Park authority to restrict sale of new houses to local residents

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The Independent Online

The sale of new homes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is to be restricted to local residents, the park authority has agreed.The move is designed to prevent wealthy outsiders buying second properties and pricing residents out of the market. The average price of a home in the area is £240,000.

The sale of new homes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is to be restricted to local residents, the park authority has agreed.The move is designed to prevent wealthy outsiders buying second properties and pricing residents out of the market. The average price of a home in the area is £240,000.

The plans have already been backed by William Carlow, a government planning inspector.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority were said to be "delighted" with the proposals, and the plans are to be sent back to a working group which will decide how to implement them.

Speaking after the two-hour meeting in the village of Hawes, Kevin Lancaster, a South Lakeland district councillor, said: "The inspector has said you can have local-only housing and you can have affordable housing and most of the committee are delighted with that." Residents appeared to be equally pleased. Bernard Gibson, 72, said an influx of new investors to the park, where there are 10,000 homes, had resulted in house prices doubling.

"I definitely think it is a good thing," he said. "It is very expensive to buy around here and that is bad news for locals and particularly young people. The trouble is the people with holiday homes only come here now and again and maybe only a couple of times a year. They buy up any property they can make a profit on.

"On some streets now there is no one living there full time and the villages are becoming like ghost towns."

In his report, Mr Carlow agreed that any houses to be built within the national parkin the future should meet demand from local people and be at more affordable prices.

The scheme is to be closely monitored by other national parks and may pave the way for a series of similar proposals across the country.

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