Expert reveals why opportunity knocks for North Yorkshire landlowners

North Yorkshire Council will issue a “call for sites” next month which is the opportunity for landowners to submit sites for consideration for development under the new North Yorkshire Local Plan.

“Local Plan” is perhaps a rather underwhelming title for something that will be so influential on development in North Yorkshire in the coming years. A Local Plan is a mechanism by which planning authorities set the vision and framework for future development to ensure needs and opportunities in relation to housing, environment, economy, community facilities, and infrastructure are met.

Local Plans are second only to national planning policy in their influence over what is built, where, and how in England.

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North Yorkshire Council has committed to developing the new North Yorkshire Local Plan by 2028. Covering all parts of North Yorkshire apart from York, the North York Moors National Park, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which have their own development plans.

Sally OrmistonSally Ormiston
Sally Ormiston

The new plan will set out where development will take place across the county over the next 15 to 20 years and the policies that planning applications will be considered against to shape the development of North Yorkshire.

Whilst the creation of a new Local Plan might sound like a bureaucratic process far removed from those who live and work here, in fact, it is designed to encourage engagement in the process of deciding what should be built and where, by communities and those who own land that may be suitable for development.

As North Yorkshire faces the challenges of housing, an ageing demographic, nature recovery, tackling climate change, reviving local communities, and ensuring a prosperous rural economy, the creation of a new Local Plan presents huge opportunities for rural landowners and developers to help shape the county's future.

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The "call for sites”, will open next month, and is expected to run for around six weeks. The aim is for the council to assess the availability and suitability of development land with a view to earmarking certain sites for future development.

Sites for residential, commercial, infrastructure, and environmental enhancement projects can be put forward. National policy requirements such as biodiversity net gain, nature recovery, energy efficient builds, and 'beautiful' design will be considered as part of each submission.

Those sites deemed suitable for development in principle will be "allocated”. This does not guarantee planning permission will be granted as all sites must prove they are viable for development, but allocation does give sites a better chance of securing planning consent in the future.

As well as smaller sites, more ambitious proposals may be put forward. North Yorkshire Council has indicated that it would consider material extensions to existing settlements and the creation of new settlements, as part of its development strategy such as the proposed Maltkiln settlement between York and Harrogate.

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The council expects a high number of sites to be submitted so it is vital that landowners engage with the plan process now. It would be a shame to miss out.

Sally Ormiston, Head of Consulting at Rural Solutions,