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Housing Development
This advice note is intended as a brief guide to housing development within the National
Park. It provides some basic information about when a development may be acceptable
and the type of considerations that are involved in assessing these proposals.

Planning policy - the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan 2006
The Yorkshire Dales Local Plan contains the policies that form the starting point for
assessing any proposal for housing development within the National Park. These policies
set out the Authority’s strategy for the development of new housing in the National Park
and ensure that we adopt a consistent approach to all proposals. Only very rarely where
special circumstances apply will the Authority depart from the policies contained in the
Local Plan.

Full copies of the Local Plan are available online through the Authority’s website
www.yorkshiredales.org.uk or alternatively through the government’s Planning Portal
website www.planningportal.gov.uk. Hard copies can be ordered through our Bainbridge
office (price £20 including postage and packaging) and copies for consultation purposes
are kept at the receptions of both our Bainbridge and Grassington offices.

Housing may be created in a number of ways, for example through new construction,
conversion of an existing non-residential building, re-occupation of former dwellings, and
replacement or sub-division of an existing house. The Local Plan has policies that cover all
of these types of housing, further details of which are given below.
Housing development in settlements
Most housing development in the National Park will be expected to take place within
existing settlements. The Local Plan identifies three tiers of settlements within which
housing development may be acceptable – Key Service Centres, Service Villages and
Smaller Settlements. A full list of these settlements is below:

   Key Service Centres          Service Villages              Smaller Settlements

   Hawes/Gayle                  Airton                        Appletreewick
   Reeth                        Askrigg                       Arncliffe
   Grassington                  Austwick                      Buckden
   Sedbergh                     Aysgarth                      Burtersett
                                Bainbridge                    Castle Bolton
                                Burnsall                      Conistone
                                Carlton                       Garsdale Street
                                Carperby                      Gawthrop
                                Clapham                       Hardraw
                                Cracoe                        Healaugh
                                Dent                          Horsehouse
                                Embsay                        Keld
                                Giggleswick                   Kirkby Malham
                                Grinton                       Langthwaite
                                Gunnerside                    Linton
                                Hebden                        Low Row
                                Hetton                        Marrick
                                Horton-in-Ribblesdale         Marsett
                                Hudswell                      Marske
                                Ingleton                      Melmerby
                                Kettlewell                    Millthrop
                                Langcliffe                    Muker
                                Long Preston                  Newbiggin, Nr Askrigg
                                Malham                        Selside
                                Newbiggin (Bishopdale)        Stalling Busk
                                Settle                        Thwaite
                                Stainforth                    West Scrafton
                                Starbotton                    Woodhall
                                Thoralby                      Worton
                                Thornton Rust
                                West Burton
                                West Witton
Each of the designated settlements has a housing development boundary drawn around it.
To find out where the housing development boundary has been drawn, please refer to the
inset map for each settlement within the Local Plan.

Within this boundary, housing development is acceptable in principle in the following

      Key Service Centres – Residential development through new build and conversion
       of existing buildings. On sites big enough for two or more dwellings, 50% must be

      Service Villages – Residential development through new build and conversions. All
       units created will be subject to a local occupancy restriction;

      Smaller Settlements – Residential development through the conversion of
       traditional buildings only. All units created will be subject to an local occupancy

Definitions of the terms ‘affordable’ and ‘local occupancy’ are given at the end of this
advice note.
Housing development outside of settlements
While the majority of housing development is expected to take place in existing
settlements, Local Plan policies will sometimes make exceptions to this general rule. The
following are some examples:

Affordable exceptions sites

New housing is normally confined within housing development boundaries as outlined
above. As an exception to this policy, new build or conversions that are outside of, but
adjoin the housing development boundaries of key service centres, service villages and
smaller settlements, may be still be considered for housing. They will however be
restricted to 100% affordable housing regardless of the number of units involved. A
definition of what is meant by affordable housing is given at the end of this advice note.

Replacement dwellings

It may be possible for a house that is currently in residential use (i.e. has not been
abandoned or had its use changed) to be replaced. Permission will only be granted for this
type of proposal where repair of the existing house is not feasible or its replacement would
yield significant environmental improvements. The replacement must be of a similar size
and will usually be in the same position as its predecessor. They must not cause
unacceptable harm to the landscape. Replacement dwellings will not normally be restricted
in terms of affordability or local occupancy.

