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Chapter 5

Development in rural Areas

INTRODUCTION

5.1 This chapter contains policies on development within the rural areas1 of the District with the exception of recreation development, policies for which are set out in Chapter 12. The policies have to be considered within the context of the Plan's strategy (Chapter 3) and the policies in Chapter 4 - Protecting the Environment.

5.2 In October 1995 the Government published its White Paper on Rural England setting out its broad policy on living and working in the countryside and the protection of the environment. The White Paper, together with Planning Policy Guidance Note 7 - The Countryside: Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development, provides the national context for the approach of this Plan to development in the rural areas of Mole Valley.

THE RURAL AREAS OF MOLE VALLEY

5.3 Over 80% of the District's rural areas lie in the Green Belt where there is a general presumption against inappropriate development (Policy ENV2). In the remaining rural areas beyond the Green Belt in the south of the District development is also strictly controlled through Policy ENV3.

5.4 There is pressure for various types of development to take place in the rural areas largely because they are an attractive location in which to live and work. This is partly due to their high environmental quality and proximity and accessibility to the District's principal built-up areas around Dorking and Leatherhead, to the major built-up areas in adjoining districts and to the motorway and primary road network and Gatwick Airport. The pressures for change and development in the countryside also stem from economic changes affecting agriculture, the search for alternative uses of buildings and land and the accommodation of a wide range of activities, particularly those related to recreation.

5.5 It is likely that these pressures will remain during the period covered by this Plan and could increase as rural land owners seek to develop ways of sustaining agriculture and other rural businesses and make the most economic use of their land and buildings. The housing, employment and service needs of village communities are also likely to increase.

5.6 The protection of the Green Belt and wider countryside is the foundation on which the Plan's policies for development in the rural areas have been prepared. They seek to prevent inappropriate development in the countryside and to protect the character and function of villages by resisting development that would result in their urbanisation or their encroachment into the countryside.

5.7 However, it is recognised that development in the rural areas will, in some circumstances, be justified. In this regard, the Plan contains policies that seek to maintain and renew the local rural economy of the District, enable the needs of local village communities to be met and encourage improved rural land management. It is important to achieve the positive management and enhancement of the countryside in Mole Valley which is of such a high quality. While much of this takes place outside the scope of the planning system, it is important that management schemes and development are co-ordinated in order to achieve lasting beneficial results.

5.8 The Local Plan has taken account of the Surrey Countryside Strategy and seeks to play its part in a co-ordinated approach to planning in rural areas. It puts forward general development and housing policies for villages and the countryside, agricultural development and the issue of the District's rural economy including farm diversification. The re-use of rural buildings and commercial development in villages and the countryside are also addressed.

5.9 The policies in this chapter are also intended to complement the work of other groups operating in the rural areas including the Surrey Voluntary Services Council and the Surrey Association of Town and Parish Councils whose role includes the enhancement of the quality of life for rural communities in Surrey.

STRATEGY

5.10 The objectives of the Plan's strategy towards development in the rural areas of the District are as follows:

  • To protect the countryside from inappropriate development and maintain its open rural character.

  • To enable the provision of limited housing, employment and community development within specified villages provided it is of appropriate small scale and takes into account such matters as the setting, form, layout and character of the village and the need to limit the impact of traffic.

  • To support the local rural economy and the justifiable needs of agriculture but to control land loss and development that could harm the character of the countryside.

  • To enable the provision of recreation activities where they do not adversely affect the landscape and the open rural character of the countryside.

  • To ensure that land use changes in the countryside take place in a way that serves its sensitive and sustainable management and which does not compromise its open rural character.

GENERAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT IN THE RURAL AREAS

5.11 Policies ENV1 and ENV2 indicate that most of the rural areas of Mole Valley are situated in the Green Belt where there is a general presumption against inappropriate development. The remaining areas of countryside in the District which lie beyond the Green Belt are also subject to policies of development restraint for the reasons set out in Policy ENV3. This strict control of development in the countryside lies at the heart of the general approach of the Plan to development in the rural areas. The Council considers it important to maintain the existing character and setting of the villages, hamlets and loose-knit groups of dwellings in the rural areas of the District. Provision is made for development in the larger villages of Brockham, Strood Green and Westcott, which contain reserve housing sites and are inset from the Green Belt (Policy RUD2). It is also acknowledged that infilling or limited development may be acceptable in certain villages while remaining consistent with the Plan's strategy to maintain the character and appearance of the countryside.

