Does the new #NPPF Allow Retired Famers Housing – No it Cocked up the Wording

Micheal Donnelly in Planning posits whether the new NPPF allows a more relaxed approach to development in rural areas including a new policy for retired workers housing.

No – although the consultation document hints at further relaxation including PD rights that’s not yet in the NPPF.

Indeed the transport objectives, including minimizing the length of journeys slightly strengthen policy against scattered development.

Many of us were looking out for a policy allowing for retired farmers housing as lobbied for by the NFU.  Its in Welsh and Northern Irish policies and many Scottish local plans.  I recently wrote such a policy for an upland local planning authority in England.

That may have been intended but the Dept sadly mucked up the wording – they said

there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority
control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in
the countryside;

The bold text is new.  This is precisely the opposite case, where a new dwelling is needed by someone taking on a farm.  But this is already allowed by policy.  Indeed you can be a farmers son or daughter and generate a need for an agricultural dwelling without taking control.

What is needed is a new clause for retired rural; workers passing on a going concern where the farmer or widow/widower of the farmer worked until retirement.  See Northern Irish policy for details.