By Betsy Everett
Dales parish councillors have accused the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority of being an “unelected quango” which ignores their views, and has demanded it comes forward to explain its planning decisions.
“It seems to me they ask for our views and then do the exact opposite of what we want. They do just whatever they like,” Councillor Darren Percival said of the decision by planners to allow the development of five new shared ownership houses behind the Rose and Crown pub.
He was responding to North York county councillor Yvonne Peacock who told the meeting of the parish council that the planners were “not listening” to their views.
“It’s extremely disappointing. I honestly don’t know why they bother to consult us and then ignore our views. They are totally undemocratic. If Richmondshire District Council planning authority behaved like this their representatives would be voted out at the next election. That’s the difference,” said Cllr Peacock.
The authority had approved a new application from Hornblower Developments Ltd to build the homes under a shared ownership scheme, following legal challenges to earlier plans.
Councillor James Peacock, chairman, said he had spoken to a member of the planning committee and told him parish councillors were “not happy” about the shared ownership proposal.
Yvonne Peacock said the cost of the proposed houses was £80-90,000 more than under the previous scheme “and yet that’s supposed to be affordable to local people. We were never happy about the scheme yet our hands are tied. The planners rule,” she said.
Members agreed to write to the national park authority and ask them to send someone to their next meeting “to explain themselves.”