Revised NPPF: Sub-division of dwellings in the countryside

The basis of many aspects included in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) have undergone changes as a result of the publication of the revised NPPF in July 2018.

The previously entitled paragraph 55 that allowed for new isolated homes in the countryside as well as provision of a dwelling of exceptional design and quality remains intact. Now referred to as paragraph 79, the list of previous tests that allow for development of isolated homes in the countryside still follows the same foundation.

However, the Government has added a new circumstance when permission can be granted, this being when “the development would involve the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling”. In this respect, paragraph 78 highlights the importance of sustainable housing development in rural areas that would enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. Paragraph 79 responds accordingly, opening up further opportunities. 

This is an interesting provision, however, at this stage it is unclear how this will reconcile with the majority of Development Plan policies that had similar exceptions to the original paragraph 55.  Furthermore, there appears to be no limit on the subdivision, so it seems quite feasible that if an original dwelling is big enough and otherwise capable it could be turned into multiple units.

Author: Leila Cramphorn

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