Planning Portal

Draft PPS14 Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy CTY 6

Policy CTY 6 – Social Housing
Planning permission may be granted for a small group of dwellings (generally no more than 8 dwellings) to provide social housing for the rural community where a demonstrable need has been identified by the NI Housing Executive which cannot be met within an existing settlement in the locality.
Where the need relates to an existing rural settlement the following sequential test in terms of location will be applied:
(a) a minor extension to the existing settlement limit, subject to amenity and environmental considerations;
(b) any site close to the settlement limits which currently contains buildings or where the site is already in a degraded or derelict state and there is an opportunity to improve the environment;
(c) an undeveloped site in close proximity to the settlement and clearly associated with it.
Where the need relates to a more isolated rural area the housing group should be associated with a traditional focal point such as a church, hall, school or community centre.
All proposals will need to be sited and designed to integrate sympathetically with their surroundings and meet other planning criteria and policy requirements.

Justification & Amplification

4.52 The majority of land considered by the Department as suitable for housing developments will be allocated through the development plan process within settlements.
4.53 While planning policy resists groups of dwellings in the countryside, an exception may be made where a specific need for social housing has been established through a local housing needs assessment undertaken by the NI Housing Executive, and where the need has not been foreseen and provided for through the development plan process.
4.54 Proposals for groups of dwellings for social housing will need to be accompanied by information demonstrating that the potential to locate the necessary housing within settlement limits has been explored, and that no suitable sites are available.
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