Villages in the Green Belt Where Infilling Can Take Place

5.12 The following policy identifies those villages in the Green Belt where infilling could take place subject to environmental safeguards.

The following policy has been saved. However Core Strategy Policy CS1 is being implemented and re-defines villages.

POLICY RUD1 - INFILLING IN GREEN BELT VILLAGES
Within the following Green Belt villages the principle of infill development is acceptable:
Beare Green
Mickleham
Betchworth
Newdigate
Boxhill
South Holmwood
Leigh
Westhumble
and Woodlands Road, Bookham.
The boundary of each village within which limited infilling may be permitted is defined on the Proposals Map. For the purposes of this policy, infilling is defined as the development of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built-up frontage, or the small-scale redevelopment of existing properties within such a frontage.
Within the boundaries defined on the Proposals Map, infill development will be controlled in accordance with Policies ENV39, ENV40, RUD4, RUD20, RUD24, RUD26, REC10, REC21, CF2 and other relevant policies in the Plan.
Outside the infill boundaries identified in this Policy, new development in the Green Belt will be subject to Policy ENV2.

5.13 The Green Belt villages identified in Policy RUD1 are generally compact, free-standing settlements which are large enough to contain a range of supporting services such as shops and community facilities. They are capable of accommodating infill development without detriment to their character or harm to the Green Belt.

5.14 The Policy seeks to ensure that infilling is limited to the compact, substantially developed area of the villages identified in the Policy. Low density residential areas and isolated or loose-knit groups of dwellings are excluded, even if they are on the edge of more compact development.

5.15 In the case of Mickleham, the Council recognises that Box Hill School is a separate yet integral part of Mickleham village. Proposals for the replacement of existing prefabricated buildings and the provision of new school accommodation within the substantially developed core of the school may be acceptable subject to the need to safeguard the open setting of the school and the general openness of the Green Belt, the character of Mickleham village and the level of activity likely to be generated.

5.16 The Council recognises that the places listed in Policy RUD1 exclude a number of Green Belt villages, namely Buckland, Abinger Hammer, Abinger Common, Coldharbour, Headley, Mid Holmwood and Wotton and several hamlets and other areas of development, which have their own identity in historical, physical and community terms. These are generally smaller or less compact than the villages identified and comprise scattered or loose-knit groups of buildings. Many such villages and hamlets are of historical, physical and social importance and must be protected to avoid significant changes in their character. It is emphasised, therefore, that the purpose of Policy RUD1 is to identify, for the interpretation of planning policies, those villages in the Green Belt where limited infilling could take place without significantly altering their character or harming the Green Belt.

Villages Inset from the Green Belt Where Infilling and Limited Development Can Take Place

5.17 The villages of Brockham, Strood Green and Westcott are larger and have a greater range of facilities than the villages identified in Policy RUD1. They are also excluded from the Green Belt which was established around them in the Dorking Area Local Plan (1983). That Plan also indicated that land between Glenfield Close and Ridge Close, Strood Green and to the rear of Springfield Road, Westcott, would be held in reserve to meet future housing requirements. These sites have not been developed and will continue to be held in reserve in accordance with Policy HSG6. Brockham, Strood Green and Westcott remain excluded from the Green Belt as indicated on the Proposals Map.

5.18 The villages of Capel and Charlwood may also be capable of absorbing limited development without harm to their rural character, and that of the surrounding countryside and the openness of the Green Belt. There are, however, relatively few opportunities for such development to take place.

5.19 All these villages are surrounded by the countryside and have a rural character. It is therefore intended that, other than development on the reserve housing sites (Policy HSG6) in Strood Green, Brockham and Westcott, limited development within these villages will be permitted only where it accords with Policy RUD4, Policy RUD20, and other relevant policies in the Plan. The following policy has been saved. However Core Strategy Policy CS1 is being implemented and re-defines villages.

