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Country News - 2004

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Plenty of Dales houses - but too expensive

Monday 16 February 2004

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park has issued surprise figures showing that there is no shortage of housing in the area - but admits they are so expensive that few locals can afford them.

A dearth of affordable homes for local people has long been a topic of bitter controversy in the Dales and some residents in the past have blamed the park authority for exacerbating the situation by refusing to give planning consent for new building projects.

Not so, say park planners, and they have issued a set of figures to support their case because the park "has greatly exceeded targets for completing new homes thanks to its speedy processing of planning applications."

Head planner Peter Watson says that the last fixed target for 500 new homes has already been exceeded by 124 and another 260 are under construction. In the past decade, planning permission has been given for 1,100 dwellings.

However, he admits that "sky-high" prices are making it difficult for many locals to get onto the housing ladder - an issue which the park authority is now hoping to tackle with a number of possible solutions under investigation.


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