Businesses in the Countryside

Businesses in the Countryside

DM 58 - 63

Economic development in the countryside

Core Strategy Policies

CS20 Supporting a Successful Economy

CS18 The re-use of previously developed land and existing buildings in preference to the loss of green field sites

CS2 provides guidance on delivering sustainable design and construction.

CS33 Smaller settlements and countryside

Replacement Local Plan Policies

E/7-Proposals for business development in the countryside.

RD/2 - Conversion and re-use of rural buildings 

Policy Intentions:

  • Prioritise the redevelopment of redundant sites and buildings for economic use.
  • Support existing business uses already located in the countryside to grow by permitting expansion and extensions, provided there is no adverse impact on the landscape or other material considerations.
  • Restrict new economic development on greenfield land in the countryside to that which requires a countryside location. 

Background

These policies largely reflect existing policies in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan but have been updated to reflect the NPPF and the need to promote and stimulate the rural economy. New buildings may be acceptable in the countryside provided, in the interests of sustainability, that existing buildings, the redevelopment of existing sites as well as locations in the towns, service villages and infill settlements have been considered as the first priority. The policies support the redevelopment of redundant existing sites, the reuse of rural buildings and the extensions to existing business premises in the countryside for business use. 

Policy DM 58: New business development in the countryside

Development proposals for new buildings for business use (B1, B2 or B8 useand non-residential institutions (D1) and assembly and leisure (D2)) on greenfield sites in the countryside will only be permitted where no suitable redevelopment sites or redundant rural buildings are available and:

  • The proposal relates to processing locally grown produce or other land-based rural business;
  • It is demonstrated that the use could not be located in the preferred main towns, or within a nearby Service or Infill Village; or
  • The intended use specifically and measurably benefits from the specific countryside location.

Retailing, other than farm shops, small scale village stores or proposals that are ancillary to the main use, will not be permitted.

The character and appearance of the countryside must not be harmed and the materials, form, bulk and general design of new buildings will need to be in keeping with their surroundings

Note: New buildings are inappropriate in the Green Belt other than for the exceptions specified in the National Planning Policy Framework or in very special circumstances.

Policy DM 59: The redevelopment of redundant previously developed land in the countryside for business uses ( B1,B2 and B8 )and non-residential institutions(D1) and assembly and leisure (D2)

Infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of redundant previously developed land in the countryside for the above uses, will be permitted provided:

  • the character and appearance of the countryside is not harmed; and
  • existing structurally sound traditional buildings on the site which contribute to the rural character of the area are maintained and converted; and
  • the materials, form, bulk and general design of new building is in keeping with their surroundings; and
  • there are no significant adverse effects on living conditions or the local highway network; and
  • redevelopment would bring significant local environmental, economic or social benefits.

With regard to non-residential institutions (D1) and assembly and leisure (D2), the redundant building will need to be close to and have safe and convenient access to a Town, Service or Infill Village.

Retailing, other than farm shops, small scale village stores or proposals that are ancillary to the main use, will not be permitted.

Note: Where the site is also located in the Green Belt Policy DM 13 (Development within the Green Belt) will also apply.

Previously developed land is defined in the glossary.

Policy DM 60: Extensions , ancillary buildings or the intensification of use for existing businesses located in the countryside

Replacement buildings, extensions to buildings, ancillary buildings or the intensification of use for existing businesses, located in the countryside will be permitted provided that:

  • the scale of the proposal is not harmful to the character and appearance of the countryside; and
  • the materials, form, bulk and general design of buildings are in keeping with their rural surroundings; and
  • there are no significant adverse effects on living conditions or the local highway network.

The re-use of existing buildings is given priority over new development; only where no suitable buildings are available will new development be acceptable.

Proposals to extend outside the curtilage into surrounding countryside will need to be fully justified and not be harmful to the character and appearance of the countryside. Where it is considered likely that further expansion or intensification is likely in the future, the business will be encouraged to work with the council to identify suitable sites for relocation in the Towns or Service Villages where practicable.

