Local Plan Policy Content

POLICY S1
LOCAL RURAL CENTRES:
The following local rural centres are identified. These centres provide the best range of services and are the most suitable for new development to consolidate employment and services to meet the needs of the Park and its community. Development must be of a scale that does not harm their character.

Dulverton;
Lynton & Lynmouth;
Porlock.

VILLAGES:
The following villages are identified. These act as focal points for those living across the Moor. Some development will be permitted to enable the diversification of the economy and to help retain and enhance key services and facilities to meet the basic needs of local people by maintaining or enhancing their communities.

Allerford; Barbrook; Bridgetown; Brompton Regis; Brendon; Challacombe; Cutcombe; Dunster; Exford; Exton; Luccombe; Luxborough; Monksilver; Parracombe; Roadwater; Simonsbath; Timberscombe; Winsford; Withypool; Wheddon Cross and Wootton Courtenay.

Outside of the defined settlements is classed as Open Countryside where development will be restricted to the special circumstances defined in Policies H6, H7, H10 (ii), H12, CBS2, E2 and CSF4.


POLICY LNC1
Development proposals in the National Park will be expected to be compatible with the conservation or enhancement of the natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural heritage of Exmoor, and the public understanding and enjoyment of those qualities. In considering applications the Authority will give the greatest weight to these purposes and in the case of a conflict greatest weight will be attached to the first purpose. Due regard will be had for the economic and social well-being of the local communities in the National Park.


POLICY LNC2
Applications for development which include external lighting will not be permitted where:

  1. The lighting scheme proposed is excessive to achieve its purpose;
  2. There would be sky glow, light spillage from the site or unacceptable glare;
  3. There would be an adverse impact on local amenity, landscape, wildlife or the historic environment of the National Park.

POLICY LNC3
Development proposals which adversely affect the natural beauty of areas shown on the Proposals Map as Section 3 Moor, Heath, Woodland, Cliff and Foreshore will not be permitted.


POLICY LNC4
Development proposals that would adversely affect woodlands, groups of trees, hedgerows or individual trees of significant landscape or amenity value will not be permitted unless acceptable conditions can be attached to protect trees and, where appropriate to require replacement or additional planting.


POLICY LNC5
Proposed development which would damage or cause the loss of orchards of significant landscape importance as shown on the Proposals Map will not be permitted unless the need for the development outweighs the intrinsic landscape value of the orchard.


POLICY LNC6
Permission for development proposals within the coastal zone defined on the Proposals Map will be restricted to those which:

  1. Are appropriate to the coastal location and do not adversely affect coastal interests; or
  2. Involve changes of use or alterations or additions to buildings, or improvements to facilities on permanently established caravan and camping sites, without substantial impact on the coastal character of the surroundings; or
  3. Are reasonably required for the operational needs of agriculture, forestry or fishing enterprises.

POLICY LNC7
Development proposals which harm the landscape, nature conservation, fishing or recreational interest of rivers and adjacent banks and valley sides associated with their landscape and amenity value, will not be permitted.


POLICY LNC8
Development which would result in the loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land (Grades 1, 2 and 3a) will not be permitted unless development of alternative land would conflict with National Park purposes.


POLICY LNC9
Development likely to harm the integrity of a designated or proposed European site for nature conservation, or likely to conflict with its conservation objectives (either individually or in combination with other plans or projects) will not be permitted.


POLICY LNC10
Development in, or likely to have an adverse effect, directly or indirectly on the special interest of a Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will not be permitted.


POLICY LNC11
In considering proposals which affect sites of local nature conservation importance the Authority will have full regard for their scientific significance and nature conservation value and development which is likely to have an adverse effect on such sites will only be permitted where the need for the proposal outweighs the intrinsic nature conservation value of the site.


POLICY LNC12
Habitats and other features of the landscape identified as priorities in the UK and Exmoor Biodiversity Action Plan and including those listed below, or otherwise of major importance for wildlife will be protected and their management and enhancement encouraged by not permitting damaging development and, where development is permitted, by the use of planning conditions and obligations.

Blanket bog; upland heathland; lowland heathland; bracken and scrub; upland oakwood; neutral grassland; parkland, wood pastures and veteran trees; rivers and streams; farmland; coastal shingle and grazing marsh; native woodlands; sea cliffs and inland rock exposures.


POLICY LNC13
Where permission is granted for development likely to affect the nature conservation value of sites, habitats or features, including those in Policies LNC11 a planning obligation will be secured or a condition attached to:

  1. Minimise damage to the nature conservation interest of the site, habitat or feature;
  2. Provide appropriate compensatory (including enhancement) measures; and site management.

POLICY LNC14
Development proposals likely to cause harm to legally protected or important species or lead to the loss of or damage to their habitats, will not be permitted unless arrangements to avoid harm to the species can be made through planning agreements or conditions.

Development proposals likely to damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of, or disturb, an animal protected by Annex IV(a) of the Habitats Directive will not be permitted.


POLICY LNC15
There will be a presumption in favour of the conservation and physical preservation of any nationally important archaeological sites or features in situ, and development proposals which damage the sites or settings of Scheduled Ancient Monuments or other nationally important archaeological interests will not be permitted.

In considering applications affecting other archaeological sites or features, the Authority will have particular regard for the intrinsic importance of any sites or features and the desirability of their preservation. Development that would harm such sites or features or their setting will not be permitted unless:

  1. the need for and the benefits provided by the development outweigh the value of the site or feature; and
  2. any harm is minimised

All proposals likely to affect archaeological interests, or potential interests, including Scheduled Ancient Monuments, sites on the Sites and Monuments Record, those within historic settlement cores, within the curtilage of a listed building, historic field patterns and historic farmsteads as shown on the Proposals Map, should be supported by archaeological assessments. In appropriate cases, developers will be required to arrange for archaeological field evaluations before applications are determined. Archaeological assessments and field evaluations should be in accordance with the Conduct of Archaeological Work and Historic Building Recording within Exmoor National Park.


POLICY LNC16
Where the need for a development outweighs the intrinsic importance of the archaeological sites or features, other than those of national importance, affected by the development, the sites or features will be expected to be preserved in situ. Where this is not feasible and where appropriate, planning permissions will require full excavation, examination and recording of sites or features before development commences, and the publication of results in accordance with The Conduct of Archaeological Work and Historic Building Recording within Exmoor National Park.


POLICY LNC17
Small scale proposals for renewable energy generation to serve the needs of individual properties or groups of properties will be permitted provided that they are compatible with the conservation of the landscape and wildlife of the National Park.


POLICY LNC18
Proposals for the erection of wind turbines for commercial electricity generation will not be permitted on sites where they would cause harm to the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of Exmoor or the public enjoyment of those qualities. In considering applications for such development an assessment will be made which balances the advantages to the public interest from the development of this source of renewable energy with any adverse effects on the Exmoor Landscape or qualities of the National Park that the Local Plan seeks to preserve or enhance.


POLICY LNC19
Permission will be granted for unobtrusive small scale wind turbines serving individual dwellings or groups of properties where there is no adverse effect on important rural or environmental interests, and no unneighbourly impact on residential occupation. The cumulative effect of similar projects may be taken into account in assessing applications. Any permission may require the removal of approved structures if they become redundant.


POLICY LNC20
Major development will not be permitted in Exmoor National Park, except in exceptional circumstances and where it is also demonstrated to be in the public interest. Any proposals for such development will be subject to the most rigorous examination, including as assessment of:

  1. the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations;
  2. the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy;
  3. the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the National Park, or meeting the need for it in some other way;
  4. any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.

In the event that permission for major development were permitted, high environmental standards would be demanded, and appropriate planning conditions or other measures used to ensure these.


POLICY CBS1
Proposals for the change of use and necessary alteration of buildings will be permitted where they meet all of the following:

  1. The building provides adequate space and accessibility standards for the proposed use without the need for extension;
  2. The building is suitable for the proposed change of use
  3. The design of the scheme and the materials used accord with Policy CBS12 (including responding toopportunities to enhance the natural and built environment), maintain the form, character and setting of the building, retaining as many of the original features (internal and external) as appropriate.
  4. In the case of Listed Buildings, the proposal accords with Policy CBS4;
  5. Any protected and important species are fully protected in accordance with Policy LNC14;
  6. The scale and nature of the proposed use and any associated activity or requirements does not detract from the character or appearance of the locality or landscape, or generate a level/type of traffic in conflict with Policy TR3, or do not adversely affect neighbouring residential amenities; and
  7. Safe access and other services can be provided without an unacceptable adverse impact on the character and appearance of the building, its setting and the wider landscape.
  8. The proposal does not conflict with the need to retain employment sites and buildings (Policy E3) and community facilities (Policies CSF2 and CSF3).

In respect of proposals for change of use to holiday letting accommodation outside Local Rural Centres, the proposal should accord with Policies CBS2, A3 and RT3. In respect of changes of use for holiday letting accommodation in Local Rural Centres proposals should accord with Policy RT3.


POLICY CBS2
Change of Use and necessary alterations of building in the Villages and the open countryside will be permitted where:

  1. The proposal meets the requirements of Policy CBS1;
  2. Outside Villages, the building is located in a Hamlet or Farmstead;
  3. They do not conflict with the need to retain employment premises and sites (Policy E3) and community facilities (Policies CSF2 and CSF3);
  4. In respect of changes of use to dwelling(s), the proposal meets the requirements of policies H6 and H7; and
  5. In respect of changes of use for holiday letting accommodation, the proposal is farm diversification and meets the requirements of Policy A3.

POLICY CBS3
Proposals for the Change of Use of buildings standing alone in the countryside which are not part of a farm group or hamlet will not be permitted unless the proposal is for a camping barn which complies with the terms of Policy RT4.


POLICY CBS4
The conversion of listed buildings of a simple form such as barns, stables or coach houses will not be permitted where any resultant works of adaptation would adversely affect the special interest and characteristics of the building.


POLICY CBS5
Development proposals in Conservation Areas will be permitted only where they are compatible with the preservation or enhancement of the architectural and historic character or appearance of the Conservation Area. In particular, proposals should meet the following requirements:

  1. the proposal must be in keeping with the scale, architectural quality and features of the area and not detract from the setting of historic or architecturally important buildings;
  2. external building materials must be appropriate to those that are traditional in the Conservation Area;
  3. the proposal should not detract from the existing landscape elements of the Conservation Area including trees, hedgerows, walls, banks, footpaths and open spaces.

POLICY CBS6
The demolition of any structure, or the lopping, topping or felling of any tree, important to the character of a Conservation Area will not be permitted, unless unavoidable in the interests of safety or implementing a proposal that secures the overall preservation or enhancement of the area.


POLICY CBS7
The substantial or total demolition of listed buildings will not be permitted unless reasonable efforts have been made to continue the present use or find a suitable alternative use for the building.


POLICY CBS8
Alterations and extensions which adversely affect the cha racter of listed buildings will not be permitted. Proposals for listed building consent should have full regard for the scale, design, materials, architectural detailing and historic integrity of listed Structures.


POLICY CBS9
Development proposals which adversely affect settings important to the character of listed buildings will not be permitted.


POLICY CBS10
There will be a presumption in favour of preserving listed buildings, their features and settings. Development which conflicts with this objective will not be permitted; new uses which are compatible with the objective will be permitted.


POLICY CBS11
Development which would harm the special features and qualities of historic parks or gardens, or their settings will not be permitted.


