BARN HOME DESIGN AND PLANS
The 2007 application was refused and an appeal was lodged to challenge the refusal. This takes us round to mid-2008, at which point the independent appeal inspector reviewed the decision notice from the local planning authority and concluded that the refusal was upheld and the appeal should not succeed. In other words - a kick in the teeth - but not entirely unexpected.
Things went quiet for a bit while we considered our position but also a number of important changes were happening in both local planning policy and national planning policy.
Nationally, the NPPF 2012 (National Planning Policy Framework) was being drafted by central government which was intended to provide greater clarity to the planning system and reduced 1000’s of pages of technically worded policies into around 50 pages of clearer and simpler policies based around sustainability and community led planning. One of the key messages delivered within the NPPF is that there should be a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ but also, if a local planning authority has an out of date local plan or cannot deliver sites to meet a five year projection for housing, the NPPF should be a material consideration in the determination of any planning application for new housing. In other words, if a local planning authority does not have its house in order (pardon the pun) then the NPPF is the new kid on the block and should be listened to.
In response to the NPPF, this particular local authority were already re-drafting their own planning policies and there were specific wording changes that may just give us the ‘in’ that we needed to re-submit this application.
Small scale residential development of a small undeveloped plot, in accordance with policy DM28 of the DPD and Policy DM28 - Housing in the Countryside
Proposals for new dwellings may be permitted in the countryside subject to satisfying the following criteria;
a) the development is within a closely knit ‘cluster’ of 10 or more existing dwellings adjacent to or fronting an existing highway.
b) the scale of development consists of infilling a small undeveloped plot by one dwelling or a pair of semi detached dwellings commensurate with the scale and character of existing dwellings within an otherwise continuous built up frontage.
These revisions to local and national policy gave us the confidence to go for it again and over the space of another year or so, we kept an eye on local planning decisions and how local authorities were interpreting the new legislation contained within the NPPF.
Mid 2013 saw us re-submit the barn style oak home design application in pretty much the same format as the refused scheme although we did re-position the proposed dwelling to be more central within the plot and therefore less out into open countryside. More importantly, the revised proposal showed the dwelling to be within the cluster of nearby dwellings and therefore more of an infill scheme rather than open countryside. In other words, following the exact wording of the revised local authority policies and echoing the overall sentiments of the NPPF.