LPP2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

Dwellings for rural workers

3.36  Prior to the introduction of the NPPF, applications for new rural workers' dwellings were considered against Annex A of Planning Policy Statement 7 (2004). However, there is no longer specific national policy or guidance on this issue. There is also an absence of national guidance on proposals to remove occupancy conditions. As a predominately rural borough, it is important that the Plan supports housing provision for rural workers, while encouraging the sustainable re-use of redundant buildings.

3.37  The location of rural workers' dwellings will normally be dictated by the need to be close to farm land and buildings. Rural workers should, however, seek to make use of existing dwellings or redundant buildings in the first instance, and locate any new buildings in less isolated buildings where possible.

3.38  Where the amalgamation or closure of rural enterprises has resulted in surplus rural workers' dwellings, such dwellings should be retained as affordable housing to meet local needs where possible.

DM16: Dwellings for rural workers
  1. Where there is a functional need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work, and there are no existing suitable dwellings nearby, new dwellings will be permitted where they involve:
    1. Proposals for temporary siting of a caravan or mobile home for up to three years to support a new or recently established rural enterprise or;
    2. Proposals for a permanent dwelling where a rural enterprise has been established for a minimum of three years, represents a financially sound means to support the worker, and is only of a scale appropriate to meet the functional need of the worker and their dependents.
  2. Proposals to remove an agricultural or other rural workers’ occupancy condition will be permitted where it has been demonstrated:
    1. A dwelling is no longer needed for the rural enterprise; and
    2. The property has been actively marketed for at least one year at a price which reflects the existence of the occupancy condition; or
    3. The property is proposed to be made permanently available as an affordable dwelling.

Explanatory Notes:

3.39  A functional need will be demonstrated where it is a reasonable functional need for a worker to be readily available at most times of the day, for example, in the interests of animal welfare or the regular monitoring of crops.

3.40  An enterprise will be considered financially sound where it provides a sufficiently sustainable source of income to support the worker without the need for a supplementary source of income, including accounting for the cost of building the new dwelling, and taking into account the nature of the enterprise concerned. Where new dwellings are permitted they will normally be subject to a planning condition or legal agreement to limit occupation to rural workers and their families.

3.41  Where caravans or mobile home for rural workers are proposed, as this represents a highly vulnerable use, proposals will need to be located outside of areas at higher risk of flooding.

3.42  In the Green Belt, applications will be subject to the tests set out in the NPPF and Policy DM14.

Local Plan Part 1 parent policies

SP2 - Spatial Strategy

Monitoring

Indicator:

Number of dwellings for rural workers granted or lost through planning permissions.

Target:

Ensuring a sufficient supply of suitable accommodation for rural workers.