POLICY CBS12
All new development should conserve and, respond to opportunities to enhance, the natural and built environment. In particular, development should:

  1. Protect, and respond to opportunities to enhance, landscape character;
  2. Reflect and reinforce the pattern and character of individual settlements, including the relative size of the development in relation to its plot, its scale, height and form;
  3. Reflect and reinforce local distinctiveness through the use of traditional materials and the traditional vernacular architecture and detailing of the area,
  4. Incorporate landscape design appropriate to the site and character of the area having regard to existing features including trees, hedges, walls, railings and gates, traditional surface treatments such as stone pitching, paving, and structures;
  5. Not harm the amenities of occupiers of neighbouring properties by way of overlooking, loss of daylight or sunlight, overbearing appearance or other adverse environmental impacts;
  6. Consider the needs of people with disabilities. Where appropriate, the Authority will consider the use of conditions to require access provision for people with disabilities; and
  7. Where appropriate, re-use materials from existing buildings, or any materials won from the site associated with the development.

Where the development comprises an extension or alteration to an existing building it should not detract from the character or setting of the original building. The roof of any extension or alteration should respect the form and symmetry of the original building.

In considering applications, the Authority will give favourable consideration to proposals incorporating energy efficiency and resource conservation measures through their siting, layout, design and use of materials. If it is considered that the applicant has not taken reasonable opportunities to incorporate such measures, permission will not be granted.


POLICY CBS13
The installation of satellite antennae will be permitted only where they are sited unobtrusively and do not detract from the character of a traditional building or street scene.


POLICY CBS14
Proposals for fascia and hanging advertisements will be permitted where their siting, design, size, materials and colour do not detract from the character of the building or its surroundings and are not prejudicial to public safety. Internally illuminated signs and advertising sunblinds will not be permitted where they are harmful to the amenity of the locality.


POLICY CBS15
The use of traditional materials and proportions appropriate to the scale of the building and its surroundings will be expected in proposals for the replacement or alteration of shop fronts.


POLICY CBS16
The settlement inset maps identify certain open spaces, the characteristics of which are regarded as important to the setting of buildings in villages, the adjacent landscape and traditional cultural associations of individual settlements. Development will not be permitted that would harm the public amenity value of such land or the character of the settlements.


POLICY H1
The purpose of housing development will be to meet the needs of local communities. The principal community identified need is for affordable housing with local occupancy ties. New housing will be occupied by a person(s) with a proven housing need in accordance with the local occupancy definition in Policy H2, except in the case of open market housing provided in Local Rural Centres under Policies H4 and H11.


POLICY H2
New housing will be in accordance with Policy H1 and (except in the case of open market housing provided under Policy H4 or Policy H11) will be occupied by a person(s) with a proven housing need in accordance with the following local occupancy definition:

  1. A person (and his or her dependants) who has a minimum period of 10 years permanent and continuous residence in the parish or an adjoining parish who cannot afford (to rent or buy) accommodation in the locality and is forming a household for the first time; or
  2. A person (and his or her dependants) who has a minimum period of 10 years permanent and continuous residence in the parish or an adjoining parish who cannot afford (to rent or buy) accommodation in the locality and is currently homeless or living in otherwise unsatisfactory accommodation; or
  3. A person (and his or her dependants) who is not now resident in the parish or an adjoining parish but with a local connection with the parish including a period of permanent and continuous residence of 10 years or more within the last 20 years and who cannot afford (to rent or buy) accommodation in the locality and has a proven need; or
  4. A person (and his or her dependants) who has an essential need to live close to another person who has a minimum of 10 years permanent and continuous residence in the parish or an adjoining parish, the essential need arising from proven age or medical reasons, and who cannot afford (to rent or buy) accommodation in the locality; or
  5. A person (and his or her dependants) who needs to live close to their place of work in the parish or an adjoining parish and who cannot afford (to rent or buy) accommodation in the locality.

In assessing the community’s need for a proposed development the extent and nature of that need will be judged by reference to an up to date local housing needs survey prepared by, or in consultation with, the district council (as local housing authority) and parish council(s).

In the case of proposals by an individual for a single dwelling under this policy the need will be judged as to the extent it forms part of a wider community need and by reference to:

  1. Evidence of the circumstances of the intended occupier in terms of
    a) their compliance with the local occupancy condition above, and
    b) his or her present accommodation situation, and
    c) their ability to afford to buy or rent existing accommodation in the locality, and
    d) that they have searched for suitable accommodation in the locality; and
  2. The likelihood of the type, size and location of the property meeting an ongoing community need for housing in the event that the individual subsequently moves out of the property; and
  3. Any up to date local housing needs survey prepared by, or in consultation with the district council (as local housing authority) and parish council.

In the case of dwelling(s) owned or controlled by a Registered Social Landlord (including Housing Associations) the definition of local need shall initially be based on criteria (i) to (v). The planning obligation will allow, where properties become vacant, other local persons with strong local ties to the relevant district council area of the National Park, the National Park as a whole and the remaining district council area outside the National Park, to occupy the dwellings.

The occupancy cascade for privately owned dwellings will not go wider than the National Park area for occupants qualifying under clauses i, ii and iv as above. The definition of local need for subsequent occupiers will include those set out in clauses iii and v as above

In the case of dwelling(s) where a Registered Social Landlord (including Housing Associations) is involved in a controlled occupancy retained equity scheme, where staircasing is not permitted, the occupancy cascade will be as above save that where no local person can be found to occupy a property that has become vacant, the occupancy cascade will go beyond the district council area provided any occupier has a proven housing need.


POLICY H3
Housing development will be permitted in the Local Rural Centres where:

  1. The site is located within or adjacent to the development boundary as shown on the settlement Inset Maps;
  2. There is a proven local need for the dwelling(s) in accordance with Policies H1 and H2 and that need cannot be met within the existing housing stock, or from sites/buildings within the development boundary or already with planning permission;
  3. The dwelling(s) will be affordable by size and type to local people and will remain so in perpetuity. For owner occupied properties the net floorspace will be less than 90 square metres;
  4. The development is in keeping with the character and appearance of the site and its surroundings;
  5. The design and layout of the development meet the requirement of Policy CBS12 and TR6; and
  6. A planning obligation is secured to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to persons in local housing need in perpetuity.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings of less than 90 square metres do not exceed that size.

