Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy HOU 10 Retirement from Farming

Policy HOU 10 Retirement From Farming
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
Planning permission may be granted for a dwelling house on a farm in a Green Belt or Countryside Policy Area, for a farmer retiring from farming, or for the widow or widower of a farmer, to facilitate the orderly transfer or sale of the farm.
Where a farmer is retiring from agriculture or dies, planning permission may be granted for a house on the farm, to enable the farmer or widow/widower to continue to live on that land, provided the application fulfils the following criteria:
  • the applicant last worked mainly as a farmer, or is the widow or widower of someone who last worked mainly as a farmer;
  • the applicant is of retirement age and has recently retired or is about to retire; or has to retire prematurely from farming because of ill-health; or is a widow or widower, as in the above criterion
  • the siting of the house is on the land which the applicant, or, in the case of a widow or widower, her or his spouse, farmed until retirement;
  • the farm is viable and therefore capable of supporting a farmer in full-time employment;
  • the farm holding, is being sold or transferred as a going concern;
  • the existing farmhouse will continue to be used as the main farmhouse on the farm l there are no existing alternative development opportunities available on the farm - see Policy HOU 9;
  • no houses or housing development sites have been "sold off" from the holding; and
  • the site meets the planning and environmental criteria set out in policies· HOU 8 & HOU 9;
Information on the farming activities and the applicant's or deceased's part in them will be required. It will not be sufficient to have been involved in farming on a part-time basis, in the evening and at week-ends, or to have received the main income from fulltime employment outside agriculture.
Retirement in itself will not justify an additional dwelling on a farm holding. The future of the holding and the existing farmhouse are important considerations. It must be demonstrated that there is need for an additional house.
It will not be necessary for a new dwelling, granted on retirement from farming, to be integrated with the existing farm buildings, although, on some occasions, this can be an acceptable solution, particularly when a farm is being transferred within the family and the farmer wishes to retain a working link with the holding.
All approvals under this policy will be subject to an agricultural occupancy condition - see Policy HOU 9.
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