Plus ça change….

In PPS7 Annex A – gone but not forgotten and Nearly four years on and deleted guidance is still in use we remarked on inspectors’ reluctance to let go of PPS7 guidance on new farm dwellings.

Readers might recall that PPS7 guidance required a proposal for a new agricultural dwelling to satisfy a functional and a financial test in order for an isolated new house in the countryside to be justified. The NPPF, on the other hand, states only that there has to be an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside. But how do you assess an essential need?

An inspector dealing with a proposal for a farm dwelling in County Durham has skilfully got round the problem by simply interpreting the new guidance in the same frame of reference as the old guidance (DCS Number 200-006-807).

Here we are:

“Whilst both the council and the appellant have referred to the former PPS7, in particular Annex A, this has been replaced by the Framework which does not contain detailed advice on how essential need might be demonstrated. However, in my judgement, for an essential need to exist there must be some aspect of the farm operation that demands a residential presence on the holding, and there must be some certainty that the farm business is sufficiently soundly established that this presence will be required for the foreseeable future.”

In other words, the proposal must satisfy a functional and a financial test.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The following DCP section is relevant: 9.331

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