POLICY H4
Within the defined boundaries of the Local Rural Centres the change of use of a nonresidential building(s) to a dwelling(s), together with any consequent building alterations, will be permitted where:

  1. The building is well related to existing buildings and conserves or enhances the character of the settlement;
  2. The proposal meets the requirements of Policy CBS1,
  3. In the case of the creation of more than one dwelling from a single previous planning unit (whether at once or over a period of time) the development contributes not less than 50% of the dwellings towards meeting local housing needs in accordance with Policy H1 and the occupants meet the local occupancy requirements of Policy H2. The local housing needs dwellings will be affordable by size and type to local people and will remain so in perpetuity. For owner occupied properties the net floor space will be less than 90sqm and a planning obligation will be secured to ensure that the occupancy of the dwellings is confined to persons in local housing need in perpetuity.

Where permission is granted condition(s) will be attached removing permitted development
rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that the character of the building is conserved and dwellings permitted through Clause (iii) in accordance with Policy H1 and H2 remain more affordable not exceeding 90sqm in size.


POLICY H5
Housing development will be permitted in Villages where:

  1. The site is well related to existing buildings and any development would conserve or enhance the character of the settlement pattern;
  2. There is a proven local need for the dwelling(s) in accordance with Policies H1 and H2 and that need cannot be met within the existing housing stock or from sites/buildings already with planning permission;
  3. The dwelling(s) will be affordable by size and type to local people and will remain so in perpetuity, for owner occupied properties the net floorspace will be less than 90 square metres;
  4. The development is in keeping with the character and appearance of the site and its surroundings;
  5. The design and layout of the development meet the requirements of Policy CBS12 and TR6; and
  6. A planning obligation is secured to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to persons in local housing need in perpetuity.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings do not exceed 90sqm in size.


Conversions to Dwellings In Villages
POLICY H6
Within the identified Villages the change of use of a non-residential building(s) to a dwelling(s), together with any consequent building alterations will be permitted where:

  1. The building is well related to existing buildings and conserves or enhances the character of the settlement;
  2. There is a proven local need for the dwelling(s) and that need cannot be met within the existing housing stock or from sites/buildings already with planning permission;
  3. The intended occupants meet the requirements of the local occupancy criteria in Policies H1 and H2;
  4. The dwelling(s) will be affordable by size and type to local people and will remain so in perpetuity, for owner occupied properties the net floorspace will be less than 90 square metres;
  5. The proposal meets the requirements of Policies CBS1 and CBS2; and
  6. A planning obligation is secured to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to persons in local housing need in perpetuity.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 to protect the character and appearance of the building and in respect of extensions to ensure that the dwelling(s) does not exceed 90sqm in size.

Where permission is granted for employment uses as part of the proposal a condition may be attached tying the occupation of the dwelling to the operation of the business.


POLICY H7
In the open countryside the change of use of a non-residential building(s) to a dwelling(s), together with any consequent building alterations, will be permitted where:

  1. The intended occupants meet the requirements of the local need criteria in Policies H1 and H2, or the proven essential need in Policy H8;
  2. In case of local need accommodation (Policies H1 and H2), the dwelling(s) will be affordable by size and type to local people and will remain so in perpetuity, for owner occupied properties the net floorspace will be less than 90 square metres, except where:
    (i). the existing building is greater than 90 sq metres, and
    (ii). it is desirable to retain all the existing structure, and
    (iii). it is demonstrated that the property is not capable of practicable conversion to two or more dwellings, and
    (iv). it is demonstrated that it would not be practicable to use part of the building as ancillary storage or garaging etc. to limit the habitable space to below 90 square metres.
  3. The need for the dwelling(s) cannot be met within the existing housing stock
    or from sites/buildings already with planning permission;
  4. In the case of local need accommodation (Policies H1 and H2), the building is located in a hamlet or farmstead where there is an existing dwelling;
  5. The proposal meets the requirements of policies CBS1 and CBS2; and
  6. A planning obligation is secured, to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to persons in local housing need in perpetuity.
    Where permission is granted to meet the proven essential need for, an agricultural or forestry worker, a condition will be attached to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to agricultural or forestry workers.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings of less than 90sqm do not exceed this size.

Where permission is granted for employment uses as part of the proposal a condition may be attached tying the occupation of the dwelling to the operation of the business. In the case of agricultural or forestry accommodation, planning conditions will be used to ensure that the occupancy of any existing dwelling(s) is also limited to persons able to demonstrate an essential need for accommodation.

Where necessary, a planning obligation will be secured tying the dwelling(s) to the holding or to ensure that they are not sold off separately.


POLICY H8
New dwelling(s) within the open countryside will only be permitted where:

  1. The accommodation is designed to meet a proven essential need for an agricultural or forestry worker that cannot be met within the existing housing stock, or through the provision of a temporary residential caravan in accordance with Policy H13, or the conversion/change of use of an existing building in accordance with Policy H7;
  2. The dwelling is located close to existing buildings on the holding;
  3. The design and layout of the development meet the requirements of Policies CBS12 and TR6 and the size of the property would be affordable for the essential need in perpetuity;
  4. There would be no conflict with the conservation of the landscape, wildlife or cultural heritage interests; and
  5. A planning condition is attached to ensure that occupancy of the dwelling(s) is confined to agricultural or forestry workers.
    Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings of less than 90sqm do not exceed this size.

Where permission is granted for a new dwelling on an agricultural or forestry holding that has an existing dwelling(s) under the control of the applicant which needs to be used in connection with the enterprise, a condition will be attached to ensure that the occupancy of the existing dwelling(s) is also limited to persons able to demonstrate an essential need for that accommodation,in order to minimise the need for new houses in the open countryside.

Where necessary, a planning obligation will be secured tying the dwelling(s) to the holding or to ensure that they are not sold off separately.


