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Northern Area Parish Forum

The next meeting of the Northern Area Parish Forum is on Tuesday, 5 April 2022 at 7pm - venue to be confirmed.

Access: tbc

Draft Notes of Meeting held on Tuesday, 5 October 2021 at Westerdale Village Hall

1.  Welcome - Ian Nicholls, Convenor, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2.  Public Question Time
Why does the National Park restrict use of property to holiday lets and not allow properties to be used for full time residents and local people? How can we stop the North York Moors being full of older people?

The Director of Planning responded that this is not the case. The new Local Plan (adopted in July 2020) does not restrict conversions to holiday lets. If it is an existing business which has closed then it is policy that it should be used as an economic benefit and under previous local plans holiday lets were accepted as an economic use but not a permanent residence. The new Local Plan for converted properties allows for a Principal Residence condition for permanent residency. Such a condition does not require a local housing need but does ensure the occupier uses the house as their principal residence to prevent it becoming a second or holiday home. When consulted Parishes generally had wished for a more relaxed condition as local occupancy was too restrictive and the aim was to encourage population growth which requires people to move into the National Park to live and work. There is a common theme nationally of those retired with higher incomes being able to afford properties in rural areas. The Authority is very proactive in seeking to increase affordable housing provision but the main difficulty is land availability at the right price.  The Authority has approved 150 of these in the North York Moors over the past decade, which it recognises as not enough.

3.  Rural Theft and Property Marking – PCSO Nicola Dunn outlined the marking scheme which is unique to North Yorkshire to mark property from farms, tools, bikes. If these are stolen they are picked up on a national database and their owners can be traced. The police will attend individual properties or community groups can get together.  For more information or to arrange for the service contact

4.  North Yorkshire Rural Commission – Debbie Trebilco gave a presentation on the outcome of the Rural Commission report. The full report is available on the website North Yorkshire Rural Commission | North Yorkshire County Council North Yorkshire County Council are keen to action the recommendations of the report.

5.  Future of the North York Moors – Tom Hind, Chief Executive, referenced the importance of Parish Forums to discuss issues from Parishes.  There are challenges and changes in all National Parks:
*Farming is integral to the landscape. Profound changes in agricultural support in the form of Environmental Land Management schemes but details still to emerge, likely to be less generous than previous payments. National Park is looking how to help during the transition period.
*Climate Change affects us all so collectively need to look at decarbonising housing (many in the National Park are old, stone built properties), upgrade of energy grid, soil management, carbon sequestration action through tree planting/woodland, improve habitats, water quality and biodiversity.
*Post pandemic recovery phase economic and health and well-being. Balance of tourism that both residents and visitors benefit.
*The new Management Plan will have a collective vision for nature and economy with ambitions, objectives and outcomes for the next 10 years. The Plan will be out for consultation and everyone is encouraged to comment.
A discussion was held on the health concerns and air pollution relating to heather burning. The Authority has no statutory role in the use of controlled burns as a management tool but encourages a sensitive and best practice approach. The Authority strives to use the most up to date scientific data to inform our decision making. We work with land managers in the National Park to ensure that all options are explored to maintain a landscape and habitat for all who live, work and visit.

6.  Update on National Park Authority Business – Colin Williamson, Parish Member, updated the Forum on:
*Welcome back to face to face meetings and thanks to the speakers
*Staff have continued working throughout the pandemic. The offices are now fully open on a blended 50/50 work from home/office basis.
*Rita Rudsdale, visitor centre manager, retired after 30 years’ service and we wish her all the best
*30% increase in planning applications and the Planning Team have managed despite staff shortages. This is a nationwide issue.
*Parish Planning Training event on 21 October at 17.15 to 19.30
*Management Plan draft should be out for consultation end of November
*3 year budget settlement expected shortly. The Authority also seeks funding from external sources for projects. Visitor Centres and car parks also generate some income
*Climate Change officer Harry Baross appointed – jointly with Scarborough Borough Council. Early days but looking at reduction and offsetting of carbon in cars, buildings, equipment
*The Primary Land Users Group meeting were informed that a survey is to be carried out to ascertain areas of deep peat in the North York Moors. Peat is used in carbon sequestration. The North York Moors does has relatively low levels of rainfall
*Farming in Protected Landscapes – grants are available to apply for now, full details on the website Farming in Protected Landscapes ( or contact Dave Arnott or Rebecca Thompson
*Externally funded projects are ongoing on Rivers Esk and Rye and programmes of tree planting. Land of Iron project has now come to an end.

7.  Suggestions for new items to discuss at future meetings
*Anglo American or York Potash Foundation to be invited to next meeting

8.  Any other business -Comments were made that the meeting had not been well publicised although social media and posters had been used. Some suggestions were made for the use of social media and the Whitby newspaper these will be considered for the next meeting.

9.  Dates and times of next meetings - 5 April 2022:  June/July 2022 – Joint Parish Forum (date and venue tbc):  4 October 2022

Please contact Judith Seaton if you have any queries on 01439 772586 or

The following parishes make up the Northern Area Parish Forum.

Borrowby/Newton Mulgrave/Scaling/Roxby
Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby
Great Ayton
Little Ayton
Ugthorpe and Hutton Mulgrave