Policy HSG1: New Housing in the Countryside

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy HSG1:  New Housing in the Countryside

Development proposals for new housing outside of Settlement Policy Boundaries must meet the Plan’s climate change policies to support the council’s climate emergency declaration, and will only be permitted where they are:

1. On ‘previously developed land’, provided that:

  1. They do not result in an isolated form of development; and
  2. The proposed use and scale of development is appropriate to the site’s context and does not cause unacceptable levels of harm in relation to landscape, heritage, ecological impacts or transport or

2.  For a rural exception site for affordable housing or a first homes exceptions site (where permitted by Policy HSG3); specialist housing (where permitted by Policy HSG6); or a single plot exception site for custom and self-build housing (where permitted by Policy HSG4); or

For the re-use of a redundant or disused permanent building provided that the proposal:

  1. Involves a building that is structurally sound and does not require substantial rebuilding, extension or alteration;
  2. Respects and retains the character, fabric and distinctive features of the building, where such features are considered beneficial to retain; and
  3. Does not result in the requirement for another building to fulfil the function of the building being converted; and
  4. It leads to an enhancement to the immediate setting; and
  5. Demonstrates that it minimises carbon emissions in accordance with the energy hierarchy set out in Policy ENV11; or

4. For a replacement dwelling that is not temporary in nature provided that:

  1. The size of the proposal would be appropriate to the plot; and
  2. It would not be visually intrusive in the landscape or harm the character and local distinctiveness of the rural area; or

5. Proposals for four net dwellings or fewer that provide dwellings of a number, size and type that meet an unmet need in the local area  provided that:

  1. The need is clearly evidenced and locally agreed;
  2. The site It is well related to the existing settlement and the local area where the need is arising and would not result in an isolated form of development; and
  3. The development will respect the qualities of the local landscape and be sympathetic to its character and visual quality; and
  4. The development will respect and relate to the character, form and appearance of surrounding development, and respect the amenities of the residents of neighbouring properties; or

6. For a new dwelling linked to an existing and viable agricultural, forestry, horse breeding and training, livery or equivalent rural business, where it can be shown that:

  1. There is an essential need for the occupant to be on site at any time during any 24 hour period; and
  2. No alternative suitable accommodation is available in the locality; and
  3. The rural business linked to the proposed new building must have been viable for the previous three years; or

7. Allocated for development in a Neighbourhood Plan which has been ‘made’ by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

8. For the sub-division of an existing building provided that:

  1. There would be no adverse impact upon the character or appearance of the area.
10.2 This policy applies to the countryside, i.e. areas outside defined Settlement Policy Boundaries which are not allocated for development in the Local Plan.
10.3 The aim of the Local Plan is to direct development to within the identified Settlement Policy Boundaries and specific site allocations. Within the countryside, it is the intention to maintain the borough’s open character, prevent the coalescence of settlements, and resist the encroachment of development into rural areas. The countryside is therefore subject to a more restrictive policy.
10.4 However, the Local Plan recognises that the borough’s rural areas include a large number of smaller settlements which vary in size and function, in addition to a variety of rural enterprises. As such, the policy incorporates flexibility to support the provision of new homes where they will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities and meet identified needs. The policy will prevent isolated homes in the countryside.

Previously developed land

10.5 The redevelopment of previously developed land in the countryside will generally be encouraged provided that the site is not isolated. This includes sites on the council’s Brownfield Land Register. It will be important to ensure that the form and scale of development is appropriate to the site’s context, and in particular takes into account the landscape, heritage and biodiversity value of the site, and any transport impacts that may result.

Re-use of existing buildings

10.6 Buildings constructed of temporary or short-life materials, and which are derelict and in an advanced state of disrepair, are not considered suitable for re-use. A structural survey of the building to be converted will be required to demonstrate the structural integrity of the building and the extent of changes to be made to its fabric.

Replacement dwellings

10.7 The council recognises that existing dwellings within the countryside may be subject to proposals to replace them. However, this is limited to those which are not temporary in nature or the result of a temporary permission. The impact of a replacement dwelling is likely to increase with its size, especially in relation to the impact on its surroundings and being out of scale with its plot.
10.8 A replacement dwelling should be positioned within the site where it would result in no material harm, including to the local landscape or amenity. It should not require any extension to its curtilage.
10.9 The size and design of the proposal should not result in the property becoming more visually intrusive in the countryside or out of scale with its plot.

To meet a local need

10.10 The policy allows small-scale new residential development in the countryside in limited circumstances, where there is clear evidence to demonstrate that it would meet an unmet local need (for example, in relation to the number, size and type of dwellings), as agreed by the Local Planning Authority in consultation with the parish/town council.
10.11 Developments should be four dwellings or fewer (net) to fall below the size threshold of sites that could be allocated through neighbourhood plans. It will be necessary for such developments to be well related to existing settlements and be suitably designed to respect the landscape setting and relate well to surrounding development.
10.12 One way of identifying whether there is need in the local area would be through a housing needs survey. It will usually be appropriate to assess need at Parish level, except where a Parish includes more than one settlement or where the proposal is adjacent to a neighbouring parish. In such cases, it will be necessary to show that need arises in or around the settlement where the new homes are proposed.
10.13 It may also be necessary to demonstrate that suitable properties could not be made available to meet the identified need in any other way. For example, the need could not be met by any other planning permissions or allocations, or through churn in the local housing stock.
10.14 Where a local housing need has been accepted, it will be necessary to require the property to be preferentially marketed to local people to ensure the new home has an opportunity to meet that identified need.

Rural workers’ dwellings

10.15 There may be instances where it is necessary for a new dwelling to be built in the countryside to meet the need for a worker to be accommodated on site, such as for an agricultural, forestry, horse breeding and training, livery or equivalent use. In general, given that the borough’s characteristics are such that most agricultural and other countryside-based enterprises are reasonably accessible to settlements, the council will require applicants to demonstrate that the need cannot be met through (for example) call out or the provision of casual overnight accommodation rather than a full time residence. The size of the tied dwelling should be proportionate to the functional needs of the rural establishment, and this should also be a key consideration for any future proposals for that home to be extended. 
10.16 The removal of agricultural ties to dwellings in the countryside will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the business linked to the dwelling has ceased to exist, or that the business has permanently changed its operation which no longer requires the linked dwelling, and that there is no demand for that dwelling from someone solely, mainly or last working in agriculture or forestry within the local area and not just on that particular holding.
Implementation and Monitoring

The policy will be implemented through:

  • Decisions on planning applications.

The policy will be monitored against:

  • Decisions on new dwellings in the countryside (approvals/refusals) in relation to the different circumstances in which this policy permits development.


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