POLICY H9
The removal of a condition, or variation of a planning obligation, which restricts the occupancy of a dwelling to a person employed or last employed in agriculture or forestry will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that:

  1. Reasonable attempts have been made to allow the dwelling to be used by a person who could occupy it in accordance with the condition or obligation; and
  2. The long term agricultural or forestry need for the dwelling in the locality has ceased and removing the condition would be more appropriate than a temporary relaxation.

Where, exceptionally, permission is granted for the replacement of an agricultural or forestry worker occupancy condition, the occupancy of the dwelling will be limited, by agreement, to local persons as defined in Policies H1 and H2. Where a local person cannot be found to occupy the dwelling, temporary permission will be given, on a personal basis, to let the dwelling for holiday letting until such time as an agricultural or local need arises.


POLICY H10
Permission will be granted for the replacement of a holiday occupancy condition with an agreement limiting occupancy to local persons as defined in Policy H2 where:

  1. There is a demonstrated local need for the accommodation;
  2. The building is capable of being permanently occupied without the need for any major reconstruction, extension or alteration that could be harmful to the character of the building or the amenity of neighbouring properties; and
  3. Sufficient curtilage space can be provided without harming the setting of the building or the character of the surrounding landscape.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings of less than 90sqm do not exceed this size.


POLICY H11
Permission will be granted for the sub-division of existing residential properties where:

  1. The dwelling has no local need occupancy ties on it;
  2. In the open countryside there is a proven local need for the additional dwelling(s) in accordance with Policies H1 and H2 and that need cannot be met within the existing housing stock or from sites/buildings already with planning permission.
  3. There would be no adverse impact on the surrounding area or highway safety by reason of any increase in car parking; and
  4. Any necessary alterations do not harm the character of the building.

Where permission is granted a condition will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions to ensure that dwellings of less than 90sqm do not exceed this size.


POLICY H12
Extensions and alterations to dwellings will be permitted where:-

  1. They do not result in a disproportionate addition over and above the size of the original dwelling and there is sufficient space within the existing curtilage to accommodate the extension without resulting in over development of the site;
  2. They conserve or enhance the character and appearance of the building and its surroundings and meet the requirements of Policy CBS12;
  3. They do not reduce the choice of housing available. In assessing whether a proposed extension or alteration is a disproportionate addition, account will be taken of the relative increase in floorspace, the form, bulk and height of the proposal in comparison to the original dwelling.

POLICY H13
The siting of residential caravans, mobile homes or similar structures for use as permanent residential accommodation in the open countryside will not be permitted. Exceptionally, permission will be granted on a temporary basis where:

  1. There is a proven essential need for an agricultural or forestry worker for the caravan to be located in a particular location, including assessing why the need cannot be met in a permanent dwelling or a building conversion;
  2. The caravan would be located within a hamlet or farmstead;
  3. There would be no adverse landscape impact and the application is accompanied by a landscaping scheme that secures effective screening of the caravan; and
  4. A planning condition is attached, or obligation secured, to ensure that occupancy of the caravan is confined to persons able to demonstrate the essential need for the accommodation.

Where permission is granted, a planning condition will be attached or an obligation secured, to ensure that the permission is for a time-limited period only, and after which time the need for the accommodation ceases, the caravan shall be removed from the site and the land restored to its former condition within a specified period.

In the case of existing residential caravans, applications to renew temporary permissions will be assessed against the above criteria. In respect of existing caravans that do not satisfy these criteria, the National Park Authority and the local housing authority will work with applicants to seek to find an alternative suitable site or accommodation in the locality. A final temporary permission will be granted to enable the applicant to remain in the caravan during this process.


POLICY H14
Proposals for ancillary domestic outbuildings will be permitted where they:

  1. Meet the requirements of Policy H12 above;
  2. Are not disproportionate in size in relation to the dwelling they are to serve;
  3. Will not harm the character, appearance or setting of the existing dwelling, or the surrounding landscape, or the amenity of neighbouring properties by reason of their siting and design and accords with Policy CBS12;
  4. A conversion scheme retains the character and appearance of the traditional building in accordance with Policy CBS1; and
  5. It would not reduce the level of private amenity space around the dwelling to an unacceptable level.

POLICY H15
Proposals for the erection of a dwelling to replace an existing unlisted dwelling will be permitted where:

  1. The existing dwelling harms the character or appearance of the area;
  2. The dwelling is to be sited on, or close to, the site of the dwelling to be replaced, unless landscape, wildlife or cultural heritage benefits justify alternative siting;
  3. The replacement dwelling should be no larger than 90 square metres net floorspace in size or the original dwelling, whichever is the larger; and
  4. The design and layout of the development meets the requirements of Policy CBS12

Where permission is granted, conditions will be attached removing permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 in respect of extensions, to ensure that dwellings of less than 90m2 do not exceed this size and to ensure that the existing dwelling is demolished and removed from the site prior to, or within 3 months of the replacement dwelling first being occupied.


POLICY E1
Within, or if no suitable site exists, adjacent to the defined Local Rural Centres and Villages, proposals for new small scale B1, B2 and B8 premises, conversions of existing buildings to B1, B2, B8 and C1 use and extensions to existing B1, B2, B8 and C1 uses will be permitted where

  1. the site is well related to existing buildings and the development would conserve or enhance the character of the settlement;
  2. the development is in keeping with the character and appearance of the site and its surroundings; and
  3. there is no adverse effect on important planning interests which the Plan seeks to protect.

Applications for building conversions or adaptations should have regard to the requirements of Policy CBS1.


POLICY E2
In the open countryside and outside settlements, the erection of new business premises will not be permitted. In these locations extensions to existing commercial premises and the conversion of existing buildings to business use may be permitted where there is no adverse effect on important planning interests which the Plan seeks to protect. Applications for building conversions or adaptations should have specific regard to the requirements of Policy CBS1.


