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Recently completed new homes in Long Preston

Have your say on ‘permanent residency’ policy

Friday 24 June, 2022, by News Release

People are being invited to have their say on a fresh set of planning policies for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including a policy that would require all new housing to be for ‘permanent residency’ only. 

A consultation paper published today sets out the options preferred by the National Park Authority, which is the local planning authority, for a new Local Plan to cover the period 2023 to 2040.

It is the result of more than two years of evidence gathering and it reflects the responses received during a series of previous public consultations on specific policy issues such as a housing target, sustainable places for growth and barn conversions.

This latest consultation on a new Local Plan is intended to test whether people think policy-makers are on the right track.

For the first time a policy has been produced requiring all new housing to be for permanent residency, as is already the case in the North York Moors, Northumberland and Exmoor National Parks.  At the moment developments of more than five homes have no occupancy restrictions, provided half of the homes are affordable, meaning that homes on larger sites are at risk of bringing little benefit to local communities.

Other policies include a requirement for new development to demonstrate climate change adaptation measures; stringent protection for the core area of the National Park’s Dark Sky Reserve; and a revised housing target for 50 new dwellings per year.

Another stand out policy in the preferred options consultation paper is to require most barn conversions to be for local occupancy housing only.  This would mean barns could only be converted into holiday lets in more limited circumstances such as part of a farm diversification scheme.

The public consultation on the preferred options for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Local Plan 2023-2040 opens today and will run until Friday 19 August.

The new Local Plan will be the first to cover the whole of the Yorkshire Dales National Park as extended in 2016.  For the past six years, planning applications from the areas of Cumbria and Lancashire which became part of the National Park have been judged against different Local Plans.

Member Champion for Sustainable Development at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Carl Lis, said: “I share the concerns of many local people that communities continue to be weakened by the loss of homes to under-occupation, either to the second home or holiday let market.  Many people cannot find an affordable place to buy or rent in the National Park.  So, in our preferred options for the new Local Plan we are trying to do everything in our power to make planning policy that will benefit the community, the local economy and the environment.  The question is, are we on the right track? 

“There’s an incentive to take part.  A good Local Plan will make the National Park a better place to live.  The much-needed housing developments that are coming to fruition now in Long Preston in Craven, in West Witton in Richmondshire and Sedbergh in South Lakeland started life as allocated Local Plan sites

“There are a number of policies in the preferred options consultation paper that show no change, such as on waste management, because they don’t need to change.  But they are presented along with what is new because it’s part of our contract with the public to show what we are doing.  I would urge people with a care for the National Park and the local communities in it to have a look at this latest consultation paper and let us know what they think.”

Picture of News Release

News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


30 Replies to “Have your say on ‘permanent residency’ policy”

  1. A G Keates says:

    I fully support the permanent residency plan.

  2. We have a housing shortage, all new housing should be affordable and for permanent residency only

  3. Sarah procter says:

    All homes in the park should be for permanent residence, local people are forced to move from the area they grew up in because of a lack of housing. Homes bought for holiday use, push the cost of housing up.
    In the winter months the dales villages become ghost towns, as the holiday makers have left and the local businesses then suffer through lack of custom.

  4. Christina Jones says:

    I fully support the permanent residency plan , our communities and local businesses will benefit . It will hopefully help the younger generation to remain and buy local.

  5. Betty Downing says:

    I fully support the policy, villages should be living, working communities.

  6. Michael Edwards says:

    I thoroughly agree with this policy. Although I don’t live there this is happening everywhere and young locals don’t have a chance. Invariably so many properties owned to rent are empty during the winter months.

  7. Carole Anne Walker says:

    I fully support restrictions of occupancy for local people on all newly built properties and would like to see houses which havent been occupied for a period of time, being brought back into housing stock for local people, if the local councils could enforce rather than allow owners properties to stand empty whilst families are awaiting suitable housing.

  8. Ms Denise Mardell says:

    This policy for new builds should be brought in wherever tourism threatens the livelihoods of any area. Whilst tourism is, in some areas, a vital source of income the cost of housing is prohibitive for young people who have to move away to live. Then the area suffers during the ‘low’ season with local income drastically reduced and housing stood empty.

  9. Sally Whiteley says:

    I absolutely support this policy. Maybe the youngsters will be able to buy a home instead of having to rent or move away.

  10. Allan Hartley says:

    Fully support the policy. Local families should be able live in their local communities, not be forced out

  11. Sharon Hartley says:

    I couldn’t live in the village I grew up in and still couldn’t afford to! All new housing should be permanent residence, affordable for local people so they can live in the area not be forced out by holiday homes, lock up and leave homes. Any person moving to the area for work should also be able to purchase if it is their permanent home.

  12. William Pedley says:

    I fully support the permanent residency policy but we need to go further and discourage the holiday let industry by applying full business rates and taxation on these operations.

  13. Amy says:

    This is so long overdue. All homes should be for permanent residency. In my village there are so many holiday homes, while I’m renting, everytime a house does come up for sale, before you can even ask about it, it seems to be sold! I don’t want to have to leave the area I love and would hope to raise a family in, in order to own my own home.

  14. Philip Sugden says:

    THe proposal is well intentioned but naive verging on the stupid. Such attempts to force the market never work

  15. Jason says:

    The Yorkshire dales has no industry. No jobs other than tourism. So let’s stop tourism so no one has a job in the Dales. Then more homes will become retirement homes. More schools will close. More young people will leave the dales.
    Yet another short sited idea to make things better that will make things worse. The Parks needs more commercial business. More industry. If that means more holiday homes better that than a retirement village.

  16. B peacock says:

    At least 95% should be for local occupancy

  17. Rob says:

    Well intentioned and a good idea but the real issue is bringing more businesses offering well paid jobs into the area. Without that, young people cannot earn a decent salary to enable them to remain in the area, no matter what housing policy is adopted.

  18. James W says:

    All new housing should be both affordable and for permanent residency only. The area is being turned into a theme park for the wealthy and local working peopyare being driven out

  19. Bill Q says:

    I fully agree with this policy. Too many key workers are priced out of the Dales by affluent people from outside buying up all available housing, often to rent it out, or only occupy a residence for a week or two each year. (Not in the gift of this policy, but the Councils covering the YDNP should be charging swinging rates on such second homes and holiday lets). But will this Policy, if adopted, be ignored by the Administration? Deja vu: According to Dalesman, June 2005, page 15: “Almost all new houses approved in the Yorkshire Dales from now on will be for local people only after the national park authority became the first in the country to adopt controversial new rules aimed at cutting prices for young families in the area. The new rules mean that when planning permission is given for new house building it will include a perpetual stipulation that the homes must be occupied by people from the local area and cannot be sold on as holiday lets or second homes. Landowners and builders have criticised the proposal but it was approved as part of the official Local Plan after being backed by a government inspector following a public inquiry last summer. This spring the park authority agreed to implement the power as a practical way of trying to stop local families being priced out of villages by richer people moving in from more affluent areas. The authority stresses that the new ruling doe snot affect the ten thousand or so existing homes in the national park, which can continue to be sold on the open market. Supporters of the ‘locals only’ rule say it will eventually help to create a pool of lower-priced homes which will allow young people to stay in the area and that without it the park risked becoming a retirement home or holiday camp with no life of its own. Already, they say, services such as local shops and schools have been lost because so many properties are occupied for only part of the year and young families cannot afford to live in the area.”

  20. Mb says:

    I support the permanent residency property give us chance of buying and staying local.

  21. Mike Grace says:

    Homes for local families and workers are essential, especially for care and farm workers, services personnel, health workers nurses and doctors, etc. The Dales are becoming preserved in polite aspic, as well heeled retirees and second home owners gradually and inevitably gobble up every property available. It is essential young families get a chance to live where they grew up but cannot now afford, either as rented or freehold homes. Plus the ‘planning authorities’ do not , or cannot release old buildings for development by local families. Live & let live.

