This policy is currently going through formal consultation. Click here to go to comment.
The LPAs will protect the special characteristics and role of the countryside. The following provisions will apply to the consideration of development proposals:
1. Housing and employment development adjoining or very near to an existing settlement will only be supported where it meets the essential, small scale local development needs of the community and provides a sustainable solution.
2. Isolated development in the countryside will be avoided and only permitted in exceptional circumstances, such as where it would:
i. Meet an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside and maintain that role for the development in perpetuity, or
ii. Secure the long term future and viable use of a significant heritage asset, or
iii. Secure the re-use of redundant or disused buildings and brownfield sites for an appropriate use.
iv. Secure a development of truly outstanding or innovative sustainability and design, which helps to raise standards of design more generally in the rural area, significantly enhances its immediate setting and is sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.
3. Horse related developments will be supported where:
i. There is adequate land and, for commercial uses, adequate off-road riding facilities available for the number of horses to be kept on the land.
ii. Existing buildings are reused where possible but where new buildings are necessary, these are well-related to existing buildings, commensurate in size with the number of horses to be kept on the land and the amount of land available for use by those horses.
iii. There is an agreed comprehensive scheme of management for any ancillary development including hardstanding, access roads, parking, fencing, lighting, storage, waste disposal, manèges and sub division of fields.
iv. The proposal, either on its own or cumulatively, with other horse related uses in the area, is compatible with its surroundings and adequately protects water courses, groundwater and the safety of all road users.
4. Development proposals should, where appropriate:
i. Protect and improve public rights of way and bridleways.
ii. Re-use traditional buildings that are structurally sound enough for renovation without significant enhancement or alteration.
iii. Be complementary to and not prejudice any viable agricultural operations on a farm and other existing viable uses.
iv. Respond to a proven agricultural, forestry and other occupational need that requires a countryside location.
v. Avoid the use of Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land.
vi. Help enhance the immediate setting or the site and include a management plan and exit strategy that demonstrates how long term degradation of the landscape will be avoided.