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No. 219 Rural Workers' Dwellings - Planning Control in the United Kingdom


No. 219 Rural Workers’ Dwellings – Planning Control In The United Kingdom

ISBN 978 1 901 434 72 9

Price: £85


The task of obtaining planning permission for housing for an agricultural, horticultural, or forestry worker has steadily become more complex over the decades. Recently, many different types of rural based enterprises have also sought on-site accommodation and, in response, case officers and planning consultants have become more searching in their assessments.

In England, the introduction on 2012 of the National Planning Policy (NPPF) and the cancellation of PPS7 (with its Annexe A) as national policy has created a rural workers dwellings policy. Alongside the other exceptions to the presumption against isolated dwellings, that policy is set out in one sentence: “the essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside”. Localism means that local policies may have preserved the old regime or be more liberal but where there is no adopted plan that is the policy. As shown by the court in Embleton, we are in a new world in which many may not yet have understood how radical the change has been. The effects of this will be seen as planning arguments come to be framed in the new terms. That is further emphasised by the new Class MB permitted development rights for the conversion of certain farm buildings into dwellings.

Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Wales has set out a broader rural enterprise dwellings policy with detailed tests while Scotland is now advising against using occupancy conditions.

Such changes led Council to request this publication. With considerable work by Jeremy Moody, assisted by Kate Russell and David Collier Rural Planning, it is now offered as a guide to the new landscape. The CAAV also wishes to record its grateful thanks to Simon Mair who urged the work, Mark Andrew who reviewed an early draft of the Scottish text, and to Shaun Irvine for fulfilling a similar task in Northern Ireland.

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