A POLICY introduced by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) to restrict occupancy of new housing to people with a local need has been upheld by a planning inspector.

Developers appealed against a decision by the authority to apply the policy to five new houses built on land at Pant Lane in Austwick.

Planning permission was granted for the houses on the basis that they could only be occupied for their entire lifespan by local people rather than being bought as a second home or holiday accommodation.

The developers, Isle of Man-based Kerrowmere Ltd, claimed the policy contravened UK and EU law and the Human Rights Act and should be removed.

In addition, they claimed the houses would be impossible to sell if the ownership was restricted to local people. But their appeal was dismissed by planning inspector Brian Rogers.

Richard Graham, the YDNPA’s Head of Development Management, said: “The planning inspector’s decision is very good news. It supports the objective of the National Park Authority and our local partners to provide a stock of housing that can only be occupied by local people wanting to live in the area where they work or were born and brought up.

“The need for affordable housing in the National Park has never been greater and it is vital that our policy of restricting occupancy of new homes remains intact.”

Chris Armitage, the authority’s member Champion for Development Management, said: “Over the last 12 months the authority has approved 95 per cent of applications. We work very hard to ensure that we only refuse permission where there are strong grounds to do so.”