Council to discuss second homes council tax increase proposal

Askrigg in Wensleydale. Photo: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Members of Richmondshire District Council will decide whether to participate in discussions that could see a big increase in council tax on second homes in the Yorkshire Dales.

The council will consider a proposition to work with the other local authorities within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the national park authority itself, by holding discussions with Government on the options available for increasing the tax within the park.

The discussion will take place at the authority’s full council meeting on Tuesday.

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The proposal to increase council tax has been put forward by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority which is looking at ways of halting the rise of second homes in the park and creating more housing for young families to ensure Dales communities remain vibrant and sustainable.

Other proposed measures proposed include increasing levels of new house-building, improving broadband speeds and marketing the national park as a place to live and work.

The proposal to increase council tax has proved controversial with second home owners forming an action group to fight the plans.

Dales Homeowners Action Group [DHOAG] claims all homeowners in the Dales would see their property values slump if the tax increase gets approved.

The group says YDNPA is proposing the increase without fully assessing the detrimental impact on local communities.

A report prepared ahead of Tuesday’s meeting states that given the large numbers of second homes within the Richmondshire part of the national park – currently 647 which is 16 per cent of the housing stock – and the role of the Council as a tax collection authority, it is important that the district council is involved in any ongoing debate and discussions with the other constituent authorities, YDNPA, and the Government.

The report says this would enable the council to explore all possible options for achieving the objectives of encourage some existing second homes back into full-time occupancy, discouraging the purchase of further second homes and ensuring that the remaining second homes make a contribution to the local area as permanent residences.

You can read report here.

The meeting will take place at Mercury House, Richmond, at 6.30pm.