Officers at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority recently spoke out against Government proposals to allow unused agricultural buildings to be converted into homes, estimating 6,000 traditional barns could be lost to housing in the Dales alone. However planning minister Nick Boles later backtracked and said the scheme would not apply to national parks.
Now the authority is consulting on its draft local plan which will shape planning policy and is considering allowing the redevelopment of some roadside barns. There has been a lot of recent discussion about the future of the thousands of traditional barns in the national park,” Peter Stockton, the authority’s head of sustainable development said.
“The authority accepts that conversion of barns to new uses plays an important part in their conservation. The local plan is, therefore, consulting on a policy that would release roadside barns for residential or intensive new business uses,” he added.
It will shape development in the Dales between 2015 and 2025, with the exception of housing, covered by another plan. Park bosses say priorities include creating high-quality jobs, developing tourism, keeping local services, quarrying and re-using barns.
It also aims to ensure that the park ensures it has the jobs and services needed to encourage young people to live and work there.
Mr Stockton said: “The draft local plan proposes an agenda of growth to combat the risk of economic and population decline.
“In particular it aims to support young adults and people of working age to enable them to live in the national park instead of moving away. We aim to do this by allocating more brownfield sites for business development and providing more flexibility to support farm and rural estate diversification.”
Park bosses also want to encourage more visitors to stay overnight and protect green spaces around villages. Public talks are now underway on the draft plan and a draft planning design guide.
Visit www.yorkshiredales.org.uk for more details and email comments to [email protected] before July 28.