2015-03-06 

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Planning Rethink on House Building in National Park

A new round of public consultation is being launched by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) to find easier ways to get more homes built.

The Authority wants to review some specific elements of its planning policies to meet housing targets that will sustain the communities that live and work here.

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Peter Stockton, the Authority’s Head of Sustainable Development, said:
“Last summer the National Park Authority consulted on a new draft Local Plan that will eventually become the base for making planning decisions for the next 15 years.

“However, changes to national planning policy since then and points raised during the consultation mean we need to review a few specific aspects of our housing policy to give us a more flexible approach when it comes to providing affordable housing.”

“The results of this latest consultation are likely to lead to some fairly fundamental changes to our policy – for example, permitting a proportion of open market housing on our allocated housing sites to make them viable. We are also looking at widening the range of people who are eligible to buy new housing that has a ‘local occupancy’ tie.”

Carl Lis, the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Sustainable Development said: “The National Park Authority is absolutely committed to looking after the local communities and one of the best ways of doing this is to help young people to live here rather than move away because they can’t afford to live here.

“Planning policies have to change as local and national circumstances alter and we need to take on board the views of those who live and work here and the current economic realities of building new housing in a National Park.

“In the National Park Management Plan, we and our local partners have made a number of commitments to improve housing and jobs – among other things – in the next five years to keep the area special, while helping it to thrive.

“The current approach isn’t delivering some of these objectives as quickly or effectively as we need. So, these proposed measures have been developed in close consultation with the district councils.

“We hope people will respond to this consultation on what is a very important issue within the National Park.”

Issues included in the latest consultation include setting annual targets for new homes for the next 15 years, as well as how many of those should be affordable housing.

Another subject is the use of more flexible ‘local occupancy’ agreements that provide new homes for local needs, particularly for younger households, rather than for retirement or second home use.

YDNPA

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