PARISH councillors have been told to expect a 'call for housing sites' following the start of a five year process to develop a new local plan for the whole of North Yorkshire.

Residents of Craven are being encouraged to sign up to an online portal that will manage the process and allow North Yorkshire Council to keep people informed about consultations and engagement events.

At a meeting of Gargrave Parish Council, North Yorkshire's Mid Craven member, Simon Myers, said he expected a call to go out for possible housing sites in March or April next year, but that he did not expect a massive amount coming forward in Gargrave.

He added the new plan would not just be about housing sites and presented a great opportunity for the new authority to shape its future development over the next 15 to 20 years - and to address areas in the county where housing was needed.

Cllr Alan Sutcliffe, a former chair of the former Craven District Council said how it had taken 10 years and cost £1.5m to prepare and complete the Craven Local Plan, which was adopted at the end of 2019 and was meant to shape policy and development in Craven, outside the national park, until 2032.

The new local plan for North Yorkshire is supposed to be adopted by 2028, and if not at an 'advanced stage of preparation', councillors were told in the last few weeks of Craven District Council.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “The local plan is the primary document we will use to guide decisions on future development proposals in North Yorkshire, ensure we can maximise the right opportunities for the county and address the diverse needs of our communities.

“The plan has to be developed in consultation with local people, so it’s important that we have an easy and accountable way of engaging directly with as many residents as possible.

"Anyone with an interest in what, where, when and how development could take place in the county during the next two decades is encouraged to register their details on the portal.”

The council is contacting people registered on the former district area local plan databases to let them know about the new portal. Privacy legislation means details cannot be transferred automatically.

This month, the council will begin a consultation on the new Statement of Community Involvement, which will set out how it will consult people on planning, as well as early engagement about the local plan. Everyone that signs up to the portal will be notified of this and other important information.

To register and receive information about the plan go to:

Anyone without online access who would like to sign up can call the council on 0300 131 2 131, stating ‘Local Plan’ when prompted.