Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Local-occupancy condition on Cowling home is lifted
9:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A local-occupancy restriction placed on a two-bedroom bungalow in Cowling has been lifted after councillors agreed the nature of the village had changed.
The section 106 obligation was originally put on Stoney Croft in Fold Lane 20 years ago as a condition of it being built outside the existing developed area of the village.
The builders and owners of the house agreed to the condition, which meant it always had to be occupied by someone from the area with a housing need.
But when owner David Collier tried to sell up and downsize, due to a serious health condition, he found the property impossible to sell.
Craven District Council’s planning committee heard that officers regularly received queries about local occupancy conditions, but this was the first time they had received an application for one to be lifted.
Tim Wilman, of estate agents Wilman and Wilman, urged councillors to lift the restriction on the property, which he said could not be described as “affordable” as it was valued at £300,000.
He said Cowling, which had at one time had several industries, had changed dramatically and was now a dormitory community.
Coun Ady Green (Con, Cowling) said he was normally against the lifting of restrictions, but in this case thought there was a valid reason.
“In Cowling, we now have one shop, one hairdressers and one business. It is a condition that no longer applies and should be lifted,” he said.
Some committee members were concerned that by agreeing to the restriction being lifted, it would open the floodgates to similar applications, but it was pointed out that each application should be judged on its own merits.
Coun Paul English (Lib Dem, Skipton West) believed the only reason Mr and Mrs Collier wanted to leave the bungalow was because of Mr Collier’s health.
“Twenty years ago, this restriction was fit for purpose, but as for today, I don’t think our whole strategic housing policy will tumble if the restriction goes.”
Councillors were told that its strategic housing officer had been aware that an offer of 75 per cent of the open market value had been made on the property in June last year by a person who met the local occupancy criteria.
However it was turned down by the owners because they felt the offer was not genuine and the potential buyer could not obtain a suitable mortagage.
Comments are closed on this article.