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Draft PPS14 Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy CTY 5: Justification & Amplification Abandonment of Residential Use

4.47 Where a dwelling to be replaced is unoccupied or where it is unclear when the dwelling was last occupied, the onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate that residential use has not been abandoned. This will be assessed having regard to the following matters8:
  • the physical condition of the dwelling;
  • the period the dwelling has not been in use;
  • whether there has been any intervening use; and
  • evidence of the owner’s intentions.
4.48 Fundamental to the consideration of a replacement dwelling is that the building to be replaced is in fact a dwelling house or that it was last lawfully used as a dwelling house. The internal arrangement of the building should reflect its use as a dwelling and it will generally be expected to have the normal requirements of living available, although facilities, or the quality of the building, may not be necessarily up to the standards considered acceptable in a modern dwelling house.
4.49 Where no dwelling exists, or it is concluded that use of the building as a dwelling has been abandoned, planning permission will not be forthcoming even if approval was previously granted for a replacement dwelling on the site. Exceptionally, where a dwelling has recently been destroyed, for example, through an accident or a fire, planning permission may be granted for a replacement dwelling.Evidence about the status and previous condition of the building and the cause and extent of the damage must be provided.
8 These tests of abandonment are set out in a judgment by the Court of Appeal (Hughes v SSETR & Another, 2000).
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