Re-occupation of former houses

If a former house has been abandoned or had its use changed, permission may be
granted for its re-occupation if it is listed or is otherwise considered to be of significant
architectural or historic merit. It must also be structurally sound without the need for
substantial rebuilding. In these instances there is no requirement for affordability or local
occupancy restrictions.

Subdivision of existing houses

Where there is capacity for an existing house to be subdivided to form two or more
separate units, permission may be granted, provided it can be carried out without harming
the character of the area or the amenity of neighbours. Any additional units created would
be restricted to local occupancy.

Rural workers’ dwellings

Where it can be proven that there is need to create a dwelling for a full-time worker in a
rural-based enterprise, planning permission may be granted. The most common type of
dwellings permitted under this policy are those for agricultural workers where the Authority
is satisfied that there is a need to live in a particular location for the purposes of their
employment. Rural workers’ dwellings will have their occupancy restricted by legal
agreement to persons engaged in specific activities.

Farm diversification dwellings
The Authority may grant planning permission for the conversion of a traditional building to
a residential unit as part of a farm diversification scheme. The dwelling would have to be
tied to a farm business by way of a legal agreement to prevent it being sold separately and
would be restricted to local occupancy. It must also be within an established group of
buildings, some of which are already used for residential purposes. This policy would also
permit conversion of such a building to a holiday let, provided this was also tied to the farm

Other planning considerations
Although a proposal for new housing development may be acceptable in principle under
the Authority’s housing strategy, there are a number of other general matters that will
determine the detailed acceptability of a site for residential development. The following list
is not exhaustive, but highlights some common issues that may occur. Other policies in the
Local Plan cover these considerations in more detail:

   Visual impact & design

    National Park designation recognises the attractiveness of the area’s landscapes,
    settlements and buildings. Some smaller areas of the National Park, together with
    individual buildings, are further protected as either conservation areas or listed
    buildings, in recognition of their special architectural and historic interest. The whole
    National Park is therefore sensitive to change. This does not mean that new
    development cannot be accommodated, but that it needs to be very carefully and
    sympathetically designed.

    All development proposals need to take account of their surroundings and this should
    be the starting point for any design. This does not mean that we expect all new
    development to be hidden from view, or that it should try to replicate exactly what has
    gone before. It means thinking carefully about what impact a new development will
    have upon its surroundings and designing a proposal that can complement and be
    assimilated, rather than one that jars with and detracts from the characteristics of an
    area. This will involve considering what the prevailing orientation, proportions, scale,
    materials and architectural detailing of surrounding buildings are, and designing
    something that responds to this context. Appropriate hard and soft landscaping and
    boundary treatments will also have an important role to play.

    Good building design will also include consideration of how energy efficiency can be
    maximised, how it will be accessed and used by people of different ages and abilities
    and how it will impact on neighbouring properties. It is often best to secure the services
    of a qualified architect, particularly for more complex and larger scale developments. A
    list of architects who are accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects would be
    a good starting point. The Authority has a Design Guide that provides more detailed
    advice on all of these matters.

    While the National Park Authority is responsible for assessing the visual aspects of
    design, the District Councils are responsible for health and safety aspects of design
    through the Building Regulations (e.g. structural stability, fire escapes etc). Separate
    Building Regulations approval for many structures and uses will be required from the
    District Council. This usually takes place after obtaining planning consent.

   Access, Parking & Highway Safety

    All new developments must be capable of being accessed safely, and have adequate
    parking capacity to serve users. While access by motorised vehicles will undoubtedly
    be a factor in the design of many developments, consideration should also be given to
    access by public transport, pedestrians and cyclists. The Authority will usually take
    advice from the relevant County Council Highways section in these respects and so it
    may be advisable to seek their advice before submitting an application;

   Impact on Neighbours

    The Authority must consider the way in which neighbouring properties will be affected
    by a proposal, for example through overshadowing, overbearing impact, loss of
    privacy, odour or noise disturbance. Some of these issues can be overcome through
    design, for example by considering where windows are located, ensuring adequate
    separation between properties. It is always beneficial to talk to your neighbours in
    advance of an application out of courtesy and so that any concerns can be addressed
    at the earliest possible stage;

   Flood Risk and Run-off

    In areas prone to flooding, planning permission may be withheld if it is deemed that
    there is an unacceptable risk to users of the site. Some types of development are
    categorised as more vulnerable to flood risk, while some areas are more prone to
    flooding than others. In some cases, flood risk will be an insurmountable constraint,
    while in others it may be overcome through suitable mitigation, for example raising floor
    levels and electrical fittings. It will also be necessary to consider the impact on
    downstream flood risk, for example if flood water would be displaced by development in
    the floodplain.

