Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Comment ID 4601665//2
Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Dwellings in the Countryside DM45-47 View all on this section
Respondent Leigh & Glennie Ltd View all by this respondent
Response Date 12 Apr 2013

Policy DM46 is inconsistent with the NPPF. The wording of the proposed policy seeks to impose an economic test on the re-use of a building, ie requiring marketing first with a presumption of a commercial use over residential.

There is no such test in the NPPF. Paragraph 55 sets out the circumstances where homes in the countryside can be allowed, and the third circumstance is for the re-use of redundant or disused buildings; there is no requirement for a commercial use to be considered first. There is no evidence presented to justify a departure from this national policy.

The draft Policy DM46 is also inconsistent in only seeking to allow 'traditional' buildings to be converted. Again, there is no provision for this in national policy. This is an illogical approach: if a building exists already, whatever its appearance  happens to be will continue to exist in that appearance whatever its use. If it is not 'traditional', it is not going to change its design if it remains unused. In fact, a proposal to change to residential may lead to an enhancement of the building and the setting; indeed, that is the third bullet point of paragraph 55 of the NPPF.

The two requirements of the economic test and the 'traditional design' test are therefore not supported by national planning policy, serve no purpose, are not logical, and so should be deleted.