Eligibility Feedback

This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with us first. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site is solely at your own risk.

Land type

Brownfield

The government and planning authorities prefer development on brownfield sites; mostly because of their commitment to wildlife protection – something that greenfield sites pose a threat to. Because of this, brownfield sites have become a core attribute for the UK’s Sustainable Development Strategy and currently, the government are aiming to approve the planning permission for 90% of the UK’s brownfield sites by 2020.

 

Local councils are also keen to transform older, derelict buildings into useable properties; meaning it is much easier to gain permission to develop on brownfield sites.

 

In recent years, the development on greenfield sites has become a lot more restricted to prevent further, unnecessary loss to our countryside and wildlife. Development on Greenfield sites is more likely to be permitted where a site sits within or on the border of a village envelope. Depending on local policy and the size and sustainability of the town or village, it may also be necessary to demonstrate that a proposed development meets a local need for housing.

 

It is important to assess local planning policy to understand what proposals may be acceptable as this will differ between local authorities.

 

Planning policies generally support the replacement of existing dwellings however it depends on where the dwelling is located. For example, in the Green Belt the size of the replacement dwelling you can construct is very tightly controlled.

Would development result in a potential loss of employment?

N/A

Is the site on land within:

Great weight is given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues. The conservation and enhancement of wildlife and cultural heritage are also important considerations in these areas, and are given great weight in National Parks. Where significant development of agricultural land is demonstrated to be necessary, areas of poorer quality land should be preferred to those of a higher quality.

 

The scale and extent of development within these designated areas should be limited. Planning permission will generally be refused for major development other than in exceptional circumstances, and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest.

The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.

Planning authorities regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the Green Belt. Exceptions to this are:

 

  1. buildings for agriculture and forestry;

  2. the provision of appropriate facilities (in connection with the existing use of land or a change of use) for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation, cemeteries and burial grounds and allotments; as long as the facilities preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it;

  3. the extension or alteration of a building provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building;

  4. the replacement of a building, provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces;

  5. limited infilling in villages;

  6. limited affordable housing for local community needs under policies set out in the development plan (including policies for rural exception sites); and

  7. limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed land, whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would:

    • not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development; or

    • not cause substantial harm to the openness of the Green Belt, where the development would re-use previously developed land and contribute to meeting an identified affordable housing need within the area of the local planning authority.

Settlement Boundary or Open Countryside?

Inside

A settlement boundary is a line that is drawn on a plan around a village, which reflects its built form. This is also known historically as a ‘village envelope’. Planning policies favour development within a settlement boundary, particularly where the development proposal is residential in nature. The purpose of this is to avoid the development of isolated homes in the countryside.

 

Land which borders of a development boundary can also be developed but it is important to consult the local plan (and neighbourhood plan, if you have one) to understand the vision for development within the town or village.

 

Planning policies and decisions avoid the development of isolated homes in the countryside unless one or more of the following circumstances apply:

 

  1. there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside;

  2. the development would represent the optimal viable use of a heritage asset or would be appropriate enabling development to secure the future of heritage assets;

  3. the development would re-use redundant or disused buildings and enhance its immediate setting;

  4. the development would involve the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling; or

  5. the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:

    • is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and

    • would significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

We review all of our Eligibility Checker responses and we may contact you if we believe that your land or buildings might be suitable for development. You can also get in touch with us to discuss your results or any other planning queries by email or by phone.