Emmerdale’s Harewood set could become tourist attraction

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It has been the scene of many storylines that have tested the emotions of the most ardent of soap fans.

But now the set of Emmerdale is at the centre of a real-life drama that could quite easily have made it into a plotline of the show itself.

Pauline Quirke on the set of Emmerdale, /ITV/

Pauline Quirke on the set of Emmerdale, /ITV/

The makers of the ITV soap - which is filmed in Leeds - have found themselves at loggerheads with local villagers over plans to turn the ‘Emmerdale Village’ production set at Harewood House into a tourist attraction.

Leeds City Council decision-makers will decide tomorrow if the plans will be granted permission.

There have been a number of objections from locals, with many fearing it will massively increase traffic flow into the area, as ell as affecting valuable local heritage spots.

However a report to the plans panel says there are “significant benefits of retaining filming of Emmerdale at Harewood” which justify the granting of planning permission in “very special circumstances”. The report adds the tourism boost will “reinforce the benefits of ITV’s contributions to the estate, Leeds city area, and the region”.

Set tours would be at weekends, and could see up to two coaches an hour entering the site.

Objectors say they are “sympathetic” to the need to raise revenue for the Harewood Estate but are urging caution.

The Ramblers’ Association, which is among those objecting, has said it fears increased traffic across public rights of way, in a locality already busy at weekends with visitors, will harm the “character of the area and use and enjoyment by members of the public”.

However a report to the plans panel says there are “significant benefits of retaining filming of Emmerdale at Harewood” which justify the granting of planning permission in “very special circumstances”. The report adds the tourism boost will “reinforce the benefits of ITV’s contributions to the estate, Leeds city area, and the region”.

Set tours would be at weekends, and could see up to two coaches an hour entering the site.

Objectors say they are “sympathetic” to the need to raise revenue for the Harewood Estate but are urging caution.

The Ramblers’ Association, which is among those objecting, has said it fears increased traffic across public rights of way, in a locality already busy at weekends with visitors, will harm the “character of the area and use and enjoyment by members of the public”.