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Aynham Close, Grassington

Planning policy

Planning policy is the strategy, guidance, land allocations and criteria we use to determine proposals for the development and change of use of land and buildings within the National Park.

The purpose of planning policy is to ensure that development needs are provided for, but only if they happen in the right place, at the right time and in the right way. The policies cover all types of development, from housing to business and minerals to visitor facilities. Planning applications must be determined in accordance with our adopted policies, except where it is judged that there are other planning considerations that are more important to the public interest.

Which policies apply?

We have to take into consideration many different levels of policy from national planning policies to Neighbourhood Plans. Current planning policy and guidance is spread across various documents:

National Planning Policy and guidance

The Government has published a set of overarching national planning policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that apply to the whole of the National Park. These are accompanied by National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) providing more of the detail behind the application and interpretation of the NPPF. NPPF and NPPG apply to the whole National Park but are generic, so it is up to local planning policy to provide the detail that is used in day to day decision making.

Local Planning Policy and guidance

Local planning policy varies according to where you are in the National Park. Follow the links below for more details:

Having different sets of policies is a legacy of the National Park boundary extension in August 2016. This saw the National Park Authority ‘inherit’ policies previously prepared by the relevant local authority. Since the policies were all prepared at different times in different contexts, there are a number of differences in approach. The Authority has resolved to bring together all planning policy for the whole National Park by preparing a new Local Plan. Work is progressing and further updates will be provided here. The timetable for preparing the new Plan can be found in the Local Development Scheme 2023-2026.

Public participation and consultation are a statutory part of the production of a Local Plan. Ultimately, the Plan is scrutinised and tested through an examination in public, by an independent Planning Inspector. The Authority’s Statement of Community Involvement – February 2023 – sets out how we will consult people in preparing new policy and in dealing with planning applications.

Sub Regional Spatial Framework

The Local Authorities across York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull (YNYERH) have recognised the need to develop a broad framework that sets out an agreed view as to how sustainable growth could be facilitated across the sub region over the medium to longer term, i.e. towards 2050 and beyond the current suite of Local Plans.

The Spatial Framework is a non-statutory document that outlines the vision and priorities for growth and the overall spatial strategy for the area.


Connected, distinctive and thriving towns and cities will help drive growth and support a successful, sustainable future for current and future generations. Whether living in a city, market town or in the countryside we want to support and deliver a better quality of life for people in the YNYERH area – through our approach to growth and infrastructure planning.

Three sectoral priorities have been identified: Digital, Environment and Transport.

The Spatial Framework will bring a number of benefits. It will:

  • Support better infrastructure delivery with the achievement of greater levels of sustainable economic growth
  • Provide a stronger case for investment, helping to make the spatial case for external funding for infrastructure investment where this is required to support growth.
  • Demonstrate more proactive collaboration across all the partner Local Authorities enabling them to work more effectively and efficiently in preparing and delivering their Local Plans and providing the market with more confidence to invest and grow.

The Spatial Framework provides an overall direction and coherence for the future of the YNYERH area whilst retaining the space and discretion for Local Plans to make their own allocations for development that take in to account local sustainability, viability, political and community factors.

Contact us:

Telephone: 01969 652300


Sustainable Development Team
Yorkshire Dales National Park
North Yorkshire