Northern Ireland Planning Service

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy GB/CPA 4 Redundant Buildings

Policy GB/CPA 4 Redundant Buildings
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 4-Planning and Economic Development (insofar as it applies to economic development uses).
Bullet 3 of the criteria below has been superseded by: PPS 6-Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage
Planning permission will be granted for the change of use of an existing building in a Green Belt or Countryside Policy Area provided the proposal complies with certain criteria.
The criteria for re-use of redundant buildings are:
  • the building is redundant and its reuse would not result in the need for a new building as a replacement;
  • the building is structurally sound and its re-use would not result in the need for major alterations;
  • if the change of use is to a dwelling house, the building is of architectural or historic merit, or is an attractive building of traditional construction, which makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the locality - see Policy HOU 14;
  • 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 Green Belt or CPA and is not detrimental to agriculture, residential amenity or landscape quality.
There will be opportunities for re-using or adapting existing rural buildings for new and appropriate industrial, tourism and recreational uses or community facilities. Retailing, unless small-scale and ancillary to the main use, will not be considered appropriate in these circumstances.
Such re-use or adaptation will help to reduce demands for new building in the countryside, may encourage new enterprises and may provide jobs needed in rural areas. There should generally be no reason for preventing the re-use or adaptation of agricultural and other rural buildings for new uses, provided they meet the criteria and their form, scale and general design are in keeping with their surroundings.
The criteria in the main relate to the suitability of the building for conversion. Not all redundant buildings can be satisfactorily converted. The development must be an appropriate use and the proposals must demonstrate that the building is genuinely redundant, structurally sound, of sufficient size for the use proposed and capable of being adequately serviced. In all cases the need to maintain the character of the landscape of the Green Belt or CPA will be paramount.
In order to contain the proposed new uses to an acceptable level, and to protect the visual amenities of the Green Belt or CPA, it may be necessary to impose conditions to restrict the use of the building, to control any alteration or extension of the building, to prevent the erection of any further agricultural buildings, and to control or prevent any external storage, or the undertaking of any industrial activities outside the buildings.
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