Policy RUR 11: Extensions and alterations to buildings outside of settlement boundaries

  1. Extensions and alterations to existing buildings (including the construction of ancillary outbuildings or structures in their curtilages) in the open countryside and Green Belt will be only be permitted where the proposed development would:
    1. not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building;
    2. respect the character of the existing building, particularly where it is of traditional construction or appearance; and
    3. not unduly harm the rural character of the countryside by virtue of prominence, excessive scale, bulk or visual intrusion.
  2. When considering whether a proposal represents disproportionate additions, matters including height, bulk, form, siting and design will be taken into account, with particular attention given to increases in the overall building height.
  3. In addition to Criterion 2 above, proposals will usually be considered to represent disproportionate additions where they increase the size of the original building by more than 30% in the Green Belt or 50% in the open countryside. Exceptions to these size thresholds may be acceptable where the proposal:
    1. is within a village infill boundary as shown on the adopted policies map;
    2. provides additional floorspace with no significant alterations to the building’s envelope or external appearance (such as basement extensions);
    3. is required to provide basic amenities or sanitation; or
    4. is for a small scale domestic outbuilding in a residential curtilage.
  4. In assessing proposals, full account will be taken of any previous extensions or development to the original building or in its curtilage. This original building means the building and outbuildings/structures as it was originally built, or as it existed on 01 July 1948 if constructed before this date. The increase in size will usually be determined by assessing the net increase in floorspace. Applicants must provide clear evidence of the original and proposed floorspace.

Supporting information

6.42 Under LPS Policy PG 3 ‘Green Belt’, the extension or alteration of a building is not inappropriate development in the Green Belt, provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building. LPS Policy PG 6 ‘Open countryside’ generally restricts development in the open countryside to that which is essential for a use appropriate to a rural area but makes an exception for extensions to existing dwellings where the extension is not disproportionate to the original dwelling.

6.43 The policy sets out the types of matters that will be taken into account when determining whether or not proposals represent disproportionate additions. It also sets out size thresholds, above which proposals will usually be considered to be disproportionate. Proposals within these size thresholds may also be considered to be disproportionate additions, depending on the consideration of matters including height, bulk, form, siting and design.

6.44 Due to the importance attached to Green Belts through national policy, it is appropriate to impose a less permissive approach to the term ‘disproportionate additions’ in the Green Belt than it is in the open countryside outside of the Green Belt, as defined through the LPS.

6.45 Exceptions to the size thresholds under Criterion 3 may be acceptable subject to compliance with the other policy criteria. It acknowledges the need for homes to have basic amenities or sanitation. It is expected that applications relying on this exception would be a rare occurrence, probably limited to the odd instances of very small and unimproved properties.

6.46 Extensions and alterations to existing dwellings (including the construction of ancillary outbuildings in residential curtilages) will also be subject to Policy HOU 11 'Extensions and alterations'. Extensions to agricultural and forestry workers dwellings will also be subject to Policy RUR 3 'Agricultural and forestry workers dwellings'

Policy information


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