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Country News - 2005

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Planning rap for national park

Wednesday 10 August 2005

THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is to change the way its planning committee works after receiving a rap on the knuckles from the Government's financial watchdog.

The Audit Commission examined the authority's planning processes and said there was "grave concern" over the number of applications being approved outside the boundaries of towns and villages in the park.

It also pointed out the planning process could be "more efficient and cost effective" and recommended a list of changes which include:

  • Being more explicit about the evidence on which decisions are based
  • Visiting controversial developments once they have been built
  • Establishing more formal links between the committee and other organisations like district councils included to agree what housing and economic needs should be taken into account when policy is formulated.

Planning committee members yesterday (Tuesday August 9) agreed to take on board most of the recommendations.

Head of Planning Peter Watson said: "The Audit Commission report as highlighted some areas where there is room for improvement in the planning process and we are grateful for the recommendations, which can only help to improve the Authority's decision-making processes."


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