Sub-division of dwellings

Sub-division of dwellings

“Our article last month covered the amalgamation of dwellings. Here, we consider the sub-division of dwellings to create two or more separate dwellings out of a single dwelling, for which planning permission is required, and where there has recently been a significant change in planning policy”, says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“Prior to the publication of the July 2018 revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) it was common practice for Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to refuse applications for the subdivision of dwellings where they were considered to be isolated homes in the countryside as being contrary to planning policy which seeks to prevent new homes in isolated locations. However, in July 2018, the NPPF was amended to introduce an exception where new homes are created by the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling”, explains Dinnis.

Dinnis continues, “this policy change was tested at the end of last year when a planning inspector heard an appeal against a refusal by East Devon District Council (ED) to remove a planning condition that restricted the occupation of a dwelling as an annexe to the main dwelling and prevented it from being used as an independent residential unit. ED said that the removal of the planning condition would have the effect of creating a new independent dwelling in a rural area which would be contrary to its local plan. The planning inspector allowed the appeal and removed the condition. In the appeal decision the inspector said that the inclusion of the exception in the NPPF altered the fundamental basis on which the appeal was considered and was a material consideration that carried substantial weight that outweighed the conflict with the ED local plan”.

“This decision creates a fresh opportunity for owners of residential accommodation that is ancillary to the main dwelling, such as granny annexes, to apply to remove the restriction and allow it to be used as a separate independent dwelling”, advises Dinnis.

For further information on any rural planning matters please contact Brian Dinnis on 01884 214052 or at briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk.

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