POLICY E3
Development proposals that would involve the loss of employment land or buildings will not be permitted except where:

  1. Enhanced employment-generating uses are to be created on the site/in the building, or alternative provision will be provided on another suitable site(s)/building(s) under the control of the Applicant within the locality; or
  2. The use of the site/building for employment purposes cannot be continued or made viable in the longer term.
    In respect of (i), planning conditions or obligations will be used to ensure that the alternative provision is secured at an appropriate time in relation to the redevelopment of the site/building.

In respect of (ii), applicants will have to provide evidence to justify their applications and demonstrate that:

(a) They have fully explored all opportunities of grant funding and financial support to help retain employment use(s); and
(b) They have made reasonable attempts at marketing the site/building for employment uses over a suitable period of time, for a minimum of 12 months.


POLICY E4
Proposals for large scale, intrusive or environmentally damaging business or warehouse development will not be permitted in the National Park.


POLICY E5
The use of a residential property, or ancillary buildings within the curtilage, for a home working business will be permitted where there is no adverse impact on the landscape or the amenity of neighbouring properties by reason of the scale and type of the business, potential additional traffic generation and noise or disturbance caused by visitors or business operations.


POLICY A1
Proposals for agricultural and forestry buildings and operations (including those submitted under the notification procedure) will not be permitted where:

  1. There would be an unacceptable adverse impact on the landscape, wildlife or historic environment of Exmoor;
  2. They would cause an unacceptable level of noise, water or air pollution, or conflict with neighbouring land uses;
  3. Access and traffic circulation cannot be adequately catered for;
  4. They do not comply with Policy CBS12 clauses (i) and (iv)

POLICY A2
Proposals for the erection of new agricultural buildings that would adversely affect the character of a listed building or group of listed buildings will not be permitted.


POLICY A3
Proposals for farm diversification will be permitted, provided:

  1. The proposal does not have a significant adverse impact on the landscape, wildlife, historic character or local community;
  2. The activity is not likely to prejudice agricultural operations on the holding;
  3. The proposal can, wherever possible, be accommodated through the conversion of existing traditional buildings;
  4. Satisfactory access and traffic requirements can be achieved.

POLICY A4
Proposals for fish farms and hatcheries will be permitted, provided:

  1. They do not have an adverse effect on the landscape, wildlife, historic character or river environs;
  2. They do not adversely affect the amenities of local residents;
  3. Access and traffic requirements can be met.

POLICY RT1
Proposals for tourism related development which are based on, enhance, or increase appreciation of the special qualities of the National Park will be permitted provided they:

  1. Are not intrusive in terms of scale, siting, noise, traffic generation or adverse effect on the local community;
  2. Have no adverse impact on the landscape, wildlife or cultural heritage of Exmoor, in themselves or in conjunction with any existing facilities.

POLICY RT2
Proposals for cafés, tea-rooms and restaurants with satisfactory access and parking facilities, well related to existing development, will be permitted providing there is no adverse effect on the character or appearance of the surroundings or on residential enjoyment in the locality.


POLICY RT3
Proposals for the small scale extension or upgrading of existing serviced accommodation, or the provision of new accommodation through the appropriate conversion of existing buildings (see policies CBS1 -CBS2 and CBS4) will be permitted where the proposal:

  1. Will conserve or enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park and will not adversely affect the enjoyment of its special qualities;
  2. In the case of extension/conversion complies with Policies CBS1, CBS12 and additionally, for new accommodation outside Local Rural Centres, A3.

Permission will not be given for large scale or intrusive developments of visitor accommodation.


POLICY RT4
Proposals for the conversion of traditional rural buildings to camping barns will be permitted provided that:

  1. The building is well related to the footpath/bridleway network;
  2. The proposal does not involve significant alterations to the external fabric and surroundings of the building which would materially affect its character or appearance;
  3. Overground utility services or new vehicular access are not proposed;
  4. The proposal conforms to Policies CBS1 and CBS3.

POLICY RT5
The use of land for small backpackers' camp sites will be permitted provided the site is well screened, related to a village or farm, does not require the provision of new vehicular access or buildings and is well related to the existing network of footpaths and bridleways.


POLICY RT6
Permission will not be granted for new, or extended, static caravan sites and chalet developments in the National Park nor for the conversion of touring sites to such uses. Permission may be granted for the conversion of static caravan sites to chalet developments where accompanied by environmental enhancement through a reduction in the number of overall units or other suitable measures.


POLICY RT7
Proposals for new touring caravan sites will not be permitted in the National Park. Permission for small scale tented camping sites which are outside the Coastal Zone, or small extensions to existing sites will be granted provided that:

  1. Existing facilities in the area are inadequate;
  2. There will be no adverse impact on the landscape, local community, conservation interests or the safety of the local road network; and
  3. There is adequate road access to the site.

POLICY RT8
Certificated caravan sites will be supported, provided:

  1. they are not prominent in the landscape, or are otherwise satisfactorily screened from public view;
  2. significant site improvements or new permanent buildings are not proposed;
  3. satisfactory provision for access and parking can be made.

POLICY RT9
Proposals for recreational development which would adversely affect the natural beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage or special qualities of the National Park or which would introduce visually intrusive activities, cause serious erosion, significant conflict with other recreational uses, or unreasonably disturbing noise will not be permitted.


POLICY RT10
Proposals for the erection of stables/looseboxes, maneges and other horse-related development for domestic use will be permitted where they:

  1. conserve or enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park and do not adversely affect the enjoyment of its special qualities;
  2. are well related to existing buildings and close to the property they are intended to serve;
  3. comply with Policy CBS12 including the means of enclosure;
  4. do not adversely affect the amenity of nearby occupiers;
  5. comply with Policies CBS9-10
  6. comply with Policy LNC2 Conditions will be attached to any granting of permission to limit the development to domestic use.

