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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Second homes and holiday cottages on the rise, national park figures show

Second homes and holiday cottages in the North York Moors National Park have increased by 27 per cent in the past decade from 1,571 to 2,158, according to a new report.

And homes not permanently occupied now make up 17 per cent of the housing stock compared to 13.5 per cent in 2001.

The Office of National Statistics figures are part of the 2011 census report released earlier this year and due to be discussed by the national park authority today (Thursday).

The national park's housing stock is largely made up of detached houses – 48 per cent are detached in the North York Moors compared to the national figure of 31 per cent.

Planning policy officer Caroline Skelly said: “Further work is required to look at the reasons for the increase in vacant households and whether these are empty homes, second homes or holiday lets and whether there are any particular concentrations of these units.”

Meanwhile, during the same period, the report reveals that:
  • The population of the national park has fallen by 2.7 per cent to 23,380
  • The number of houses has increased by 6.8 per cent to 12,500
  • The population of the over-65s has increased by 4.5 per cent
  • The average age has increased from 43 to 46.

There has been a fall of 2.8 per cent in people employed in the traditional industries of agricultural, forestry and fishing in the national park. In 2001 this employment accounted for a large section of the workforce which has now been overtaken by hotel and catering, education, and, health and social work.

The traditional industries have dropped to nine per cent of the workforce whereas hotel and catering and education now stand at 11 per cent and health and social work has reached almost 12 per cent.

The largest industry in the area is the wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles which represents just over 12 per cent of the workforce.

The proportion of working people in the North York Moors has hardly changed in the past ten years – 28 per cent in full-time work and 13 per cent in part-time work.

However, following the national trend, there have been increases in the number of people who are employed on a part-time basis and a fall in those in full-time employment.

The national park has a high proportion of self-employed people – 19 per cent, a figure similar to other national parks but nine per cent higher than the national figure of ten per cent.

Today's meeting will also point to the need to provide affordable housing to help meet local needs, appropriate housing for the aging population and units for smaller households.

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