Sustainable planning

There is more to planning than objecting to your neighbour’s application for a conservatory! The planning system is a valuable tool that gives ordinary people a powerful say over what happens to the land where they live. This can mean challenging major proposals that will damage the environment or needlessly increase carbon emissions, or campaigning for local policies to provide more affordable housing.

In Swaledale, within the National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) sets our planning policy and makes planning decisions, while Richmond District Council (RDC) is responsible for areas outside the National Park. 

Everyone has a democratic right to engage in the planning process, and planning authorities encourage active, constructive involvement from individuals and groups. It’s one of the most effective ways to ensure change happens for the right reasons.

What does Sustainable Swaledale do?

We are actively involved in the consultation process for creating the Local Plans for both YDNPA and RDC and are building contacts within the planning system for both these organisations. We also selectively engage with other planning matters that relate to our core values, which could be anything from individual planning applications to changes in government policy.

As of 2020, we are addressing the government’s proposals for the most wide-ranging reform of the planning system since 1947. We believe these proposals will make it harder for local people and elected local politicians to create healthy, sustainable communities and environments, and will place more of the costs and risks of new development onto the shoulders of local authorities and tax payers. This is bad for democracy. And bad for Swaledale!

Can I get involved?

If you join Sustainable Swaledale and let us know you’re interested in planning, we’ll keep you up to date with what we are doing, suggest ways to find out more, and welcome your involvement and ideas.

You can get involved right now! Take a look at the Local Plans that cover our area, and get a feel for the policies applied by our local planning authorities:

YDNPA Local Plan:

RDC Local Plan:

For a good introduction to the government’s current proposals for reform, and what they could mean for you, take a look at the Executive Summary of this report produced by leading experts on the planning system: