The Northumberland National Park Authority Board have approved a suite of policies for the future development of the Park, including increased flexibility around housing developments and conversions within the National Park.

During their authority meeting on Wednesday, the board were presented with their revised Local Plan, a key document in helping shape the future of Northumberland National Park for its residents and businesses whilst protecting and enhancing the heritage, culture and landscape of the Park.

There will be notably increased flexibility towards the building of new housing, as well as a focus on the conversion of existing properties. The plan makes plans for new development over the next twenty years, with the development of principal residences focused in 13 locations including; Alwinton, Charlton, Elsdon, Falstone, Greenhaugh, Harbottle, Holystone, Ingram, Kirknewton, Lanehead, Rochester, Stannersburn and Stonehaugh. Developments will also be permitted in open countryside as long as it is an appropriate scale without harming the Park’s special qualities.

The Northumberland National Park Authority has a highly valued pre-application advice service for residents and developers, giving them the opportunity to speak to planning officers about their plans prior to submitting an application, whilst providing a clear indication of the potential success of their development before committing to it.

Susannah Buylla, Interim Head of Planning said: “We’ve been working with communities, businesses, organisations and stakeholders to develop this Local Plan over the last four years and it’s incredibly rewarding to see this Local Plan adopted now as the framework for guiding development for the future of Northumberland National Park. The Local Plan comes into effect immediately”.

Glen Sanderson, Chairman of the National Park Authority said:
“These new policies aim to secure the future of the national park as a living, working landscape. The Authority wishes to support new housing development in the park, and we are keen to see more people of working age living in this special place. An increase in the Park’s population will be crucial to its future economic development and, more importantly, in creating new communities who are invested in helping to protect the unique qualities of Northumberland National Park for many years to come.”

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