PEOPLE are being given the opportunity to have their say about ‘local occupancy’ restrictions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

In addition to the controversial local occupancy rule, which prevents new dwellings being used at second homes, the authority is also consulting on the use of redundant traditional stone barns - also known as ‘laithes’ or ‘cow houses’.

The national park authority, which decides planning applications in the area, started the process of forming a new local plan in December, 2019. Once completed, it will contain planning policies to cover the years 2023 to 2040.

The latest public consultation, ‘exploring our options: local occupancy and barns’ is the fourth and will run until Monday, September 20.

Carl Lis, member champion for sustainable development, said: “Planning policies on local occupancy restrictions and barn conversions have been the subject of hot debate for many years now, as they link to issues around second homes, community sustainability and the conservation of the farmed landscape.

“In fact they have come up so frequently in the first three local plan public consultations, we have decided to carry out a consultation specifically on these important issues.”

He added: “The consultation is an opportunity for locals and all those with an interest in the national park to bring forward their considered opinions. The responses will influence the planning policies that will shape development in the national park for up to the next 20 years. I know people care deeply, as I do, about the future of the national park and the communities that live and work here, so I hope for a good level of response.”

To take part, visit: