New housing in North Yorkshire can be welcomed rather than feared with right approach: The Yorkshire Post says

Housing supply problems in North Yorkshire have been a well-documented issue for many years – with the lack of properties affordable to low and even middle-income families resulting in a situation where many village populations are heavily weighted towards the older generation and having a knock-on effect of the viability of local services like schools.

The Yorkshire Dales is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, meaning new housing needs to be done in a sensitive way. Picture: Škeneaster/Adobe Stock
The Yorkshire Dales is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, meaning new housing needs to be done in a sensitive way. Picture: Škeneaster/Adobe Stock

One of the challenges is that the county is blessed with many areas of outstanding natural beauty that people understandably wish to protect and do not want to see overrun by inappropriate development. It has led to a situation where new affordable housing is typically being built on the edges of market towns rather than in rural communities.

The North Yorkshire Rural Commission has come up with a potential solution to these interconnected issues – the idea of committing every parish to building five new homes on a 10-year basis.

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The proposal comes with the vital provisos that development should be done in a sustainable and sympathetic way and in genuine consultation with the local communities that are affected.

Commissioner Sir William Worsley has direct experience of how this can work in practice through the evolving nature of the Hovingham estate which has been in his family’s ownership for centuries.

The building of affordable housing in Hovingham in recent decades has added new blood to the community and helped keep amenities like its school, shop, doctor’s surgery and hairdressers.

Done correctly, new development is something to be welcomed rather than feared.

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