Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Rural Clustering

4.37 Justification as a Rural Centre could also apply to groups of small rural settlements in the countryside as is made clear in PPS4[1] where these settlements demonstrate an affinity with each other in the provision and use of services. These general principles have informed the following draft policy.

4.38 Home working is also growing in importance within the rural area as are small-scale live/work units. These are considered further in Chapter 9: Small Scale Economic Development in the Countryside.

4.39 For planning purposes, land outside Yeovil, the Market Towns and Rural Centres is considered as 'open countryside'.

1. Planning Policy Statement 4:Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth, 2009 [back]

Policy SS2 Development in Rural Settlements
Development in rural settlements (not Market Towns or Rural Centres) within the open countryside will be strictly controlled and limited to that which justifies a rural location and restricted to that which:
  • provides employment opportunities appropriate to the scale of the settlement and/or
  • creates, contributes to or enhances community facilities and services to serve the settlement; and/or
  • meets identified housing need, particularly for affordable housing.
Development which is commensurate with scale and nature of the settlement, increases the sustainability of the settlement and provides for one or more of the types of development above will be permitted.
Proposals for affordable housing solely on 'rural exceptions sites' will be subject to the following criteria:
  • The proposal is limited to the number and type of housing to that which can be justified based on the evidence from a local housing needs survey or the housing need register*;
  • There is access to a basic range of services appropriate to the scale and nature of housing proposed;
Appropriate safeguards will be in place to ensure that the housing will remain affordable in perpetuity.
*Indicators to be used in defining local need within the parish or group of parishes are:
  • The need for affordable housing should be quantified through a local housing needs survey or the Council's housing needs register as appropriate. Local is defined as being the parish or immediately adjoining parishes forming a contiguous group around a central parish.
  • Existing residents needing separate accommodation in the area (new couples, people leaving tied accommodation on retirement);
  • People whose work provides important services and who need to live closer to the local community;
  • People who are not necessarily resident locally but have long standing links with the local community, (e.g. people who needed to move back to a village to be near relatives);
  • People with the offer of a job in the locality, who cannot take up the offer because of lack of affordable housing; and
  • Existing residents who would otherwise qualify for housing or re-housing under the criteria used by the District Council in respect of its housing register including those who by reason of age, infirmity or disability are in need of special housing.