When it comes to rural housing, planning policy has very little support for new isolated dwellings in the countryside unless particular circumstances apply. For farmers, the route for securing permission for a new on-farm dwelling will depend on being able to justify the essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside.

 

Whilst technically superseded by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), many local authorities rely on Planning Policy Statement 7 when determining whether a farm will be permitted a new agriculturally tied dwelling. In short this requires there to be:

 

  • A functional need for that dwelling. For example a genuine need for someone to be on hand 24/7 for welfare reasons.
  • That proven functional need cannot be met through another dwelling on the holding or within the local area.
  • The farm business is proving itself to be financially stable, typically through making a profit in at least one of the last three years.

 

These principles have not changed for some time but a potentially useful change in policy relating to new ag tied dwellings has been brought in by the revised NPPF.

 

The new NPPF now provides in relation to new ag tied dwellings that the special circumstances for new isolated dwellings in the countryside include where ‘there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside’.

 

This widening of the wording to include those taking majority control of a farm business may prove beneficial for farmers with a son or daughter that is taking forward the business and can satisfy the functional and financial need. If you are considering a new ag tied dwelling or would like to determine whether you may be able to satisfy the functional and financial tests then contact Carver Knowles on 01684 853400 or enquiries@carverknowles.co.uk