A TOTAL of 70 sites have been identified as 'preferred' for possible housing or employment use in 16 towns, villages and settlements in Craven.

Of all of the sites, 57 are being looked at in terms of just housing, six for employment opportunities, six for a mixture of both, and one site - in Gargrave - where it is thought there could be "enhanced" employment use.

Skipton, as the main market town, has the highest requirement of new houses - at 83, followed by Settle at 16, and Bentham at 15.

In Skipton, sites for housing most favoured by the public are brownfield (previously used) sites, including Whitakers Factory site, Keighley Road, and business premises and land off Firth Street.

Hellifield, although quite a large settlement, has a requirement of just two houses per year, because it had experienced the largest proportional growth in the last 20 years.

In Cononley, Cononley Mill is being considered for a mixed-use development. Its development would include existing access avoiding the level crossing.

In Settle, councillors were keen to see employment sites identified as a means of attracting people to live and work and to avoid the town becoming overly populated with retired people, or commuters.

Coun Richard Welch (Cons, Settle) said the area could not just rely on tourism and that the wages were not high enough.

"We need to make the area more sustainable, otherwise, who are we building these houses for? If we are going to hav e more houses, we need jobs to support them," he said.

However, councillors were told despite putting forward the names of landowners thought to have an interest in their land being used, and despite them being approached by letter, none had responded.

Preferred sites for consultation later in the year:

Bentham: 15 houses per year. Seven sites for housing, including two with options, and one for employment.

Ingleton: (five houses). Three housing sites, one employment.

Burton-in-Lonsdale: (three houses). Three housing sites, but only part of sites required.

Settle: (16 houses). Eight housing sites, two mixed housing and employment.

Giggleswick:(two houses). Two housing sites.

Hellifield: (two houses). One housing site, only partially required.

Rathmell: (two houses). Two housing sites.

Skipton: (83 houses). 15 housing sites, one mixed housing and employment, three employment.

Gargrave: (five houses). two mixed, housing and employment, one housing, one enhanced employment use.

Embsay: (three houses). Two housing sites.

Carleton: (three houses). Two housing sites.

Cononley: (three houses). One mixed use development site.

Bradley: (two houses). Two sites for housing, one for partial use only.

Glusburn and Cross Hills: (seven houses). Two housing sites, one partial use only.

Cowling (two houses) Four sites for housing options.

Sutton-in-Craven. (five houses). Two housing sites.

Full details of the preferred sites for consultation are available on Craven District Council's website, by accessing Spatial Planning Sub-Committee, June 3 meeting.