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National Park Authority’s pioneering policy honoured at planning Oscars

This is an archived press release

Friday 3 February 2006

3 February 2006

National Park Authority’s pioneering policy honoured at planning ‘Oscars’

The Peak District National Park Authority’s pioneering policy on affordable housing has been commended at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s national awards.

The Peak District’s was one of just three commendations awarded nationally at yerterday’s prestigious ceremony, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The commendation recognises the Authority’s lead-role since 1990 in imposing conditions on planning permission which limit most new build homes in the National Park to lower cost housing for local people.

Other National Park Authorities have followed suit as the demand for housing in rural areas has pushed market-values beyond the reach of many local people. In the 15 years since the Authority first launched its policy, more than 400 lower-cost homes have been permitted throughout the Peak District National Park – some for rent, some shared-ownership and some to buy.

The judging panel commented that: “The Authority’s ground breaking work on policies to provide good rural housing for local people in perpetuity has enabled many other authorities to follow suit.”

The commendation follows a visit to the National Park earlier this week by Government minister Jim Knight, during which he visited a new affordable housing project at New Street, Bakewell. Mr Knight praised the ‘commitment and willingness’ of the National Park Authority, housing assocations and local authorities to work together to address affordable housing issues.

National Park Authority lead member for housing, Chris Furness, said: “The Royal Town Planning Institute commendation is recognition that our planning policies have not only helped local people, they have also been adopted by other local authorities, enabling many people throughout the UK to continue living in the areas in which they were born and brought up.

“The local occupancy restrictions we put in place result in prices about a third lower than the open market, and as the same restrictions apply whenever the home changes hands, they ensure lower prices are passed on each time.

”This policy has had strong support from local parishes, as it helps keep young families and older people in communities. Affordable housing is a huge challenge not just for the Peak District but for the entire country - so we hope that our award will help raise the profile of this important issue.”

Peak District National Park Authority planning officers work closely with developers, housing associations, local authorities and parishes to make sure the homes blend in with existing settlements and meet a housing shortage. Advice for developers and a local occupancy legal agreement for anyone to download and use, is available at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

This is an archived press release

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