Only locals need apply

Added: Hanif Stolle - Date: 16.04.2022 23:53 - Views: 29442 - Clicks: 3650

A long-awaited challenge to the open housing market is about to be launched across a swath of Northern England, after robust backing from a government planning inquiry. Virtually all new housing in the Yorkshire Dales will be limited to needy locals and incomers taking existing jobs.

The radical plan has been drawn up by all-party and independent members of the National Park authority. The attack on the spread of second homes and holiday cottages will also apply to all future conversions of barns and farm buildings in some of the most sought-after villages in Britain. Properties affected are expected to sell for a third less than the market price, with restrictive covenants imposed in perpetuity. Although there has been opposition, the enactment of the proposal has been virtually ensured by William Carlow, the government inspector appointed to review the Dales local plan.

The document ties the policy to new employment measures, and not only does the inspector back the local housing idea - rejected in an earlier form by the government in - he suggests ways of strengthening it. The implications go well beyond the sq miles of the Dales, because the park authority has worked with its counterparts in the Lake District an even hotter property market and the North York Moors. The Lakes has drawn up a similar policy, and the Moors National Park, whose generally smaller settlements face similar problems, is working on a version.

Other areas are also likely to be watching the decision on the Dales proposal, expected at the authority's meeting in January. Mr Carlow even hints at experiments in towns. The problem of local people being priced out of the market is, he says, "common in very many rural areas, and also in some urban situations where the gap between income and house prices is sometimes greater than in the Dales". The Yorkshire experiment has won all-party support locally, and strong backing from parish councils.

A string of village polls has shown overwhelming need for housing for young families. The gap has since grown. Data in the local plan shows a steady leaching of young families from the area, affecting schools, health provision and other services. Peter Watson, the head of planning at the park authority, said: "There is no logic in meeting open-market demand in the National Park because we can't build enough houses to bring prices down to levels affordable for local people without destroying the landscape.

The obvious approach is to build homes only for people who work here. The authority is confident that it has the slack to interfere with the open market because of the gross under-occupation of local housing. The census showed 10, homes for a population of 19,, including children.

Mr Watson said the parks authority and councils were confident entrepreneurs would not be kept out by the new rules. Outsiders, who often drive development and community activity, could still choose from the existing housing stock and properties already in the planning pipeline. The plan does allow very limited new development for the open market in the four main Dales centres of Grassington, Reeth, Sedbergh and Hawes. Builders there will be allowed one open market home for every new one they build for 'local need' - a definition which in the last resort will be judged by an independent arbiter.

New Dales homes: only locals need apply. Martin Wainwright. Topics Politics. Reuse this content.

Only locals need apply

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The £1m house worth just £, (only locals need apply)