  22. Simon B says:

    I am able to work remotely (IT) and want to work & live full time in the Dales, where I will contribute to the local economy. Why can’t I employ local builders, restore an old building to live in, contribute to the community? The local occupancy rules don’t permit me, even though I would be earning my living within the Dales.
    I do agree with the permanent residency thinking, absolutely, but I think we need a wider understanding of how work has changed in recent years to attract the vitality so many posts claim is being lost.

  23. Melanie Fryer says:

    I fully support this permanent residency policy.

  24. I fully support the permanent residency policy. There’s patently more benefit to the local economy from permanent residency for people who are committed to living and working in the area; setting up businesses (they don’t have to be tourism based businesses).

    I suggest the policy go further and restrict the majority of new builds to be truly affordable, based on the average salaries of local residents, not on local market rates.

  25. Hector D says:

    In line with the concept of a national park, the area should be conserved as an area for relaxation and enjoyment by the whole nation, i.e. as a living museum. The policy for new housing should match the policy for subsidising the area’s conservation – it seems likely that any growth will require outside investment, and that ownership by people from outside the area should be encouraged.

  26. Alberta says:

    I fully support this policy. Richmondshire council is currently considering a proposal from Yorvik to build more than 100 homes on the outskirts of Leyburn in Wensleydale. The vast majority of these will be unaffordable to local workers and young people who want to stay in the area. The properties (if built ) will end up as second homes or buy to let properties.

  27. R. Whitehead says:

    I have recently been looking at a farm property in the dales for agricultural use and owner occupation, and have already been put off by the planners.
    We certainly won’t be bringing employment to the dales it seems they don’t want to create employment.

  28. John says:

    I appreciate the motives behind the policy but it ignores the basics of the property market. Current residents sell their properties to the highest bidder they could accept less and sell to a local but choose not to. Any restriction on a properties saleability beyond the first sale will mean buyers will not be able to raise a mortgage. Restrictions on later sales will mean no one will be able to move up the property ladder. Social housing for rent is a better option but they need to be quality and not identifiably different from the existing property stock. Any building in the Dales should and is restricted in nature and character and it’s this that can make conversion or return to the housing stock difficult as it makes it unaffordable and beyond the pocket of most people.
    The whole of housing related matters is connected. If the end product is unaffordable then the restriction on new development will simply restrict development. Developers don’t build to sell at a loss.

  29. Tim Ward says:

    The proposed permanent residence policy is directionally correct but does not go far enough.
    Private second home ownership in the national park should be entirely prohibited; you either live in your property in the national park (>10mths/yr) or you don’t.
    In addition, the number of holiday let’s/rental properties in each village:town should be restricted to <20% (with rent levels restricted to a value determined by the authority based on local average earnings, etc.).
    The key here is not only to ring-fence new builds for local and ownership but also to increase the availability of existing housing stock to local people.
    The greater the availability/affordability of existing housing stock the lower the need for new development therefore protecting the environment and progressing targets for carbon neutrality.
    Those that already own private second homes should be heavily taxed. Proposals for an additional 100% council tax do not go far enough. All private second home owners should see an additional tax burden of 0.5-1.0% of their properties value per annum (sliding scale based on property value). These monies then used exclusively for national park environmental schemes). Second home ownership needs to be determined at a level that includes all immediate family members (husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandparents) to prevent exploitable loop holes.

  30. N/A says:

    The policy doesn’t work if the buyer needs a mortgage! Which most first time buyers do. The Policy actually works in reverse, in personal experience I am a young existing resident of YDNP in rented, with a child on way, who has been prevented from buying a local occupancy restriction property because lenders refused to give me a mortgage on the property because it has a local occupancy restriction on it! Catch 22, the well intended policy doesn’t work! Despite having saved a very good deposit, good locally earned income and meeting all the criteria the restriction is actually the reason I can’t buy a home which has local occupancy restriction on it. How many young first time buyers can buy outright with cash in full.

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