POLICY RT11
Proposals for commercial pony-trekking, livery, horse-riding or equestrian centres, maneges, stud/breeding centres and other commercial horse-related development which are part of a farm diversification scheme and meet the requirements of Policy A3 will be permitted where:

  1. They respect the characteristics of the National Park by conserving or enhancing its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and they do not adversely affect the enjoyment of its special qualities;
  2. They comply with Policy CBS12 including by the means of enclosure
  3. They do not adversely affect the amenity of nearby occupiers
  4. They comply with Policies CBS9 and CBS10
  5. They comply with Policy LNC2
  6. The scale of the equestrian use is such that it does not generate the need for a separate dwelling house that cannot be met by an existing dwelling or through the conversion of a traditional building through Policies H4, H6 or H7.
  7. Sites are well related to suitable networks of equestrian routes. When granting permission horses will be regulated to a number which will not cause harm to nature conservation, landscape and equestrian routes.

In the case of businesses classified within Class C1 of the Use Classes Order, livery and other equestrian developments will be permitted where they are ancillary to the business, comply with the Criteria above, and they can be accommodated through the conversion of existing traditional buildings in accordance with the requirements of Policy CBS1.

The extension of existing commercial premises will be permitted where they comply with Criteria (i) to (vii) above.


POLICY RT12
Planning permission will not be granted for new or extended golf courses, or buildings not directly related to the playing of golf on existing courses, which harm important landscape, wildlife or archaeological interests.


POLICY RT13
Development which would harm the local recreational value of land identified on the Settlement Inset Maps as important recreational open space will not be permitted.


POLICY RT14
Within settlements, proposals for the provision or improvement of indoor and and public use, will be permitted provided they do not have an unacceptable adverse effect on the character or amenities of the surrounding area, and satisfactory provision can be made for access and parking.


POLICY CSF1
Proposals to provide local community services and facilities are listed in Chapter 13 and shown in the Settlement Inset Maps. The allocated sites will be safeguarded from any form of permanent development other than for these purposes. Other proposals for community related development will also be permitted where compatible with National Park purposes.


POLICY CSF2
Proposals for the change of use of land or buildings from commercial community services or facilities will not be permitted unless:

  1. A suitable replacement service or facility is available within convenient distance; or
  2. The use of the site/building for commercial community service/facility purposes cannot be continued or be made viable in the longer term.

In respect of (i), planning conditions or obligations will be used to ensure that the alternative provision is secured at an appropriate time in relation to the redevelopment of the site/building.

In respect of (ii), applicants will have to provide evidence to justify their application and demonstrate that:-

(a) All opportunities of grant funding and financial support to help retain the commercial community service or facility on the site or premises have been fully explored; and
(b) Reasonable attempts have been made at marketing the premises for a similar commercial community service or facility for a minimum 12 month period.


POLICY CSF3
Proposals for the change of use of land or buildings used for non-commercial community services or facilities will not be permitted where this would adversely affect the social or economic well-being of the local community unless:

  1. A suitable replacement service or facility is to be made available within convenient distance; or
  2. It can be demonstrated that there is a surplus of similar services or facilities serving the same area; or
  3. It can be demonstrated that there is not a need for the service or facility in the longer term.

In respect of (i) planning conditions or obligations will be used to ensure that the alternative provision is secured at an appropriate time in relation to the redevelopment of the site/building.

In respect of (ii) and (iii) applicants will have to provide evidence to justify their application and demonstrate that all opportunities of grant funding and financial support to help retain the non-commercial community service or facility have been fully explored.


POLICY CSF4
Proposals for new shopping facilities outside the recognised settlements will only be permitted where they comprise:

  1. sale of crafts and goods made on site;
  2. shops which are ancillary to farms and visitor attractions, camping and caravan sites.

POLICY CSF5
Proposals for new health and social care facilities to meet local requirements will be permitted provided satisfactory provision for access and parking can be made.


POLICY CSF6
In considering development proposals for residential institutions the Authority will have regard to the effect on the character and appearance of the locality, residential amenity, local housing needs and the adequacy of access and parking arrangements. The Authority will also take account, where relevant, of any adverse effect on the interests of tourism caused by the loss of visitor accommodation.


POLICY U1
Development proposals which would adversely affect the quantity or pollute the quality of surface and/or groundwater sources will not be permitted.


POLICY U2
Development proposals that may result in the disturbance of contaminated land will be strictly controlled to ensure that there is no risk of pollution to water courses or water supplies, particularly in relation to surface water run-off.


POLICY U3
Development proposals which lead to an increase in water requirements will not be permitted in locations where the existing water supply is inadequate or cannot satisfactorily be improved, or where additional abstraction will result in a reduction in water quality and which will have an adverse effect on existing supplies, fisheries, recreational or nature conservation interests.


POLICY U4
Development proposals which would lead to an increase in sewage treatment requirements will not be permitted in locations where the existing sewage disposal system is inadequate and where increased flows in the system will create an unacceptable pollution risk to water quality.


POLICY U5
Proposals for new or extended sewage treatment works will be permitted provided they are located and designed so that any adverse impact on the environment is minimised.


POLICY U6
Residential and other regularly occupied development will not be permitted in locations likely to be adversely affected by the proximity of sewage treatment works.


POLICY U7
The National Park Authority will seek to reduce the risk of flooding through the application of a risk-based approach to development in accordance with a sequential test. Development in areas of high flood risk as shown as the Proposals Map or other areas considered to be at risk of flooding will not be permitted unless:

  1. there is no reasonable location available in a low risk category, consistent with  National Park purposes and other sustainable development objectives; and
  2. the development is protected from flooding to the appropriate standard throughout its lifetime and is appropriately planned and designed;
  3. any flood defence works conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of Exmoor and do not result in exacerbating flood risk.

POLICY U8
New development that generates surface water run-off likely to increase the risk of flooding or cause damage or pollution to the river environment will not be permitted. To avoid adding to flood risks elsewhere, new development should, wherever possible, incorporate sustainable drainage measures


POLICY U9
In considering proposals for new overhead power lines, the National Park Authority will seek to minimise their impact by selecting the least visually intrusive route and will resist overhead wires across any open moorland or within the Coastal Zone. Where it is not possible to avoid particularly sensitive areas, the National Park Authority will encourage the undergrounding of services, subject to ecological and archaeological considerations.


