Housebuilders must build affordable homes if they want to develop sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a Planning Inspector has made clear.
Carr and Stocks Developments Ltd appealed against a decision by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to refuse planning permission for eight new homes on land at Stackhouse Lane in Giggleswick.
The Authority had allocated the greenfield site for housing development on condition that up to half of homes built would be affordable, in accordance with Yorkshire Dales Local Plan policy C1. Carrs and Stocks Developments Ltd, however, wanted all eight homes to be for the open market, the largest valued at £720,000.
The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal, reinforcing the Authority’s position that housing development should go ahead in the National Park only if it helps to meet local housing need. The inspector said that a development of exclusively open market housing would “burden” the Authority with a requirement to identify even more land for affordable homes elsewhere.
The Authority’s Member Champion for Development Management, Jim Munday, said: “The decision to dismiss this appeal is really helpful. It means that housing developers will not be able to build only open market homes, which are out of reach for most people working locally.
“We understand that for new houses to be built developments need to be viable, and some open market housing may be necessary. Yet we simply cannot approve a housing development that isn’t delivering any affordable units at all, when our policy is for half of new homes to be affordable.
“National policy recognises that it is difficult to find suitable sites for new housing in National Parks, and makes clear that the priority for such sites should be housing that meets local needs. The inspector’s decision gives us confidence that the new sites we are currently considering allocating for housing development in a new Local Plan are not going to be frittered away by our being forced to accept homes that will not meet local need.
“The underlying problem is often that owners of allocated housing sites in the National Park are tempted to ask for too much money from developers, meaning that the site never gets developed. Or, developers pay too much money having based their sums on being able to build only open market housing. My plea to housing developers and landowners is to take our affordable housing policy seriously when pricing up development land and housing schemes.”
In early 2023, the Authority is expecting to publish maps showing new proposed allocated housing sites as part of a new Local Plan. The objective is to allocate enough land for 850 new homes in the National Park to be built over the new Local Plan period from 2023 to 2040.
The Appeal Decision was issued on 15 November 2022, reference APP/C9499/W/22/3295101.