Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Replacement dwellings and extensions in the countryside

9.53 National Planning Policy Guidance seeks to deliver a wide choice of homes and widen opportunities for ownership to create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities[1]. The replacement of small country dwellings with more grandiose houses can radically change the character of a site to one of a more suburban nature and also reduce the supply of the smaller rural dwellings. To help protect the character of South Somerset's countryside, extensions and replacements of dwellings need to be controlled in terms of scale and design. The erection of replacement dwellings and extensions to existing houses can individually, and cumulatively over a period of years, have an adverse impact both on the character of individual properties and the surrounding countryside.

9.54 The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has identified that the greatest difference in the District between supply and demand for housing, is for smaller 1 and 2 bedroom properties. This policy aims to give protection to traditional smaller properties in the countryside, therefore helping to meet the objective of providing appropriate housing for the needs of the population.

9.55 In determining what constitutes "disproportionate scale", account will be taken of the extent to which the dwelling has been previously extended, or could be extended under Permitted Development rights[2] and the character of the area. For the purposes of this policy 'original' is defined as the dwelling as it was built or as it existed as of the 1st July 1948.

Policy HG8: Replacement dwellings in the countryside

The replacement of existing dwellings in the countryside will only be permitted where:

  • The scale of the replacement would not result in an unacceptably large increase in the height or size of the original dwelling; and
  • The development is compatible with and sympathetic in scale, design, materials, layout and siting to the character and setting of adjoining buildings, and to the landscape character of the location; and
  • The replacement is on a one for one basis and evidence is provided that the use of the existing dwelling has not been abandoned.
Extensions to existing dwellings in the countryside will be permitted where the extension does not result in a dwelling that is disproportionate to the scale of the original dwelling and the size and design of the extension are appropriate to the landscape character of the location.

9.56 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy HG8:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Developers and Landowners;
Monitoring Indicators Target
Number of applications approved contrary to Policy HG8.
Review through the development management process.
Increased retention of traditional small properties in the countryside.
The housing mix of new development should correspond to the requirements as set out in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment or successor documents.
1. NPPF, March 2012 para 50 [back]
2. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 as amended, makes provision for a certain scale of development without need for planning permission subject to certain criteria [back]