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Policies and Plans

Staithes by Mike KiplingStaithes by Mike Kipling

Applications for planning permission are primarily considered against policies set out in the 'development plan' for the North York Moors National Park. This is made up of any formal planning documents that have been through a period of consultation and testing, and have been subsequently formally adopted by the National Park Authority.

The North York Moors National Park's development plan currently comprises the Core Strategy and Development Policies document, the Whitby Business Park Area Action Plan and the Helmsley Plan. Links to each are provided below.

The Draft Local Plan

Work is continuing on a new Local Plan for the North York Moors, which will cover the period 2016-35. Policies within the development plan are the main determinant when deciding applications for planning permission.

Submission of the Draft Plan to Government

The draft Plan was submitted to Government for independent examination on 2nd July 2019. An Inspector - Richard Schofield BA (Hons) MA MRTPI - was appointed to carry out the independent examination. The  Examination in Public to took place in November 2019 and a series of 'Main Modifications' were published for consultation. This consultation has now closed and comments have been sent to the Inspector. We anticipate that the Plan will be adopted in June 2020.

View Details of the Local Plan Examination in Public.

Liz Sheard has been appointed Programme Officer. Liz is responsible for all procedural matters relating to the examination and all future correspondence with respondents to the Local Plan will be via her. She can be contacted:

By email -

By telephone: 0797 6292836

By post : Liz Sheard, c/o Planning Policy, The North York Moors National Park Authority, The Old Vicarage, Bondgate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5BP.

View the Local Plan Submission Documents.

Weight To Be Attached To Draft Policies

On 5 September 2019 the Authority approved a schedule of draft Local Plan policies that the Authority may attach weight to in future decision making on the grounds that the draft local plan is at a sufficiently advanced stage of plan-making that no significant objections have been made.

View the weight to be attached to draft polices document.

The Pre-Submission Draft Local Plan

A 'Pre-Submission' (Regulation 19) draft Plan is  available. Comments on this draft were invited from Wednesday 10 April to 5.00 pm on Friday 24 May 2019. The draft Plan, together with comments received are inspected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in June.

View the Pre-Submission Draft Plan and supporting documents.

Previous Local Plan Consultations.

View the Preferred Options Draft Local Plan web page.

View the Tranquillity, a Strong Sense of Remoteness and Dark Night Skies web page.

View the 'Current Thinking' documents.

View the 'First Steps' documents.

If you would like to be kept in touch about the new Local Plan please complete the Mailing List Form or email us at

The Draft North Yorkshire, York and North York Moors Minerals and Waste Joint Plan.

North Yorkshire County Council, the City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority are producing a joint minerals and waste plan. The plan was submitted to Government on 28 November 2017 and has been subject to an examination in public. The plan reached 'publication stage' in November 2016 and a further round of consultation was carried out on an Addendum of Proposed Changes in July to September 2017.

The purpose of the Examination was to consider whether the Joint Plan complies with relevant legal requirements for producing Local Plans, including the Duty to Cooperate, and meets the national tests of ‘soundness’ for Local Plans. The Inspector's report is now awaited.

Further information about the Plan is available on the Joint Plan website.

Update November 2017 – INEOS Shale UK, the company with several Oil & Gas exploration (PEDL) licences along the southern edge of the National Park and Northern edge of the Yorkshire Wolds (south of Malton) have approached the Authority to advise that, in 2018, they are to commence public consultation events to explain their exploration intentions in respect of their local licences. These will start in the Yorkshire Wolds (south of Malton) and then be followed by the southern edge of the North York Moors Local Plan. Details will be published in the local Press nearer the time and we will aim to publish them on this webpage.

The Core Strategy and Development Policies (2008)

The 'Core Strategy and Development Policies' sets out the policies which guide where new development will take place in the National Park and to determine planning applications. The Core Strategy and Development Policies was adopted in November 2008 following an examination by an Inspector.

