New Local Plan Options
6. Housing in the Countryside
82. Core Strategy Policy CS17 sets out the approach to development in the countryside. Outside of the Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages, development in the countryside is strictly controlled. Only development required for the purposes of agriculture, woodland management, sport and recreation, local food initiatives, supporting visits to the District and renewable energy production will be considered appropriate in the countryside.
83. Together with the proposed options for countryside development below, the existing policy needs updating to take account of local policy exceptions; such as exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design of dwellings complying with paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and permitted development changes of use to residential, in line with Class Q of Part 3, Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 2015. In addition, the policy will remain flexible regarding the identification of Selected Rural Villages (see Section 4) based on service provision.
84. In addition, the policy will seek to support proposals which improve the sustainability of the countryside through service or shopping provision or which promote rural economic development.
85. The 3 Countryside Options below (C1, C2 and C3) set out alternative approaches to future housing development in the countryside below Selected Rural Village level only. The total development arising from each of these options will be identified as 'windfall' development to be provided in addition to the 9 identified housing and employment options (see section 5). None of the proposed options for countryside development seek to set a target level of growth either for individual settlements or as a whole, as we have no evidence of potential delivery across settlements below Selected Rural Villages. Instead, the proposed options aim to provide additional housing development to meet local needs, whilst reflecting the size, character, service provision and development constraints of each settlement.
Option C1: Strictly controlling development in the countryside
86. Under Countryside Option C1 housing development in settlements below Selected Rural Villages would be strictly controlled, including settlements with existing limits to development.
87. Only development required for the purposes of agriculture, woodland management, sport and recreation, local food initiatives, supporting visits to the District, local service provision and renewable energy production will be appropriate in the countryside subject to compliance with other relevant policies in the new Local Plan.
88. Option C1 will ensure development is focused to more sustainable settlements, with access to a range of services and facilities, whilst protecting the integrity of the landscape character and settlement pattern of rural villages and the countryside. Option C1 will enable the provision of new services and facilities in rural settlements to improve sustainability. The NPPF states that planning should manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and Option C1 would support this approach.
Option C2: Limited infill and Development Management led
89. Option C2 would allow for limited infill development and conversion of existing buildings to residential use in Sub-Selected Rural Villages as defined in the Settlement Hierarchy in Figure 4: Settlement hierarchy for Harborough District. These settlements have been identified on the basis of providing at least one of the key 6 services and facilities, or a village hall, together with having a minimum of 50 households (see Figure 4 Section 4). The list of settlements meeting these criteria is subject to change according to changes in the level of services or household numbers. However, the current list of identified settlements is as follows: Arnesby, Ashby Magna, Ashby Parva, Bruntingthorpe, Burton Overy, Catthorpe, Claybrooke Parva, Cotesbach, Drayton, East Langton, Frolesworth, Gumley, Hungarton, Illston on the Hill, Keyham, Leire, Mowsley, Newton Harcourt, Peatling Magna, Peatling Parva, Saddington, Shawell, Shearsby, Smeeton Westerby, Stoughton, Theddingworth, Thorpe Langton, Tur Langton, Walcote, Walton and Willoughby Waterleys.
90. Proposals would be required to meet the relevant criteria (criteria 4 - 13) set out in the proposed Settlement Development policy to replace Limits to Development (Section 5, para 81) . This approach would allow limited infill development in the relevant settlements listed above in addition to appropriate development in the countryside set out in Option C1 above.
91. Such a policy would seek to provide additional support for existing services and facilities and would encourage further provision.
92. In addition, this Option will also allow for the conversion of existing buildings to residential use within these settlements where:
- Significant architectural or historical features are maintained;
- Any proposed extensions are of harmonious design, form and materials in keeping with the existing settlement, and meet Development Management Supplementary Planning Guidance Note 5: Extensions to Dwellings, available at Supplementary Planning Guidance notes.
Option C3: Meeting locally identified needs
93. Option C3 would allow for the provision of housing in all smaller settlements below Selected Rural Village level where it helps to meet needs which have been identified locally through community involvement. These needs may be identified through either a neighbourhood plan or through a Rural Housing Needs Survey. This approach could occur in conjunction with either Option C1 or Option C2 above.
94. The Council currently has 2 'made' Neighbourhood Plans, in Broughton Astley and Billesdon, with a third, Scraptoft, being examined. In addition, there are currently a further 15 (August 2015) designated Neighbourhood Areas. There are also strong expressions of interest from other Parish Councils across the District. A neighbourhood plan led approach would enable communities to plan for their area, including providing additional housing development. This additional housing development would be identified to meet local needs, support the long term sustainability of the settlement and may be either infill development or development outside the existing built form, or a combination of both, providing it is adequately justified and consistent with the broad policies of the new Local Plan and the NPPF.
Q5. Which is your preferred Option for Development in the Countryside?
Please click on the pencil icon next to the relevant Option(s) and state whether you SUPPORT or OBJECT TO this option. Please explain your answer. If you would like to suggest a different option for Development in the Countryside, or a hybrid of the options we have proposed, please describe it here.
- Option C1: Strictly controlling development in the countryside
- Option C2: Limited infill and Development Management led
- Option C3: Meeting locally identified need
- with option C1 above
- with option C2 above