Obtaining planning permission for a new house outside the settlement boundary

Landscape is key and the approach on the above site was to exercise in careful siting and design of the new building to ensure it integrated harmoniously with the surroundings and thereby protected the amenity and character of our countryside. An appropriate design will need to visually integrate into the surrounding landscape. It is widely accepted that a contemporary house can be deemed sensitive to the defining characteristics and be congruous to even sensitive landscape settings, if it is sited well and the design responds positively to the setting in terms of materiality, scale and form.

The NPPF Paragraph 80 (formerly paragraph 79) states that in rural areas special circumstances for new housing include where development would represent the optimal viable uses for and help secure the future of the site and lead to an enhancement to the immediate setting. The above scheme offered effective use of a redundant site with low environmental impact without having a detrimental impact on the street scene or the wider landscape setting. Furthermore, the proposal significantly enhanced the immediate setting and was sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area and the site.

To offer any compliance to Para 80 (previously Para 79) there are two tests to perform
  • The design‘ is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas.’
  • The design ‘would significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area’
The critical points in evaluating the site and progressing any project to obtaining planning outside the development boundary
  • An assessment of the economic benefits of best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land
  • Assessing all aspects of the site relating to the landscape. A Landscape Impact Assessment is critical.
  • The biodiversity aspects of the scheme and how will it benefit the site and area.
  • How a case could be made for compliance with Para 79 for the design
  • Community engagement and support