View the Core Strategy and Development Policies

Interactive Core Strategy Map. You can zoom in and out at various scales by following the instructions and by using the Legend and Layer buttons. You can also download the inset and proposal maps.

Inspector's Report on the Core Strategy and Development Policies

In March 2012 the Department of Communities and Local Government published the National Planning Policy Framework which replaces much of the previous national planning policy. The policies in the Core Strategy and Development Policies have been assessed against the National Planning Policy Framework and the results of this assessment can be viewed here.

Whitby Business Park Area Action Plan (2014)

Responsibility for planning at Whitby Business Park lies with both Scarborough Borough Council and the National Park Authority as the National Park boundary runs through the site. In order to provide a consistent and long term plan for the site, a Joint Area Action Plan has been adopted by the two authorities.

The Plan sets out how the Business Park will be developed over the period to 2026. It includes proposals to improve and expand the existing site to accommodate new businesses and sets out highway, infrastructure and environmental improvements. The area covered is the existing built up area of the Business Park together with the land allocated for expansion and the area falls within the Local Planning Authority areas of both Scarborough Borough Council and the National Park Authority.

The Area Action Plan was formally adopted by both Authorities in November 2014. Regulation 10A of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended) now requires that Local Authorities review their local plans at least every five years from adoption to ensure policies remain relevant and effective. A review of whether the Area Action Plan remained up to date was carried out by both Authorities in the Autumn of 2019, the conclusion of which was that it remained fit for purpose. Details of that review can be found in a report to Planning Committee dated 17 October 2019.

Whitby Business Park Area Action Plan - Adopted Version November 2014

Whitby Business Park Design Brief

Sustainability Statement

Adoption Statement 

Helmsley Plan (2015)

The town of Helmsley is split between the Local Planning Authorities of Ryedale District Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority. The two authorities have jointly prepared the Helmsley Plan, which allocates sufficient land to meet both the housing and employment requirements for the town up to 2027. It also contains a suite of policies to guide various forms of development and to manage change at the town.

The Helmsley Plan has been assessed by an Independent Inspector who concluded that the Helmsley Plan satisfies the requirements of Section 20(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) and meets the criteria for soundness in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Inspector's Report

The Helmsley Plan was formally adopted by the North York Moors National Park Authority on 23 July 2015.

Adopted Helmsley Plan 

Sustainability Statement 

Adoption Statement

Background information and the Evidence Base for the Helmsley Plan can be found on Ryedale District Council's website

Local Development Scheme

The Local Development Scheme sets out a three-year programme of work for the production of documents that will make up the Local Development Framework for the National Park.

It reviews progress and revises the timescales for each document based on the assessment in the Annual Monitoring Report, which monitors the progress made towards the timescales that are set out in the Local Development Scheme.

A revised Local Development Scheme was adopted by the Authority in July 2018 for a programme of work covering the period 2017-35.

The Local Development Scheme 2018

Annual Monitoring Report

The Annual Monitoring Report is published annually and reports on the outcomes of the Development Plan, including an analysis of decisions made on planning applications.

2012 Annual Monitoring Report

2013 Annual Monitoring Report

2014 Annual Monitoring Report

2015 Annual Monitoring Report

2016 Annual Monitoring Report

2017 Annual Monitoring Report

2018 Annual Monitoring Report

Statement of Community Involvement

The Authority is required to produce a Statement of Community Involvement under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

The Statement of Community Involvement sets out how the Authority intends to involve the community in the preparation, alteration and review of parts of the Local Development Framework and in taking decisions on planning applications.

A new Statement of Community Involvement called 'Involving People in Planning' was adopted in 2018.

Involving People in Planning

An 'interim' Statement of Community Involvement was adopted by the Authority on 9 April 2020 to set out revised consultation procedures at a time of travel restrictions arsing from the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Once these have been lifted the 2018 version will once again be used by Authority.

View the 2020 Interim Statement of Community Involvement

Useful links and downloads

Communities and Local Government website