31.07.2019

Achieving Planning Outside of Settlement Boundaries


Planning permission for development of land in rural areas has traditionally been difficult to obtain due to planning policies seeking to control development with very few exceptions. As a result, potential development at sites outside of settlement boundaries can be proven difficult.

Here at Parker Planning Services, we use our expertise to demonstrate the consideration of potential development for sites which otherwise would be discounted for, successfully arguing the case for both residential and commercial uses, particularly in relation to the conversion of buildings and the reuse of sites.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that in situations where the Local Planning Authority can’t demonstrate a 5-year supply of deliverable housing sites, permission in most cases should be granted. Likewise, it states that housing should be located where it will enhance the vitality of a rural community and on retaining local services and community facilities. As a result, this means that opportunities for sites that fall outside of settlement boundaries can arise where Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) don’t have up to date adopted local plans.

Example: 

In one successful case we were approached with a commercial site that lies outside of a settlement boundary – a factor that could’ve made potential development at the site difficult. As the site had been previously used for commercial purposes, we investigated the sites planning history. The site had previously been granted permission for specific uses, therefore existing permissions were bespoke and restricted, meaning a full application of change of use would need to be submitted. In order to cover the whole site for the use of the applicant, we provided a robust and extensive planning application to the council demonstrating the Local Planning Authority’s need for a 5-year supply of deliverable housing sites. This also carefully considered the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that applicants should only be refused on highway grounds where cumulative impacts would be severe. We suggested that comparison should be given to the existing buildings and although the location is beyond the general employment area, the site was successful for an existing business and commercial site and is therefore ideal for the new proposed use of the applicant.

As a result, our work at Parker Planning Services shows that with our knowledge and expertise, it is possible to achieve planning permission outside of settlement boundaries.

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