People in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have responded in good numbers to an invitation to help shape a new set of planning policies for the area.
A total of 249 people, as well as 26 organisations, submitted comments to ‘Consultation No. 1 – Setting the Agenda’, which ran for 10 weeks to the 14th of February this year.
The response rate compares favourably with the last time the Local Plan was renewed, in 2013, when 17 people and 35 organisations responded to the first consultation.
The responses received included comments on a wide range of issues, including affordable housing provision, renewable energy and biodiversity gain.
The comments will set the agenda for the new Local Plan, and help the National Park Authority put together ‘Consultation No.2 – Exploring our options’. This second consultation, to be launched later this spring, will ask people to consider a number of development scenarios and ideas.
YDNPA Member Champion for Sustainable Development Chris Clark said: “I’d like to thank all the individuals and organisations that have responded to the first consultation, and I would also like to thank the local media for helping put the word out.
“It is interesting to read through the responses. New affordable housing is clearly a priority for many people, with one parish council suggesting that consideration should be given to creating an entirely new village. Barn conversions remain a hot topic, with some saying the policy should be loosened further, while other people say there should be no further conversions at all.
“There is a wide variety of views on tourism, too, with some people calling for a halt in the growth of the industry, while others have requested specific policies for tourism-led development, with one person suggesting a new major tourist attraction on the scale of Eden Project is needed to create new jobs.
“The Authority will carefully weigh up the responses, including with a debate at its next full meeting at the end of this month. The process to create a new Local Plan is a long one, but we’ve made a great start. I hope local people will continue to engage in the process. The National Park Authority, as the local planning authority, is looking to empower local people to shape the development of the area in which they live and work.”
Note: ‘Consultation No. 1 – Setting the Agenda’ on a new Local Plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park was published by the YDNPA in the winter edition of Dales, distributed to every household in the National Park. It was also made available at the YDNPA offices in Bainbridge and Grassington and at Sedbergh Library. An online version was published via Survey Monkey. An invitation to take part in the consultation was emailed to all parish councils and parish meetings as well as the Authority’s ‘Duty to Cooperate’ partners and to an existing mailing list of stakeholders. The consultation was promoted in local newspapers with comment pieces or letters to the editor and via social media channels.