INDUSTRY COMMENT: HOUSING IN ISOLATED RURAL LOCATIONS

Darley Eco-House
Darley Eco-House
NEWS _ INDUSTRY COMMENT: HOUSING IN ISOLATED RURAL LOCATIONS

INDUSTRY COMMENT: HOUSING IN ISOLATED RURAL LOCATIONS

NEWS _ INDUSTRY COMMENT: HOUSING IN ISOLATED RURAL LOCATIONS

INDUSTRY COMMENT: HOUSING IN ISOLATED RURAL LOCATIONS

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A recent article by Bernadette Hillman, senior planning counsel at Asserson and honorary solicitor for the RTPI, in a recent edition of ‘The Planner’ discusses the issue of housing in isolated rural locations.

The article notes that in the past, local planning authorities have taken the view that settlements and settlement boundaries are sacrosanct; depending on the local development plan (and its status) and whether they have a five-year housing land supply.

However, it also notes that the recently updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), expressly recognises that development in small villages can be advantageous and that there is no national policy against development in settlements without facilities and services.

The article also notes that the Court of Appeal has stated specifically that, ‘functional isolation’ does not fall within paragraph 79 (previously paragraph 55). A prescriptive and restrictive interpretation is inappropriate.

The NPPF notes that housing should be located, ‘where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural locations’. Bernadette notes that the concept of the ‘vitality’ of a rural community is wide and undefined, but it does not limit the notion of ‘vitality’ to a consideration of ‘services’ alone. It shows that the policy sees a possible benefit of developing housing in rural settlements with no or relatively few, services of its own.

Rural Solutions pioneered an approach to assessment of sustainable development for over ten years, successfully developing a bespoke appraisal of sites and settlements in terms of sustainability, that specifically does not simply focus on the services available in that settlement.

We have successfully worked with a number of strategic land developers, estates, house builders and individual landowners to justify sustainable development in rural locations and have provided sustainability assessments for over 70 sites and settlements and provided detailed evidence as expert witness at over 40 planning inquiries.

Our sustainability appraisals are recognised by local authorities as a comprehensive assessment and we are able to demonstrate the sustainability of the site or settlement in question, promoting sustainable development in rural locations.

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