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Controversial Long Preston homes plan approved by park authority
9:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
Approval has been given to the construction of 13 new homes in Long Preston – despite objections from the parish council and residents.
Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s planning committee gave the go-ahead after hearing the land on Greengate Lane was included in the authority’s Housing Development Plan.
Six of the homes will be affordable for rent or shared ownership in perpetuity, while the other seven will be sold on the open market as local occupancy homes.
Long Preston parish councillor Hilary Baker told the committee that this would be the largest development in the village in 24 years.
The parish council had argued that the development would dominate and further urbanise the village and would significantly increase the amount of traffic.
North Yorkshire Highways had also objected, saying the roads leading to the development were unsuitable for the amount of traffic likely to be generated.
“We must listen to Highways,” said committee member Nick Thwaite, who is also chairman of Long Preston Parish Council. “I will not sleep easy if we approve this and there is an accident there.”
It was pointed out that the highways department had also objected to the site – a paddock and former yard – being included in the Housing Development Plan, but the two parcels of land had been accepted by appeal inspector William Weston.
He said that he and other members of the authority’s housing working group had spent five years very carefully assessing sites to be included in the Housing Development Plan.
“There is clear evidence of the need for housing in the park and whatever we do cannot be sufficient,” he added.
The developer has agreed to sign a legal agreement which would see the affordable houses first offered to those living in Long Preston, then to those in adjoining parishes within the national park and finally to the rest of the national park.
Some members pointed out that one of the major problems in developing the sites accepted in the Housing Development Plan was finding developers willing to finance “local housing” projects. The Long Preston scheme was the first large project.
“We can’t throw out the first of these sites – what kind of signal does that send to developers?” asked Mr Weston.
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