Policy RUR 10: Employment development in the open countryside
- Under LPS Policy PG 6 'Open countryside', development that is essential for uses appropriate to a rural area will be permitted in the open countryside. Employment development may be appropriate to a rural area where:
- its scale is appropriate to the location and setting;
- the nature of the business means that a countryside location is essential; and
- the proposals provide local employment opportunities that support the vitality of rural settlements.
- Where it is demonstrated that the proposal is appropriate to a rural area under Criterion 1, employment development will be supported where it accords with other policies in the development plan and:
- the proposals make the best use of existing infrastructure such as existing buildings, utilities, parking and vehicular access;
- additional buildings, structures and ancillary development are restricted to the minimum level reasonably required for the existing or planned operation of the business; are well-related to each other and existing buildings and do not form isolated or scattered development;
- the proposal does not unacceptably affect the amenity and character of the surrounding area or landscape (including visual impacts, noise, odour, design and appearance) either on its own or cumulatively with other developments; and
- appropriate landscaping and screening is provided.
- The design of any new building for employment purposes in the open countryside must be appropriate to its intended function and must not be designed to be easily converted to residential use in the future.
6.38 Employment development refers to development in use classes E(g)(i), E(g)(ii), E(g)(iii), B2 and B8.
6.39 LPS Policy EG 2 ‘Rural economy’ takes a positive approach to sustainable new development in rural areas but specifically notes that development must not conflict with LPS Policy PG 6 ‘Open countryside’. In the open countryside, Policy PG 6 allows development that is essential for uses appropriate to a rural area. This policy clarifies the circumstances under which employment development in the open countryside would be considered to be a use appropriate to a rural area.
6.40 Employment development that is not considered to be a use appropriate to a rural area under this policy may also be allowed in the open countryside, where it meets one or more of the exceptions to the restrictive approach set out in LPS Policy PG 6. This includes:
- where the development constitutes limited infilling in villages as set out in Policy PG 10 'Infill villages';
- where the development is limited to the re-use of rural buildings,
- where the building is permanent, substantial and would not require extensive alteration, rebuilding or extension; where the development is limited to the replacement of buildings by new buildings not materially larger than the buildings they replace; or
- for development that is essential for the expansion or redevelopment of an existing business.
6.41 In the Green Belt, additional restrictions to development will apply under LPS Policy PG 3 'Green Belt'.
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