Rutland Interim Housing Position Statement

Ended on the 28 October 2022
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6 Interim Position Statement: considerations for applicants and decision makers

6.1 The Council recognises the presumption in favour of sustainable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and its application where the Council is unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. While the presumption applies, the Council will seek to ensure that planning applications for good quality housing developments of an appropriate scale and in accessible locations are supported.

6.2 To provide clarity for applicants and other parties, the following criteria set out what the Council considers good quality development in sustainable locations within Rutland, with reference to the National Planning Policy Framework, national planning policy guidance and, where appropriate, the current Development Plan.

1 Sites should lie within the PLD or site boundary in whole or in part is contiguous with an identified settlement boundary as approved in the adopted development plan must adjoin the PLD or be well-related to the settlement.

2 The scale of development for sites within or adjoining the PLD, or exceptionally well-related to the settlement, should be appropriate to the size, character, and role of the settlement in which they are proposed, having regard to the settlement hierarchy. In deciding whether the scale is appropriate, the Council will take account of the cumulative impact of extant unimplemented permissions or development plan allocations in the relevant settlement.

3 Proposals should demonstrate that development would not have an adverse impact on the surrounding townscape and landscape character. The impact of development on the edge of settlements, individually or cumulatively should not result in the actual or perceived coalescence of settlements, as demonstrated through the submission of proportionate evidence. Where a proposed development is environmentally significant (by virtue of its size, location or degree of prominence in the locality), development proposals must be accompanied by a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.

4 Development should be sustainably located in accessibility terms, and include vehicular, pedestrian and cycle links to the adjoining settlement and networks and, where appropriate, provide opportunities for new and upgraded linkages. Proposals should not have a severe impact on the highway network and should provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle access to key community facilities and services within the settlement or nearby settlement.

5 Where appropriate, proposals should be accompanied by an ecological impact assessment and appropriate measures identified and implemented accordingly to mitigate any potential adverse impacts of the development on biodiversity and to encourage at least a 10% biodiversity net gain. Proposals should protect and enhance sites of biodiversity or geological value and soils (in a manner commensurate with their statutory status or identified quality in the Development Plan).

6 The proposed development will make the best and most efficient use of the land, whilst responding sympathetically to the existing character and distinctiveness of the settlement and surrounding rural area. Arbitrarily low density or piecemeal development, including the artificial subdivision of larger land parcels, will not be acceptable. This may also apply to single dwellings on the edge of settlements.

7 It should be demonstrated that the proposed development is deliverable and viable, having regard to the provision of necessary on-site infrastructure, including affordable housing, green infrastructure, biodiversity net gain and other requirements. Where the proposed development would create the need to provide additional or improved off-site infrastructure (including utility provision), a programme of delivery should be agreed with the relevant infrastructure providers to ensure that these improvements are provided at the time they are needed. The Council will seek to impose time restricted conditions on planning applications to ensure early delivery of housing.

8 Affordable housing should be provided in line with Council policies and national guidance. It may not always be feasible to provide a mix of housing types, particularly on smaller sites but larger sites (of 10 or more dwellings) will be expected to include a range housing types, sizes and tenures to ensure that the needs of all sectors of the community are met, including newly forming households, young couples and expanding households, as well as more specialist needs such as the elderly, learning disability and care leavers and those with physical disabilities. Housing provision should take account of the 2019 Strategic Housing Market Assessment which sets out a broad mix of market and affordable dwellings as follows:

Dwelling Size

Broad mix within market housing

Broad mix within affordable housing (ownership)

Broad mix within affordable housing (rented)

1 bed




2 bed




3 bed




4+ bed




Source: SHMA 2019

9 Development proposals shall not compromise on environmental quality. Developers will be encouraged to demonstrate high standards of sustainable construction to address carbon reduction and climate change.

10 Development proposals shall be of high-quality design that respects and enhances the existing character of settlements and contributes to creating places of high architectural and built quality. Proposals should conserve and enhance the special interest and settings of designated and non-designated heritage assets, as demonstrated through the submission of a Design and Access Statement. In particular, development proposals should take account of the Rutland Design Guide SPD, in line with paragraphs 126-136 of the NPPF.

11 Development is to be located in areas at lowest risk of flooding first, and must be located, designed, and laid out to ensure that it is safe, that the risk from flooding is minimised whilst not increasing the risk of flooding elsewhere, and that residual risks are safely managed. This includes, where relevant, provision of the necessary information for the Council to undertake a sequential test, and where necessary the exception test, incorporation of flood mitigation measures into the design (including evidence of independent verification of Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) designs and ongoing maintenance) and evidence that development would not constrain the effective function of the flood plain, either by impeding surface water/ flood flows or reducing storage capacity. All flood risk assessments and sequential and exception test processes should be informed by the most recent climate change allowances published by the Environment Agency. Built development can lead to increased surface water run-off; therefore, new development is encouraged to incorporate mitigation techniques in its design, such as permeable surfaces and surface water drainage schemes must be based on sustainable drainage principles. It is important that SUDs are considered at an early stage in designing proposals for new housing.

Exceptions to the Interim Position Statement

6.3 This Interim Position Statement does not apply to planning applications for rural exception sites, accommodation for agricultural and other rural workers, the conversion of redundant rural buildings to residential use, or the replacement of existing dwellings in the countryside. Such applications will continue to be determined in accordance with the NPPF and local adopted planning policies.

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