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Scale of housebuilding planned will put 'pressure on local services' in Skipton

Monday, 20 May 2024 17:52

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

The Alders housing development of 98 homes in Skipton (Photo: Google)

North Yorkshire Council expects 743 homes more homes to be built across Craven, including 172 in Skipton, than what was originally expected in the local plan.

Figures published in the latest Craven settlement growth table show the council is on track to go above housing targets in almost every corner of the district.

One councillor said the scale of housebuilding in towns like Skipton and Settle is putting pressure on local services like GP practices.

But the council said housing targets were always intended to be a minimum requirement for developers.

The now-defunct Craven District Council adopted the local plan and the document maps out sites across the area where housebuilding can take place between 2012 and 2032.

Once a site is allocated, a developer still needs to obtain planning permission however the process is much more straightforward.

Across Craven, the plan said 4,320 homes could be built over the local plan period. So far, 2,188 have been built with another 2,875 expected — an uplift of 743 homes.

In Skipton, there is set to be 172 more homes built than originally envisaged and in High and Low Bentham the figure is 162.

The only two areas where there are set to be fewer homes than planned are Clapham (by 7 homes) and Carleton (by 5 homes).

Cllr Andy Brown (Green Party, Aire Valley) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that many new homes are failing to meet the needs of local people.

He said: “It would be great if they were meeting local need and were affordable for first-time buyers. Unfortunately, the bulk are large executive homes on green field sites without anything meaningful being done to improve critical services like sewage or extra GP facilities.”

North Yorkshire is one of the most unaffordable places to buy a home in the country and Cllr Brown said the council needs to do more to make housing more affordable.

He added: “We could build over the whole of Craven and not make an impact on what can be afforded on a local salary unless policies change to emphasise building for need a lot more powerfully.”

A North Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “It is worth noting that the housing target set out in the Craven Local Plan is a minimum target. The settlement growth monitoring report includes the potential from housing which could be built on sites that are allocated in the Craven Local Plan but do not yet have planning permission. The potential supply from these sites was 1,779 dwellings at 1st January 2024.”

The Craven local plan will be replaced by a county-wide version in the second half of this decade.

Last month, North Yorkshire Council began a ‘call for sites’ that invites landowners to submit fields or sites that could be turned over to housing.

At a meeting in Northallerton last week, councillors unanimously approved the Conservative-led authority’s housing strategy which will last until 2029.

It includes an ambition to build 500 new council homes over the next five years across North Yorkshire.

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