Waveney Local Plan

Small Scale Residential Development in the Countryside

8.39 Approximately 10% of new housing to be delivered in the rural areas of the District is to be located in hamlets and scattered settlements within the Countryside. Small scale developments can support communities by delivering housing types and sizes that are needed locally and provide opportunities for members of the existing community to live nearby and retain their social connections. The National Planning Policy Framework advises against isolated dwellings in the Countryside. However, there are occasions where small scale development could occur which could provide social and economic benefits to the Countryside, with limited impacts on the environment or character of the area. Policy WSP8.7 therefore is intended to provide a limited amount of housing in the Countryside. However, it is not intended to enable development that will adversely effect the intrinsic character of a settlement or the surrounding landscape.

8.40 Policy WLP8.7 allows for small scale development of up to three homes within clearly identifiable small gaps in a built up frontage, on land which is surrounded by residential development (including its curtilage) on three sides (including the opposite side of the highway). This approach allows for development which does not encroach further into the countryside and is enclosed by surrounding residential dwellings, therefore limiting the effect on the landscape and character of the area.

8.41 Figure 31 shows small scale development opportunities that are often found in residential areas in the Countryside. The diagram shows in principle the types of opportunities that may be considered acceptable subject to compliance with other policies in the Local Plan and the constraints that could make a site inappropriate for small scale development.

Figure 35 - Opportunities commonly found in built up areas in the Countryside which could be in accordance with the first part of Policy WLP8.7

194 Opportunities in the Countryside

  1. Opportunity. Site is bound by residential development on three sides.
  2. Opportunity. Site is bound on three sides and is contained by the adjacent residential curtilage.
  3. Opportunity. Site has no road frontage but is contained within the residential area on three sides.
  4. Not acceptable. Residential development on three sides, however, curtilage of property opposite does not extend the entire length of the site (Although could potentially be suitable with public support in accordance with the second part of Policy WLP8.7).
  5. Not acceptable. Site is bound on two sides by residential development but a farm building on the third side. (Although could potentially be suitable with public support in accordance with the second part of Policy WLP8.7).

8.42 The strategy set out in Policy WLP7.1 allows for small sites for housing to be developed in smaller hamlets and communities in the Countryside through Neighbourhood Plans or Neighbourhood Development Orders. For some small Parish Councils or Parish Meetings, Neighbourhood Plans or Development Orders may not be a feasible option due to lack of resources. Therefore, Policy WLP8.7 also allows for small scale development of up to five homes on the edge of these settlements where there is demonstrable public support.

8.43 In assessing whether there is demonstrable public support, planning applications should be supported by evidence of pre-application consultation which shows that there is genuine support from the local community and the Parish Council or Parish Meeting. Any relevant concerns raised by the community or the Parish Council or Parish Meeting should be addressed by the developer. If during the consultation stage of the planning application, planning objections are raised by the community, the application should be amended to address any relevant concerns. If all planning concerns raised by the community and the Parish Council or Parish Meeting have not been addressed the application will not be supported. To ensure the overall strategy for the District and the rural areas is met, the Council will not support development which cumulatively, when considered against other developments within the Countryside, would undermine the overall distribution of development set out in Policies WLP1.1 and WLP7.1.

8.44 Sites suitable for small scale development provide opportunities for custom and self build dwellings. Where these are of good design and in keeping with the surrounding properties and character of the area they will be supported. 

Policy WLP8.7 - Small Scale Residential Development in the Countryside

Small scale residential development in the Countryside of up to three dwellings will be permitted where:

  • The site constitutes a clearly identifiable gap within a built up area of a settlement within the Countryside;
  • There are existing residential properties on three sides of the site; and
  • The development does not extend further into the undeveloped Countryside than the existing extent of the built up area surrounding the site.
  • Small scale residential development in the Countryside of up to and including five dwellings will also be permitted where:
  • There is clear and demonstrable local support;
  • The scheme demonstrates meaningful and robust consultation with the Parish Council, local community and other stakeholders;
  • Following consultation, it can be demonstrated that any planning impacts identified by the local community have been fully addressed and therefore the scheme is supported by the community;
  • The site is adjacent or within the built-up area of the settlement within the Countryside; and
  • The scheme when considered cumulatively with other developments in the Countryside would not result in a level of development which would be contrary to the strategy outlined in Policies WLP1.1 and WLP7.1

For all small scale development in the Countryside the design of the scheme will need to respect and reflect the character of the settlement and existing built up frontage including:

  • Housing density is reflective of the density in the village and surrounding built up area; and
  • The ratio of the building footprint to the plot area is consistent with existing properties nearby which characterise the village.