    Flooding from rivers and streams is a well established issue, however flooding caused
    by direct run-off from fields and roads, or from drains with limited capacity, is known to
    be a problem in some localities. The advice of the Environment Agency, and local
    knowledge of past flooding issues, will be an important consideration where flooding is
    an issue;

   Contaminated Land

    Areas of previously developed land can often pose a hazard when they are being
    considered for redevelopment. Former petrol stations, industrial and waste disposal
    sites are examples where contaminants may be present. Where this is likely to be an
    issue, you should contact the Environment Agency or the District Council’s
    Environmental Health Department to seek further advice;

   Protected Trees
    Some trees, such as those that are within a Conservation Area or that are the subject
    of a Tree Preservation Order, are protected against felling, lopping, cutting or other
    works that would affect their special interest. The Authority has Trees and Woodlands
    Officers who will be able to advise further where trees may be affected by a
    development, and how measures such as root protection zones could be designed into
    a scheme;

   Drainage

    Adequate provision for foul and surface water drainage must be made to meet the
    needs of all new developments. In some cases this will be through connection to mains
    drains, however in many parts of the National Park it may necessitate non-mains
    drainage solutions.

    In cases where non-mains foul drainage is proposed, such as septic tanks and
    package treatment plants, it will be necessary to provide further details with your
    application so that we can assess whether it will not result in any adverse
    environmental effects.

    Non-mains drainage for surface water can include a variety of measures such as
    infiltration trenches and permeable surfacing. If designed appropriately, these can help
    to reduce the risk of flooding, however care is required to adapt these solutions to
    specific site characteristics, for example soil permeability and local hydrology. The
    Environment Agency can provide further advice about ‘sustainable drainage systems’;

   Nature Conservation

    Many areas of the National Park are protected by national or international nature
    conservation designations, while some species are also legally protected from
    disturbance. The impact of new development upon both protected and non-protected
    species needs to be carefully considered. A key example is where the conversion of
    buildings or works to roofs may affect potential bat roosts. These factors need not
    always prevent development from taking place, since there are often opportunities to
    create or enhance habitats as part of any development. Our Wildlife Team will be able
    to provide you with further guidance.

   Archaeology

    The Yorkshire Dales is incredibly rich in historic landscapes and archaeological
    remains. These may include single monuments, or entire field systems. Traditional
    buildings may also contain important features that contribute to an understanding of its
    past use or function. The Authority maintains a full Historic Environment Record of all
    known features which can be consulted by prospective applicants. Where there is a
    likelihood that archaeologically important features or remains may exist, a survey to
    ascertain their presence/extent will normally be required. Our Historic Environment
    Team can advise further.

   Rights of Way
    The Authority is responsible for all public footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way
    within the National Park. Development should not obstruct or result in the loss of these
    rights of way, nor should there be disruption to users during construction works. It may
    be necessary to secure diversion or a temporary stopping up of rights of way where
    this is unavoidable. Our Definitive Map and Ranger Teams will be able to advise further
    on these issues.

   Planning History

    Some sites may have been the subject of previous planning applications which will give
    clues as to the likely issues that future development may raise. We hold records of all
    historic planning applications and our Planning Technician Team will be able to help
    with enquiries about site histories.

Making a planning application for housing development
This advice note should have provided you with a starting point for your housing proposal.
You should however always seek more detailed pre-application advice from the Area
Planning Team before proceeding.

