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Planning in the extension area - Q&A

with Richard Graham, Head of Development Management

On 1 August 2016, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority became the local planning authority for the new area. That means that we are responsible for:

  • determining all planning applications - including listed buildings and works to protected trees
  • preparing future Local Plans (i.e. setting future local planning policy)
  • enforcing against breaches of planning.

What about applications submitted before 1 August?

Planning officers at the National Park Authority worked closely with their colleagues at the three existing planning authorities - Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster City Council - to ensure a smooth handover and that applications were dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Any applications submitted but not determined by 1 August have been transferred to the National Park Authority to deal with in accordance with existing local planning policies.

Will local planning policies change after 1 August?

The existing Local Plans adopted by South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council and Lancaster City Council will remain in place for the respective areas. Those same Local Plans will still be used by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to make decisions on any planning applications after 1 August.

The only material change is that, in applying the existing policies, the Authority will also have to take into account what the National Planning Policy Framework says about development in National Parks.

National Parks have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty and the Government expects greater weight to be given to these issues in making planning decisions.

This will make some difference to the way that some decisions are made – but it is not possible to prescribe every circumstance here. The online National Planning Practice Guidance provides further information on how different types of development should be treated in National Parks.

Will the new Yorkshire Dales National Park Local Plan apply to the new areas?

No. The Authority’s Local Plan for the existing National Park has been in development for several years and been subject to extensive local consultation – but only within the existing National Park boundary. Once adopted, it will only apply to the current National Park area.

At some future point, the Authority may want to create a single Local Plan for the whole of the new National Park, but this will be several years away.

What about Eden District Council’s new Local Plan?

Eden District Council has submitted its new Local Plan for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. If the Inspectorate finds it to be ‘sound’, it is hoped that the National Park Authority will be able to adopt the Plan for the parts of Eden that will be in the National Park.

Are there other policies that affect how decisions are made?

In determining applications, the Authority must take into account a number of other existing local plans, such as neighbourhood plans and waste and mineral plans.

What happens to permitted development rights?

Some types of development do not require planning permission. These ‘permitted development’ rights allow changes to be made to homes, offices and shops without always needing to submit a full application.

National planning policy removes permitted development rights for some types of development in National Parks. So, for example, the following will require full planning permission after 1 August:

  • household extensions (up to 8 metres long), cladding the exterior of a house, or putting up a side extension, a two storey rear extension or extensions to the roof
  • large garden buildings that are more than 20 metres from the house or are to the side of the house
  • converting farm buildings, warehouses or retail premises into dwellings
  • significant extensions to farm buildings (NBthis will only be a change for the two Lancashire parishes now in the new area - planning permission is already required in all Eden and South Lakeland parishes)
  • extensions to industrial, retail and office buildings – these are limited by scale, height, and the materials that can be used
  • wind turbines
  • large arrays of solar panels on non-domestic buildings where the panels would face a road.

A full list of all the permitted development rights that are affected by the extension of the National Park is available online.

What if I’ve had an application approved under the permitted development rights that will no longer apply on 1 August, but I haven’t yet completed the work?

Legally, the rights disappear on 1 August.  If the work has not been completed, the approval may be at risk. However, all the planning authorities want to see a sensible approach taken to dealing with such cases so that people are not unfairly penalised, and have discussed with Government how this can be achieved.   

The Government has signalled its intention to make legal provisions that will allow a reasonable period of time for work approved under certain permitted development rights to be completed. We expect to get further details before the summer.

Please contact the National Park Authority’s planning service for advice on whether your already approved application is likely to be affected by the change.

Will planning applications be more expensive in the National Park?

No. Planning application fees are set nationally and are the same for every planning authority.

The National Park Authority does charge for providing pre-application advice on some types of development, but these charges are in line with what the current planning authorities are charging.

Will it take longer to get an application determined?

No. All local planning authorities are expected to meet government targets for timeliness in dealing with planning applications, determining at least 80% of routine applications within eight weeks (or a longer timescale agreed with the applicant). The National Park Authority has met that target in each of the last five years and is committed to continuing to do so.

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