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Abstract: The recently updated Local Plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, adopted in 2016, allows for a significant relaxation of planning control over the conversion of roadside barns to dwellings. Field barns, along with the networks of drystone walls, are key features that contribute to the special qualities of the Dales, and now recognised internationally as significant historic landscapes. The new policies are aimed at conserving their historic and landscape values, but with well over 100 planning applications submitted, and all but a few approved, what are the implications for the Dales? Friends of the Dales have been monitoring progress to understand the implications – do these new policies achieve their aims of conserving barns? Do they rejuvenate communities, provide affordable housing for local people, or do they have an adverse impact on the special qualities of the National Park?

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