Right to buy ‘biggest threat’ to Yorkshire Dales National Park

A body responsible for managing a national park has been urged to resist proposals to relax rules surrounding buying council or housing association homes.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority heard Upper Dales councillor John Blackie issue a warning over “the greatest threat to housing in our national park”.

Leading rural organisations have previously expressed alarm about the damage extending the Right to Buy in rural areas would do to communities.

Cllr Blackie told members: “Unfortunately, if that becomes more than the voluntary code it is, and I think it might, we will see all of the housing association properties – and in Richmondshire there’s 140 – eventually bought by the sit-in tenants or by the relatives of the sit-in tenants.

“And the idea that they will be replaced one for one by newer houses to rent is simply moonshine.

“Right to buy threatens the communities we have here in the national park and in particular the balance of age ranges.”