Softer rules bring flurry of Dales barn conversions

Three more roadside barns can be converted in the Yorkshire Dales following the latest deliberations by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Planning Committee.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Three more roadside barns can be converted in the Yorkshire Dales following the latest deliberations by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Planning Committee. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
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Relaxed rules on converting roadside barns into housing for local people have now seen the go-ahead given to 12 projects in the Yorkshire Dales National Park this year.

Three more old barns in the National Park were passed for conversion in the latest tranche of planning applications considered by the national park authority’s planning committee, decision which have been hailed by authority member Robert Heseltine.

One of the area’s big challenges is providing affordable homes to ensure local families are not displaced from the Dales’s countryside communities.

Mr Heseltine, the national park authority’s champion for development management, said: “One of the Authority’s objectives is to promote local affordable housing and to help communities face the future more securely - and the conversion of barns plays an important part in this.

“The Authority’s new, updated Local Plan contains more flexible guidelines to make it easier to convert roadside barns into housing for local people or into holiday lets and this additional flexibility means we can look after more of them and bring them back into use.

“These latest decisions mean that, so far this year, the National Park Authority has given approval for a total of 15 barns conversions of which 12 have been for local occupancy homes.”

The latest barn conversions approved by the authority include a barn in Red Gate Lane, Askrigg which will be transformed into a three-bedroom home for local occupancy; a barn in Bands Lane, Gayle to be converted into a three-bedroom, short-stay holiday let; and the conversion of Grade II listed Tithe Barn in Stirton-with-Thorlby into a home for local occupancy or holiday let.

Last month the planning committee approved an application to turn a barn at Cubble Head, Burtersett, into a three-bedroom local occupancy home and a barn into a two-bedroom, short stay holiday cottage at Redmire Farm, Hawkswick.

The Local Plan, which is the national park authority’s 15-year strategy for sustainable development, has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and an inspector has been appointed to examine whether the Plan is fit for purpose.