HL Deb 07 February 2005 vol 669 c87WA
Lord Patten

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any district council in England may bar those from outside the district from buying new homes in any area within it, as in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; and, if not, whether they intend to extend this planning power to restrict occupancy to local authorities outside national parks. [HL933]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker)

The Government are concerned that there should be adequate housing provision in rural areas to meet the needs of local people. Planning policy guidance note 3 (Housing) advises that local planning authorities should make sufficient land available either within or adjoining existing villages to enable these local requirements to be met.

Some local planning authorities have included policies in their plans aimed at restricting the occupancy and ownership of homes in rural areas. It is for local planning authorities in the first instance to frame and justify their plan policies. Such policies will be tested through the plan process in the light of the justification for the proposed policy, its likely effectiveness and any legal considerations. Once a plan has been subject to public consultation and an independent examination, before the plan can be adopted the local planning authority must give notice of its intention to adopt and the Secretary of State, my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister, has powers to intervene either by issuing a direction to modify or by calling in the proposals.

As the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Local Plan is under consideration in the statutory development plan process, it would be inappropriate to fetter the discretion of the Secretary of State, my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister. It is for the park authority to satisfy itself that its proposed policy to ring-fence all housing provision in smaller "service villages" for local people is robustly justified and enforceable in practice.