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Revised Policy Aims to Increase Housing in the Countryside (10/08/09)
The Highland Council’s Planning Environment and Development Committee is being asked on Wednesday to revise its guidance on housing in the countryside to allow more homes to be built and help the local economy.
Changes are aimed at addressing many of the points raised during a recent consultation of the revised Housing in the Countryside policy guidance. They would allow a more flexible approach to well-sited and designed development in housing groups whilst maintaining a more controlled approach to the development of single houses in the countryside.
If approved, the changes to the existing guidance would be used as supplementary planning guidance until such time as it is integrated into the new Highland wide Local Development Plan.
Stuart Black, Director of Planning and Development, said: “This report contributes to the Council’s commitment to enable an increase in the number of houses built in the Highlands.”
Policy has been amended to increase the potential for housing in the hinterland areas by:
- Promoting development opportunities within smaller housing groups;
- identifying potential for the sub-division of garden ground in the hinterland;
- simplifying policy on replacement of existing dwellings and conversion of traditional buildings; and
- defining opportunities relating to derelict land.
The revised interim guidance has relaxed the restrictions on the scale of redevelopment. Proposals will now be assessed against the impact on landscape setting, allied to the flexibility to re-site within the curtilage of the property. This will give more opportunities for redevelopment proposals to provide better design and siting solutions.