North Yorkshire Local Plan – Call for Sites

By Sally Ormiston | 26.02.24

The creation of a new North Yorkshire Local Plan offers huge opportunities for local landowners and developers to help shape future development across the county.

The new unitary North Yorkshire Council has committed to an ambitious timetable for the creation of the first North Yorkshire Local Plan by 2028. The plan covers former borough and district councils such as Hambleton, Richmondshire, Craven, Harrogate, Selby, Ryedale, and Scarborough.

Setting the vision for future development

In February, the North Yorkshire Council Executive approved the proposed approach and timeline to create a new local plan. The council is now embarking on a programme of work which will determine the policies and allocation of land to meet the development needs identified across the county and govern development decisions for the next twenty years.

This new local plan will set the vision and framework for future development in North Yorkshire, addressing needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the environment, the economy, community facilities, and infrastructure.

Several upcoming activities present opportunities for landowners, communities, and developers to engage in the plan-making process.

Image © RN Wooler

The call for sites and allocation

To determine the availability and suitability of development land across the county to meet housing, economic development, and infrastructure needs, North Yorkshire Council have indicated that the ‘call for sites’ window will open in April, for a period of approximately six to eight weeks.

The call for sites is an exercise in which landowners and developers are invited to propose land that may have the potential for future development. While there will be opportunities to put sites forward later in the plan-making process, this initial call is arguably the best time to submit sites.

Sites for residential, commercial, infrastructure, and environmental enhancement projects can be put forward. National policy requirements such as biodiversity net gain, nature recovery, energy efficient builds, and ‘beautiful’ design will be considered as part of each submission.

Sites submitted will be reviewed by the council to determine how the likely land supply will meet identified development needs across the county. This is key to developing a viable local development plan.

Sites or land deemed suitable for development in principle will be ‘allocated’. While not a guarantee of planning permission – all sites must still prove they are viable for development, allocation means sites have a greater chance of securing planning permission in the future.

Shaping the future of North Yorkshire

As North Yorkshire faces the challenges of housing, an ageing demographic, nature recovery, tackling climate change, reviving local communities, and ensuring a prosperous rural economy, the creation of a new Local Plan presents huge opportunities for rural landowners and developers to help shape the county’s future.

As well as smaller sites, there are opportunities for more ambitious proposals to be put forward. Last year, North Yorkshire announced that it saw the creation of new rural villages, and the material extensions to existing settlements, as part of its overall development strategy.

Sites already allocated in existing local plans

Sites already allocated in local plans adopted by the former North Yorkshire District Councils will carry forward to the new local plan when it comes into place. Local plans existing currently will disappear. However, resubmission of these sites is recommended. It is an opportunity to put forward further detail with regard to the development potential of the site.

Sites already submitted to existing local plans for consideration

Several of the districts that came together when the new North Yorkshire Authority was created were already in the process of reviewing their local plans. Sites submitted for consideration as part of such reviews – all except for Selby, must be resubmitted if they are to be considered. Given the advanced stage of the Selby Local Plan review and proposals for a new settlement at Maltkiln, these sites will sit outside of the North Yorkshire Local Plan process; consultation on these will open in April.

How to respond?

Assess whether you need to take advantage of the initial call for sites window when it opens in April.

Now is the time to act if you have previously submitted sites, have new sites for submission, or would like to consider land in your ownership and its suitability for development.

When making a submission, provide as much detail as possible in the time allowed. High numbers of sites are expected to be submitted, and by providing a detailed proposal, you will have a better chance of success.

Consider the requirements set out in national policy in your submission including, for example, biodiversity net gain, energy efficient builds, and the focus on ‘beautiful’ buildings.

Stay informed – further changes to the National Planning Policy Framework are anticipated during the local plan making timescale. North Yorkshire Council will also be considering its own policies and priorities in relation to the distribution of development, affordable housing, the natural environment and creating healthy, sustainable, and vibrant rural communities.

It is important that landowners engage with the Local Plan process and identify opportunities to contribute to it, as the new local plan will be a guide for development over the next twenty years.

Contact us

We work with landowners across North Yorkshire, and, with extensive planning and development experience, we can help you understand the opportunities and how to respond.

We have achieved some great results in relation to the former district’s local plans including land allocations and the adoption of new policies to support rural development.

If you would like to discuss your options and how we can help you respond to this significant opportunity, please email us at or call 01756 797501 to speak to a member of the team.


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