybody to be able to come for a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, no matter what their access needs.  Small, hard-working companies such as Cottage in the Dales are helping to make that possible by providing accommodation fit for guests of all abilities.

“I know that Diane is keen to share her experience with other visitor attractions and accommodation providers in the Dales.  I would like to encourage all tourist attractions to provide access for all visitors where possible – often small adjustments can make a big difference.”

The development of ‘The Dairy’ was not straightforward, as YDNPA planning policy favours the conversion of modern outbuildings into local occupancy dwellings rather than holiday lets.  

“The proposal didn’t fit neatly with planning policy,” said Head of Development Management, Richard Graham. “But we could see the benefits of what Cottage in the Dales was trying to do.  The company wanted to provide much-needed ‘access for all’ accommodation, so we were happy to make an exception – especially given the company’s track record of providing holiday lets finished to a high standard.”

Diane Howarth said: “I think ‘The Dairy’ represents a major step forward in terms of improving access for all in the Yorkshire Dales. We ought to be thinking of access for all accommodation as not only a good thing in itself, but also an enormous business opportunity.  

“The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Cottage in the Dales worked well together – and the result is a wonderful new facility for visitors to enjoy.”

For full details on The Dairy and its National Accessibility Scheme rating visit: http://www.cottageinthedales.co.uk/cottages.php?cotid=6

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