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Country News - 2005

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Landmark housing decision in national park

Thursday 11 August 2005

EIGHT news homes are to be built in one of the Yorkshire Dales' most famous villages after a bitter row which has split the local community.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park yesterday announced the go-ahead for eight two storey homes in Garr End Land, Grassington, on the banks of the River Wharfe and one of the most photographed villages in the area. It annual Dickensian market attracts tens of thousands of visitor every Christmas.

The project has caused a bitter split in the village between those who supported the project. Some of the objectors complained in environmental grounds but others were recent arrivals in the village who feared that such homes might damage property values.

The decision marks a long-term landmark for the national park, which is pioneering a policy that will virtually stop further house building for non-local residents in future.

The scheme is being watched with interest by many other local authorities in beautiful areas of the UK, where houses have been driven beyond the reach of locals by the demand for holiday homes by wealthy outsiders.

Almost 500 people opposed the plan but the park has won plaudits from many long-term locals, whose children face having to leave the village after generations because the cannot afford anywhere to live.

It comes at the end of a difficult week for park planners, who on Tuesday were given a rap on the knuckles by the Government's financial watchdog (see News).


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