The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has sent a letter to North Yorkshire County Council on the subject of a Council Tax premium on empty and second homes.
In advance of a meeting of the County Council on Wednesday (16th November), Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Neil Heseltine, has written to Council Leader Carl Les expressing support for the proposed premium (full text of the letter is copied below).
Mr Heseltine said he hoped funds raised from the premium would be used to provide new affordable housing and local services within the National Park.
He also sent a copy of the Authority’s ‘Housing Statement’, agreed in September.
The National Park Authority has a long standing position on second homes and Council Tax. In 2017 it worked with county and district councils to put together a proposition to enter into talks with Government on the options available for increasing Council Tax on second homes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Letter of support
15 November 2022
I am writing to express the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s strong support for the Council’s proposal to introduce a 100% council tax premium on properties that are used as second homes.
As you’ll be aware, the high number of second homes in the National Park has become a significant issue for many of our communities. In addition to the impact on the viability of local services like schools, the North Yorkshire Rural Commission drew attention to the particular strain that second homes are putting on the already limited housing stock.
At the Authority meeting in September, we adopted a new Housing Statement, summarising our ambitions for housing in the National Park (copy attached). This includes plans to give effect to the recommendations of the Rural Commission, encouraging a wider range of new and more affordable dwellings to meet local needs, whilst also highlighting the importance of action to make better use of the estimated 3,500 existing properties that are currently ‘under-occupied’.
The Council Tax premium on second homes is an important – and symbolic – first step. We would welcome the opportunity now to discuss with you how we might work together to support a wider programme of measures to get more of our under-used properties back into permanent occupation, and provide much needed housing for our local communities. In particular, given the impact of second homes here, we would hope that a significant proportion of the money raised through the Council Tax premium would be ring-fenced to enable the new North Yorkshire Council to support the provision of new affordable housing and local services within the National Park.
I look forward to discussing how we can best support the Council’s endeavours on these issues in the near future.
CHAIR, YORKSHIRE DALES NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY