Waveney Local Plan

Conversion of Rural Buildings to Residential Use

8.53 There are a number of architectural and historically valuable rural buildings in the Countryside which occasionally become redundant or disused. Preferably these buildings should continue to be used for commercial purposes to support the rural economy. However, residential conversions may sometimes also be appropriate. The National Planning Policy Framework supports the re-use of redundant or disused buildings in the countryside, where for residential purposes, it would enhance the immediate setting. Conversion of buildings in the countryside can sometimes also help safeguard heritage assets.

8.54 Policy WLP8.11 supports the conversion of redundant rural buildings to residential use where the development secures or safeguards a heritage asset. The Policy also allows for conversion of buildings which are locally distinctive and of architectural merit. It is unlikely that modern farm buildings would be considered locally distinctive and of architectural quality and therefore would not qualify for conversion under this policy. Conversion should not result in a residential curtilage which is harmful to the rural character of the area, and the aim should be about enhancing the quality of the setting in line with the requirements of the Framework.

8.55 Some complexes of rural buildings can be quite large and it is important that the conversion of farm buildings does not result in an unsustainable level of residential development in the Countryside which is contrary to the strategy set out in Policies WLP1.1 and WLP7.1. 

Policy WLP8.11 - Conversion of Rural Buildings to Residential Use

The conversion of redundant rural buildings in the Countryside to residential use will be permitted where it secures or safeguards a heritage asset or:

  • The building is locally distinctive and of architectural merit and the conversion requires only minimal alteration;
  • The creation of a residential curtilage does not have a harmful effect on the character of the countryside or settlement;
  • The conversion enhances the immediate setting of the area;
  • The site is served by an appropriate existing access; and
  • The development 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