If you are applying for permission, there are two ways in which you can do this:

    1) Full Planning Application – This route will require you to submit all details of the
       proposal at once, including drawings and any other relevant information needed for
       the Authority to fully assess its acceptability. Please note that all residential
       conversion, subdivision & re-occupation proposals must follow this route;

    2) Outline/Reserved Matters Applications – This route requires the submission of two
       separate applications. Firstly, an outline application is submitted seeking approval
       for some (but not all) aspects of the proposal. This must then be followed by a
       second reserved matters application for approval of the remaining aspects. This
       approach is typically used to gain initial approval of a proposed site for residential
       development through an outline application, in advance of the detailed aspects of
       design, landscaping etc through a reserved matters application. It can only be used
       for new build proposals.

The fee for an application for full planning permission or approval of reserved matters is
£335 per additional dwelling created. The fee for an outline application is £335 for each 0.1
hectare of the site area provided the site area does not exceed 2.5 hectares.

Further details can be found in our advice note ‘The planning application process’.
Affordable Housing – affordable housing is housing that has its cost controlled in some
way so as to bring it within reach of households who are not able to afford property on the
open market. There are two main types of affordable housing:

Social rented affordable housing – housing that is made available at set rental levels in
accordance with government standards.

Intermediate affordable housing – one of the following types:

-     intermediate rent where rental prices that are higher than social rented properties
      but still lower than generally available private rental properties;
-     shared ownership where the property is part owned, and part rented;
-     discount for sale where the initial purchase and subsequent re-sales take place at a
      discounted price, usually in association with a long leasehold arrangement.

The affordability of housing is usually controlled under the auspices of a Registered Social
Landlord, often a housing association, who either rent or part-own the property. It may also
be possible for private individuals or community bodies to manage affordable housing.

Craven, Richmondshire and South Lakeland District Councils are the housing authorities
for their respective areas of the National Park. They can advise on the detailed
requirements for ensuring that housing is secured as affordable and remains so in the

Local Occupancy – this form of housing has its occupancy controlled by legal agreements.
The restriction only applies to occupancy, and does not attempt to directly control the
tenure, or the price of properties, so they cannot be classed as affordable housing. Anyone
can own an occupancy restricted property, but only those meeting the occupancy criteria
can actually reside there. By limiting the market to which these properties are available,
their price tends to be reduced, however the degree of discount will vary. New build local
needs housing will be restricted to a gross internal floorspace of 90 square metres and
development must be carried out at a density of no less than 35 dwellings per hectare.

The following occupancy criteria will normally apply:

      i)     Existing residents of the National Park establishing a separate household
             (e.g. young people moving out of the paternal home for the first time);

      ii)    A head of household who is or whose partner is in or is taking up full-time
             permanent employment in an already established business within the
             National Park (or in another part of a parish split by the National Park

      iii)   Householders currently living permanently in a dwelling which is either
             shared but not self contained, overcrowded, or is otherwise unsatisfactory by
             environmental health standards and which is within the National Park (or in
             another part of a parish split by the National Park boundary).
       iv)    Elderly or disabled persons requiring sheltered or otherwise more suitable
              accommodation who already live permanently within the National Park (or in
              another part of a parish split by the National Park boundary.

       v)     Persons having to leave tied accommodation within the National Park (or in
              another part of a parish split by the National Park boundary).

       vi)    Former residents of the National Park (or of another part of a parish split by
              the National Park boundary) with close relatives in the National Park (or in
              another part of a parish split by the National Park boundary) whose case is
              accepted in writing by the National Park Authority as having an exceptional
              need to return to the National Park.

There may be other priorities for local housing which are occasionally justified by material
considerations. Categories set out in paragraphs i), iii), iv) and v) above will apply only to
persons who have resided permanently in the National Park for the preceding 3 years.
Contact details

Planning Technicians – (for help with submitting and validating planning applications)
Tel. 01969 652345

Area Planning Teams – (for pre-application advice, current application and enforcement

North Team (Richmondshire, South Lakeland)
Tel. 01969 652349
South Team (Craven)
Tel. 01969 652350


Planning Department
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
North Yorkshire

01969 652399


Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority: www.yorkshiredales.org.uk
Planning Portal: www.planningportal.gov.uk
Richmondshire District Council: www.richmondshire.gov.uk
Craven District Council: www.cravendc.gov.uk
South Lakeland District Council: www.southlakeland.gov.uk