POLICY U10
Development proposals for utility service supplies to new development will be expected to provide underground routing.


POLICY U11
Development proposals for telecommunication equipment, masts and other antennae essential for technical or operational reasons, will be permitted where there would be no unacceptable adverse effect on:

  1. the natural beauty of the Exmoor landscape or
  2. the amenity of nearby residents and visitors.

The Authority will expect existing masts and other structures to be used wherever possible. Approvals will be subject to a condition requiring the removal of equipment and the reinstatement of the land when the equipment is no longer required.


POLICY TR1
The Exmoor Route Network, as shown on the Proposals Map, will form the framework for traffic management in the National Park.


POLICY TR2
The Exmoor Route Network will be taken into consideration in the determination of proposals for development to ensure that the capacity of the roads serving the development is adequate for the traffic likely to be generated.


POLICY TR3
Development which will cause unacceptable levels of traffic in terms of the environmental or physical capacity of the local road network, or would prejudice road safety interests, will not be permitted.


POLICY TR4
Proposals for road improvement schemes should, subject to road safety requirements, be designed and constructed to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the National Park and minimise harm to the built environment. In particular the proposal should meet the following requirements:

  1. Disturbance and damage to conservation and local amenities is minimised during construction;
  2. Road design and materials respect the features and character of the landscape;
  3. Existing traditional features such as beech hedges, stone walls, fingerposts or milestones are retained or replaced wherever possible;
  4. Opportunities are taken to introduce new wildlife habitats, environmental improvements and appropriate landscaping schemes; and
  5. Existing rights of way are maintained or alternative routes are provided where necessary.

POLICY TR5
Proposed works to traditional fords and bridges will, subject to the need for road safety, be expected to use appropriate natural materials and finishes and be designed to ensure their character is not adversely affected.


POLICY TR6
The design and details of highway works which are required for new development proposals should, subject to road safety interests, contribute to the conservation or enhancement of the area.


POLICY TR7
In appropriate circumstances simple advertisement signs giving advance warning of tourist-related enterprises which are ineligible for Highway Agency signing will be permitted. In considering such applications the Authority will have regard for amenity and road safety factors and any relevant interests of the rural economy.


POLICY TR8
Internally illuminated petrol station advertisement signs and canopies, which harm the character of the landscape or settlements by reason of inappropriate scale,design or materials will not be permitted.


POLICY TR9
Proposals for public car or coach parks will only be permitted where they:

  1. Provide a needed community facility within a settlement; or
  2. Relieve roadside parking or congestion at existing facilities; or
  3. Are in relation to the development of informal recreation and public access.

In all cases the proposal should form part of a wider management strategy and should not be visually intrusive or detrimental to conservation interests. Materials, layout and design must be of a high standard and appropriate to the character of the surroundings.


POLICY TR10
The Authority will seek to minimise car parking provision for proposed development having regard to environmental quality, highway safety, the nature and location of the proposal, the proximity of any public parking provision, and provision for people with disabilities.

Car parking provision (excluding parking for people with disabilities) should not exceed the standards set out in Table 10.1 (PDF, 27.2KB).

Conditions and planning obligations will be used to secure the provision of cycle parking, in accordance with Table 10.2.(PDF, 26.8KB).


POLICY TR11
The design and layout of development proposals should, where appropriate, accommodate the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders and encourage cycling, walking and  horse-riding. In appropriate cases, and in particular where developments are likely to attract significant numbers of visitors, planning obligations will be used to achieve improvements to public transport services and facilities.


POLICY TR12
Development which will adversely affect existing public rights of way will be required to incorporate measures to protect user's interests.


POLICY M1
Proposals for mineral extraction, including the re-opening or extension of existing quarries, will be subject to the most rigorous examination and will not be permitted where they would harm the natural beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage or quiet enjoyment of the National Park, unless demonstrated to be in the public interest.


POLICY M2
Proposals for mineral exploration will be permitted provided the drilling operation is not visually intrusive in the landscape and does not cause harm to sites of nature conservation or archaeological interest or to the amenity of local communities.


POLICY M3
Interim Development Order permissions will be subject to an environmental impact assessment that will determine a set of comprehensive conditions in order to mitigate and control any adverse impact on the landscape and local communities of Exmoor and to ensure satisfactory restoration and after-care of the site. Particular regard will be paid to:

  1. The visual impact on the landscape;
  2. The potential effect on ecological, archaeological and historical features;
  3. The potential effect on the amenity of local communities in terms of noise, disturbance, traffic generation and pollution (including light);
  4. The potential impact on the recreational use of the area.

POLICY M4
Proposals for the small scale reworking of disused quarries to provide local building stone will be permitted provided that the activity will have no significant adverse impact on the landscape, natural resources, archaeology, road networks or local communities of Exmoor and that satisfactory arrangements are made for restoration and after-care of the site.


POLICY WD1
Proposals for new waste disposal facilities which would harm the natural beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage, quiet enjoyment or special qualities of the National Park will not be permitted.


POLICY WD2
Proposals for small scale recycling facilities will be permitted in locations where there would be no adverse impact on the landscape, wildlife or amenities of local communities.


POLICY CSF1 (Proposal BRI)
Land to the South of Bridgetown, as shown on the Inset Map, is allocated for a new village hall.


POLICY CSF2 (Proposal CUT)
Land to the North of Cutcombe First School, Cutcombe as shown on the Inset Map is allocated for an extension to the school site and school playing field.


POLICY U5 (Proposal DUL)
Land adjacent to the sewage treatment works in Dulverton as shown on the Inset Map is allocated for an extension to the existing plant.

POLICY CSF1 (Proposal DUN)
Land at the south-western end of West Street, incorporating the existing playing field as shown on the Inset Map is allocated for a sports field.


POLICY CSF4 (Proposal DUN)
Development proposals for shops and commercial development , including offices, will not be permitted outside the core retail area of Dunster as defined on the Inset Map.