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Draft PPS14 Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy CTY 1

Policy CTY 1 – Development in the Countryside
A presumption against development will be operated throughout the countryside with the exception of a limited number of types of development which are considered in principle to be acceptable and details of which are set out below.
No other development will be permitted unless there are overriding reasons why that development is essential and could not be located in a settlement, or it is otherwise allocated for development in a development plan.
Where a Special Countryside Area (SCA) is designated in a development plan, no development will be permitted unless it complies with the specific policy provisions of the relevant plan.

Housing Development

Planning permission will be granted for an individual dwelling house in the countryside in the following cases:
  • a farm dwelling in accordance with Policy CTY 2;
  • a dwelling for a retiring farmer in accordance with Policy CTY 3;
  • a dwelling to meet the essential needs of a non-agricultural business enterprise in accordance with Policy CTY 4;
  • a replacement dwelling in accordance with Policy CTY 5; or
  • the development of a small gap site sufficient only to accommodate one house within an otherwise substantial and continuously built up frontage in accordance with Policy CTY 12.
Planning permission will also be granted in the countryside for:
  • the provision of social housing in accordance with Policy CTY 6;
  • the conversion of a listed or vernacular building to residential accommodation in accordance with the policies of PPS 62;
  • an extension to a dwelling house where this is in accordance with Policy HOU 16 of PSRNI3;
  • a residential caravan or mobile home where this is in accordance with Policy CTY 7; or
  • a transit site for Travellers where this is in accordance with Policy HS 3 of PPS 124.

Non-Residential Development

Planning permission will be granted for non-residential development in the countryside in the following cases:
  • agricultural and forestry development in accordance with Policy CTY 8;
  • farm diversification proposals in accordance with Policy CTY 9;
  • tourism development in accordance with the TOU Policies of PSRNI;
  • industry and business uses in accordance with PPS 45;
  • minerals development in accordance with the MIN Policies of PSRNI;
  • outdoor sport and recreation uses in accordance with PPS 86,
  • renewable energy projects in accordance with Policy PSU 12 of PSRNI; or
  • a necessary community facility to serve the local rural population.
There are a range of other types of non-residential development that may be acceptable in principle in the countryside, e.g. certain utilities or telecommunications development. Proposals for such development will continue to be considered in accordance with existing published planning policies.
Where however an existing policy in the PSRNI or a PPS distinguishes between development in Green Belts/CPAs and non-policy areas, the policy provisions for Green Belt/CPA will apply to all proposals until such times as that policy is superseded.

Reuse of Buildings

Planning permission will be granted for the change of use of an existing building in the countryside to a non-residential use where the proposal is in accordance with the following provisions:
  • its reuse would not result in the need for a new building as a replacement;
  • the building is of sound and permanent construction and is proposed for reuse without major alterations;
  • the building is large enough to accommodate the proposed use and the site is of adequate size;
  • services and access are available or can be supplied or upgraded without adverse environmental impact; and
  • the nature and scale of the proposed use is appropriate to a countryside location and is not detrimental to agriculture, residential amenity or landscape quality.
2 PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage, 1999, DOE Planning Service.
3 A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland, 1993, DOE.
4 PPS 12: Housing in Settlements, 2002, DRD.
5 PPS 4: Industrial Development, 1997, DOE Planning Service. This PPS is currently under review.
6 PPS 8: Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation, 2004, DOE Planning Service.
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