POLICY RUD2 - INFILLING AND LIMITED DEVELOPMENT IN VILLAGES INSET FROM THE GREEN BELT
Within those parts of Brockham, Strood Green, Westcott, Capel and Charlwood excluded from the Green Belt as indicated on the Proposals Map, infilling and limited development will be permitted subject to Policies ENV39, ENV40, RUD4, RUD20, RUD24, RUD26, REC10, REC21, CF2 and other relevant policies in the Plan.
Development of the reserve housing sites in Brockham, Strood Green and Westcott will be subject to Policy HSG6 and other relevant policies in the Plan.

5.20 For the purposes of this policy, infilling is defined as the development of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built-up frontage, or the small-scale redevelopment of existing properties within such a frontage. Limited development is defined at paragraph 2.11 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 2 - Green Belts as "more than infilling", that is, more than just frontage development.

Villages in the Countryside Beyond the Green Belt Where Infilling and Limited Development Can Take Place

5.21 Within the villages of Hookwood and Ockley which lie in the countryside beyond the Green Belt, there is scope for infilling and limited development.

The following policy has been saved. However Core Strategy Policy CS1 is being implemented and re-defines villages.

POLICY RUD3 - INFILLING AND LIMITED DEVELOPMENT IN VILLAGES BEYOND THE GREEN BELT
Infilling and limited development may be permitted within the boundaries of Hookwood and Ockley identified on the Proposals Map.
Within the boundaries of Hookwood and Ockley identified on the Proposals Map, infilling and limited development will be controlled in accordance with Policies ENV39, ENV40, RUD4, RUD20, RUD26, REC10, REC21, CF2 and other relevant policies in the Plan.
Outside the boundary of Hookwood, development proposals will be subject to Policy ENV2. Outside the boundary of Ockley identified on the Proposals Map, development proposals will be subject to Policy ENV3.

5.22 The villages identified in Policy RUD3 lie beyond the Green Belt. They have compact areas which may be capable of accommodating infilling and limited development without detriment to their character or that of the Green Belt and countryside. In the case of Ockley, infilling and limited development will only be allowed in the southern part of the village, where there may be scope for accommodating such development without harming the character of the village or that of the surrounding countryside.

5.23 The Council recognises that the places listed in Policy RUD3 exclude a number of villages in the countryside beyond the Green Belt, namely Okewoodhill, Walliswood and Forest Green, and several hamlets which have their own identity in historical, physical and community terms. These are generally small or not very compact or comprise scattered or loose-knit groups of buildings.

5.24 Many such villages and hamlets are of historical, physical and social importance and must be protected to avoid significant changes in their character. It is emphasised that the purpose of Policy RUD3 is to identify, for the interpretation of planning policies, those villages beyond the Green Belt where infilling or limited development could take place without significantly altering their character or that of the surrounding countryside.

HOUSING IN THE RURAL AREAS

New Housing in Villages

5.25 While the Plan's strategy seeks to direct new housing development principally to the built-up areas of the District, it is recognised that there is also limited scope for small amounts of new housing in the villages identified in Policy RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 without compromising the objectives of the Green Belt or the need to protect the countryside beyond the Green Belt. In this regard, the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 recognises that whilst the vitality of villages needs to be encouraged, any development within them must respect the character and setting of the villages and the character of the countryside as a whole. Within the villages identified in Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, new housing development will only be permitted where it meets the criteria set out in Policy RUD4 below and exceptionally there may also be scope for low-cost affordable housing in accordance with Policy RUD5. In addition, in the case of Brockham, Strood Green and Westcott, housing development will also be permitted if it meets the terms of Policy HSG6.

POLICY RUD4 - NEW HOUSING IN VILLAGES
Within the boundaries of the villages defined in Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, housing development will be permitted only where:
  1. it is at an appropriate scale in relation to the size and character of the village;
  2. it takes account of the setting, form and layout of the village and in particular:
    1. is not a form of development which extends into the surrounding countryside;
    2. comprises suitable infilling or in the case of villages identified in accordance with Policies RUD2 and RUD3, the development of land that is already substantially surrounded by existing buildings;
    3. does not result in the development of land that makes a significant contribution to the rural character of the village.
  3. it takes account of the historic character of the village, the local style of building and is in accordance with Policies ENV39 and ENV40;
  4. the traffic generated is compatible with the environmental character of the village and can be adequately accommodated on the surrounding road network; and
  5. adequate utility and other services are available.