Retailing, other than farm shops, small scale village stores or proposals that are ancillary to the main use, will not be permitted.

Proposals for extensions or alterations to buildings located in the Green Belt should also comply with policy DM 13 (Development within the Green Belt).

Note: This policy does not apply to the conversion of redundant rural buildings which is covered by Policy DM 61 (Conversion and reuse of redundant rural buildings for business use (B1, B2, and B8) and non-residential institutions (D1) and assembly and leisure (D2)).

Policy DM 61: Conversion and reuse of rural buildings for business uses (B1,B2 and B8) and non-residential institutions (D1) and assembly and leisure (D2)

The conversion or re-use of rural buildings (as defined in the glossary) to the above uses will be permitted provided that:

  • they are of permanent and substantial construction and capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction;
  • any extension as part of the conversion or subsequently should not be disproportionate to the original building and respect the scale and character of the building and its setting;
  • if the building was completed less than 10 years ago for an agricultural use the applicant will need to demonstrate that the conversion of this building is essential for the long term benefit of the associated agricultural/forestry operation;
  • the proposal respects the scale, form, materials and design of the existing building and does not harm the character of the surrounding area and the impact of external facilities, e.g. curtilage treatment, parking is minimal and landscaping respects the local rural character;
  • the location has reasonable access to the highway network and where appropriate is close to and has safe and convenient access to a Town, Service or Infill Village;
  • it would not have a significant adverse effect on the living conditions of adjoining occupiers or adversely affect the operation of working farms; and
  • retailing, other than farm shops, small scale village stores or proposals that are ancillary to the main use, will not be permitted.

Notes: See glossary for a definition of rural building.

To meet the test of 'capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction' 70% of the exterior walls should be standing and in good condition.

Policy DM 62: Conversion and reuse of rural buildings for tourist accommodation

The conversion or re-use of rural buildings (as defined in the glossary) to the above uses will be permitted provided that:

  • they are of permanent and substantial construction and capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction;
  • any extension as part of the conversion or subsequently should not be disproportionate to the original building and all proposals should respect the scale and character of the building and its setting;
  • the building is of traditional construction and contributes to the local rural character;
  • applicants can demonstrate that they have a business case and/or evidence of demand in that locality;
  • the development will not result in an adverse effect on the character of the area due to the a proliferation of tourist accommodation;
  • the building is capable of proving a high standard of tourist accommodation in accordance with a national quality assessment scheme;
  • the proposal would result in an enhancement of the immediate setting, and the impact of external facilities, e.g. curtilage treatment, parking is minimal and landscaping respects the local rural character; and
  • it would not have a significant adverse effect on the living conditions of adjoining occupiers or adversely affect the operationof working farms.

Subsequent applications to change holiday accommodation to permanent residential use or the removal of conditions for holiday accommodation will not be permitted within 10 years of the conversion and unless it complies with Policy DM 46 (The conversion of rural buildings to residential use).

Notes: See glossary for a definition of rural building.

To meet the test of 'capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction' 70% of the exterior walls should be standing and in good condition.

Traditional buildings would include those constructed of natural stone and tiles but exclude modern steel and block-work buildings.

A separate evidence paper has been produced summarising the location and quantum of self catering tourist accommodation available across the district that is known to the council. The document can be viewed here.

Policy DM 63: Camping and caravan sites

Planning permission will be granted outside of the Green Belt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for new or extended touring and static caravan sites and camping sites provided that the proposals are based on evidence supporting the demand for additional provision and:

  • the proposal respects the scale, form, materials and design of any existing buildings and does not harm the character of the surrounding area;
  • the location is reasonably accessible with regard to the proposed use and complies with Policy DM 24 (Safety, traffic and the provision of infrastructure etc. associated with development);
  • the re-use of existing buildings is given priority over new development; only where no suitable buildings are available will new development be acceptable; and
  • proposals for extensions to existing sites that are considered intrusive must include environmental improvements to the existing site.