Plans to build a 'bespoke' country house on a rural hospital site in Wharfedale have been rejected by Harrogate planners.

Harrogate Borough Council has refused planning permission for a traditional-style hall at the former Middleton Hospital site, Carters Lane, Ilkley.

Developer Middleton Partnership LLP wanted to build a country residence and staff quarters on the 57-acre plot, on the opposite side of the valley to the Cow and Calf Rocks beauty spot.

Harrogate Borough Council said the spot was in an 'isolated unsustainable location' in the Nidderdale Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty, and the green belt.

"The scale and design of the proposed development would be injurious to the visual amenities of the area and the openness of the green belt," said the council.

Planners also said the proposed lodge house was significantly larger than the existing lodge building it would have replaced, and was in conflict with the Harrogate District Local Plan.

The plan is the latest in a series of residential schemes by various developers to be rejected by Harrogate Council.

The land has been unoccupied since the Middleton Hospital itself closed in 1990. Most of the buildings were demolished in 1991.

Middleton Partnership was previously behind a successful planning application for the site, to redevelop remaining buildings for institutional use.