5.26 For the purposes of the Policy, 'infilling' comprises development of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built-up frontage, or the small-scale redevelopment of existing properties within such a frontage, by up to 2 dwellings of appropriate scale and design. The character or appearance of some village Conservation Areas is created by the spaces between buildings. Where this is the case, infilling will be resisted if in the Council's opinion development would prejudice the Area's character.

5.27 The expression "land which makes a significant contribution to the rural character of a settlement area" will include land which forms a significant rural link between the built-up area of the settlement and the countryside, or other land which makes a particular contribution to the character, environment and amenity of the village. The term 'building' does not include caravans or mobile homes.

5.28 In taking account of the historic character and local style of building, particular attention will be expected to be given to the scale, form and materials of buildings in the locality. New development need not be a pastiche of historic styles, but applicants will be required to demonstrate that proposals can be satisfactorily accommodated and can make a contribution to the character, appearance and amenities of the village.

5.29 For the purposes of Policy RUD4, village boundaries are those which have been defined on the Proposals Map in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3.

5.30 The issue of low-cost housing in the District's villages is addressed in the following section and specific reference is made to the provision of affordable housing at Beare Green.

Low-Cost Rural Housing

5.31 House prices in the rural areas of the District are relatively high and are often out of the range of those on lower incomes. This has led to concern over the lack of affordable housing for those who need to live in the villages of Mole Valley.

5.32 Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 - Housing advises that, exceptionally, very limited development of affordable housing may be acceptable on sites within or adjoining Green Belt villages or other small settlements provided it is consistent with the functions of the Green Belt. Such sites are likely to be small scale.

POLICY RUD5 - LOW-COST RURAL HOUSING
Proposals for very limited low-cost housing may exceptionally be permitted:
  1. within or adjoining the Green Belt villages identified in Policy RUD1,
  2. adjoining the villages excluded from the Green Belt identified in Policy RUD2,
  3. adjoining the villages which lie beyond the Green Belt identified in Policy RUD3
on land which would not otherwise be released for housing provided that:
  1. the development is consistent with the functions of the Green Belt in the case of a) and b) above;
  2. the proposed scheme is justified on the basis of identified local rural needs arising out of a village or a parish;
  3. the proposed scheme only provides dwellings at low-cost relative to prevailing market rents/prices;
  4. there are adequate management arrangements to ensure that:
    1. initial and successive occupiers of the dwellings are limited to local people who need to live in the villages.
    2. the dwellings remain low-cost in perpetuity.
  5. the development is small scale, respects the form and historic character of the village and the local style of building and would not materially harm the openness of the Green Belt or the character of the countryside;
  6. adequate services and infrastructure exist in the village and additional public resources will not be required to improve services;
  7. the traffic generated is compatible with the environmental character of the village and can be adequately accommodated on the surrounding road network.
Dwellings provided under this Policy will contribute retrospectively towards provision under Policy HSG3.

5.33 The provision of affordable housing in Green Belt villages identified in Policy RUD1 that involves land outside the infill boundary is inappropriate development. Such development will not be permitted except in very special circumstances, which will not exist unless the harm to the Green Belt and any other harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

5.34 The provision of affordable housing schemes within villages and hamlets in the countryside which are not identified in Policies RUD1, RUD2 or RUD3 will not be permitted, unless in a particular case there are overriding considerations of housing need and site suitability, and, in the case of proposals in the Green Belt, the terms of paragraph 5.33 are met.

