The sensitive issue of housing for local people living in the Yorkshire Dales is back on the agenda.

Planning committee members at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority yesterday agreed to lift a twenty-three-year-old restriction on two homes in Hawkswick, near Kettlewell.

A Section 52 restriction, agreed to by the owners in 1990, on Hawksnest and Holme Barn, limited occupation to people with a local housing need.

But the current owners, Mick Hawkins, his wife Ginette and sister-in-law Michelle Pickles, argued that the agreement was unfair because other barns in the village were converted into homes at the same time without the same restriction.

They asked for the agreement to be removed and the majority of committee members agreed.

Speaking after yesterday’s vote, committee chairman Harold Brown said, “This was one of the most difficult applications we have had to deal with for many years. The officers’ recommendation was consistent with the authority’s policy to support and protect housing for local people and that remains a cornerstone of our approach to housing policy.

“However, members had to balance the absolute importance of retaining local housing in the national park against the unique circumstances of this case.”

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