Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority ponders next move over second homes issue

Askrigg and the church today. Pictures from Christine Hallas.


Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have discussed their next move following the rejection of a proposed council tax increase on second homes.

The park authority discussed Richmondshire District Council’s decision not to support further work that could lead to the tax increase at a meeting on Tuesday.


Mr Butterworth said the authority should wait for a while and when they did look at the issue again it might involve some more research and data analysis.

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He said that only one of the four authorities with areas within the Yorkshire Dales National Park had voted against the proposal, but the RDC had the largest number of second homes.

Mr Butterworth reminded members that the authority still had a policy which involves controlling the creation of second homes through either the planning system, taxation or other means.

He was responding to a question during the full authority meeting by North Yorkshire County councillor Richard Welch who spoke of the members’ disappointment that Richmondshire District Council (RDC) had rejected the authority’s call to increase the council tax on second homes.

Cllr Welch asked: “Bearing in mind that one of our initiatives is to increase [the number of] people living and working in the Dales – what do we do now?”

He added that he did not want the authority to give up on finding a solution.

“We failed,” commented the leader of the RDC and YDNPA member, Cllr Yvonne Peacock.

She added, however, that during the two months that the issue was being debated the government and many others in England had been made aware that the large number of second homes was a causing a huge problem for rural communities.

Lancashire County councillor Cosima Towneley agreed with Mr Butterworth that it was just as important to improve the infrastructure within the National Park.

Whilst she mentioned the roads he listed the need for more affordable homes, the development of economic sites, the extension of broadband and the branding of the area as ways in which to make the National Park a more attractive place to live and work.

ARC News Service