2014-03-07   facebook twitter rss

National Park Authority Welcomes Government Planning Law Decision

A Government decision to exclude national parks from planning changes that would allow the uncontrolled conversion of barns into houses has been welcomed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Peter Charlesworth, Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), said he was “delighted” at the announcement yesterday by Planning Minister Nick Boles that Government changes to planning rules would not apply in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which contains an estimated 6,000 barns.


photo © www.farm-images.co.uk

In January Mr Charlesworth warned that a relaxation of permitted development rights would cause “irreversible harm” to the stunning countryside because the YDNPA – as the local planning authority – and local communities would no longer have any say about which buildings could sensibly be converted.

Following the announcement, he said: “We are delighted that the Government has listened to the concerns of England’s national parks and others and has modified its proposals accordingly, allowing national parks to retain local planning control.

“We’re now going to be getting on with implementing the spirit of the National Planning Policy Framework – to promote sustainable development in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

“This will, no doubt, include the conversion of some barns to houses but only where they’re in suitable locations.

“We know local people support that approach and our new Local Plan – which maps out the Authority’s policies for planning issues from 2015 to 2030 – contains proposals to bring more derelict farm buildings back into use.

“A draft of the Local Plan is due to go out to consultation in May and, if the policies regarding barns are approved, we will then be able to continue with our commitment to conserve the special qualities of the barns and walls landscape, making better use of one of the National Park’s best assets.”

Jon Avison, Chairman Designate of the Yorkshire Dales Society, said: “We are over the moon that the collaborative work of the Society and the National Park Authority has helped to persuade the minister to change his mind on this very important policy. It would have had a potentially devastating impact on the landscape and the character of the Yorkshire Dales.”


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