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13. Settlement Policy Area Boundaries

13.1 Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan Policy CP12 requires Settlement Policy Area (SPA) boundaries to be defined for villages with a built up character. The purpose of the boundary is to identify the main built up part of the settlement to which the Settlement Policy Area policy applies. Undeveloped areas or more loosely knit development is excluded from the Settlement Policy Area. This in turn enables a clear distinction to be made between the policies which apply in the Settlement Policy Area (including Policies CP3, CP14 and CP17) and those which relate to the countryside beyond. Policies which relate to the countryside include Policies CP13 and CP17.

13.2 For the avoidance of doubt, in situations where the SPA boundary is drawn along the edge of a dwelling, it is not the purpose of the SPA to prevent general householder developments so long as they conform with other relevant policies which guide their size, design, siting and impact on adjoining properties.

13.3 Settlement Policy Area boundaries identify the main built up part of villages only which means that more loosely knit development that is clearly part of the village may be outside the SPA boundary. The fact that such buildings are outside the SPA should not be taken as a suggestion that they are not part of the village, merely that they are not within the main built up part.

13.4 The boundaries of all of the Settlement Policy Areas have been reviewed for consistency. The principles used to define the Settlement Policy Areas are:


  1. Playing fields, open spaces and allotments should generally not be within the SPA. However, if effectively enclosed by built-up development, they should be included but specifically protected from development.
  2. Development which is of a dispersed built form and more loosely knit development should not be included in the SPA nor have a SPA of its own. The main built-up part of the village will be enclosed by the SPA boundary.
  3. Where a village hall or sports pavilion is effectively enclosed by the built form of the village, then it should be included in the SPA. Any associated playing fields/open space should be specifically protected.
  4. Where a village hall or sports pavilion is located on the edge of the village, adjoining the existing main built up part of the village, then these buildings should be included in the SPA. Associated playing fields/open space that lies beyond the hall or pavilion should be excluded.
  5. Where a village hall or sports pavilion lies beyond the main built up part of a village, it should not be included in the SPA. Any associated playing fields/open space should also be excluded.
  6. School buildings and associated playgrounds/playing fields that are effectively enclosed by built-up development should be included in the SPA and the play areas specifically protected.
  7. Where schools are located on the edge of the village and the buildings adjoin the main built-up part of the village then those buildings should be included in the SPA. Associated playgrounds/playing fields that lie beyond the school buildings should be excluded.
  8. Where schools are located on the edge of the village and the associated playgrounds/playing fields separate the school’s buildings from the main built up part of the village then both the buildings and the grounds should be excluded from the SPA.
  9. Churches and places of worship that are effectively enclosed by the built-up development of the village should be located within the SPA. Where these buildings are on the edge or are detached from the main built up part of the village, they should be excluded from the SPA.
  10. Farm buildings and farm yards should be excluded from the SPA except where effectively enclosed by the built-up development of the village.
  11. Gardens on the edge of the main built up part of the settlement should generally be included in the SPA following recognisable physical features where possible. Exceptions will be made in instances where:
    1. The character of the area is considered to have more similarity to open countryside than the built up area; or
    2. The area provides an irregularity to the size and shape of the SPA. An example would be where one garden in a row extends into the open countryside. The extended area may be excluded from the SPA; or
    3. Where the garden/grounds of a house/building on the edge of a settlement, extends considerably beyond the main built-up part of this settlement. In such cases this area may be partially or completely excluded from the SPA having regard to i. and ii.
  12. Exception affordable housing sites and planning permissions or allocations for these uses should be excluded.
  13. Allocations for market housing, employment development, community use and Gypsy & Traveller sites (and sites with planning permission for these uses) that are on the edge of the main built up part of the settlement should be included in the SPA.

13.5 Further information on the review of Settlement Policy Areas can be found in the Settlement Policy Area Review background paper.

13.6 The reviewed Settlement Policy Areas are shown on the Policies Map and village inset maps.

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