5.35 In considering proposals for low-cost housing in the District's rural areas, the Council will require a statement of intent covering the following:-

1. Evidence of Need

A clear indication of local need, normally from within the village or parish where the scheme is proposed, will be required to support proposals for low-cost housing in the rural areas of the District. Evidence will be required of, for example, existing residents such as newly married couples who are living with parents and require their own accommodation. Information will also be required to clearly demonstrate that such needs can only be satisfied by the provision of low-cost housing in the village where the development is proposed and not in a nearby built-up area. The Council has, with the aid of consultants, carried out a District-wide Housing Needs Survey, which will be important in establishing the level of genuine local need for low-cost rural housing. Further detail is added through local surveys of the type suggested in the Rural Housing Pack produced by the Surrey Voluntary Services Council, which are usually implemented in co-operation with the Parish Council and a housing organisation.

2. Environmental Considerations

Sites for low-cost rural housing developments should be well related to the layout and pattern of development in the village. Proposed schemes should be small scale relative to the size and character of the village. The number of dwellings proposed will not be allowed to exceed the proven local need. The style and character of the dwellings should be in keeping with the surroundings and local building styles. Schemes in or affecting Conservation Areas will be required to satisfy Policies ENV39 and ENV40 of the Plan. Applications for subsequent extensions of dwellings will be subject to special scrutiny having regard to environmental factors and the need to retain a stock of dwellings of modest size.

3. Tenure and Affordability

The tenure of dwellings proposed under this Policy will be expected to reflect local need. Rents will be expected to be not significantly greater than the Council's own rent for equivalent property, and the price of houses provided for sale or on a shared equity basis would be expected to be based only on the cost of constructing the building with any land cost element discounted. A scheme which offers a simple percentage discount on market values will not normally be acceptable. A full financial appraisal of the scheme must be submitted with the planning application. Developments consisting partly of high-value market housing, used to offset the lower return on low-cost housing, will not be permitted on 'exception' sites in rural areas where development would not normally be allowed.

5.36 As low-cost rural housing is provided on land that would not normally be acceptable for development, it is essential that such schemes be retained for this purpose for future occupants. The Council will encourage the involvement of registered housing associations and village trusts providing housing for rent or shared ownership as this will ensure control over subsequent changes of ownership or occupation. In addition, the Council is likely to require proposers of low-cost housing schemes to enter into a Section 106 Agreement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to ensure that the housing remains genuinely low-cost in perpetuity and that the initial and subsequent occupiers are limited to local people who need to live in the village or parish.

5.37 The scope for market housing in the District's villages is limited by the Plan's policies that seek to safeguard the Green Belt and countryside and the character of the villages themselves. However, in the unlikely event that market housing schemes which amount to more than infilling are justified on a site within the infill boundaries of the villages identified in Policy RUD1 because of very special circumstances, and are large enough to accommodate a mix of housing types and tenures, the Council will negotiate for a proportion of affordable housing. The precise amount of such housing will depend on site and market conditions.

5.38 Within Capel, Charlwood, Brockham, Strood Green, Westcott, Ockley and Hookwood, which are not covered by the Green Belt, the Council will negotiate with developers for a proportion of affordable housing on sites which come forward for market housing where they are large enough to accommodate a mix of dwelling types (see Policy HSG9 and paragraph 6.48), including on the reserve housing sites in Strood Green, Brockham and Westcott identified in Policy HSG6.

5.39 The Council owns approximately 3.2ha (8 acres) of land at Beare Green which is part of a larger area of land which was purchased by the former Dorking and Horley Rural District Council in the 1950s to meet the housing needs of their rural area. During the period up to 2006 there is the potential for the phased development of part of this land justifying a maximum of up to 20 affordable dwellings for local needs. Beyond the period covered by the Plan there may be scope for further phasing of small-scale affordable housing development on the remaining part of the Council's land.

Residential Caravan and Park Home Sites

5.40 Within the rural areas of the District there are 16 sites (containing two or more units) for residential mobile homes or park homes as they are known. These sites can accommodate up to 895 park homes most of which are concentrated on sites at Boxhill (643) and Beare Green (162). There are other smaller sites in the Newdigate, Ockley and Walliswood areas. These existing sites provide a large stock of low-cost accommodation mainly for small households and contribute to the range of dwellings available in the rural areas of the District.

5.41 While some recreational caravan sites have been converted to residential use, it has long been the Council's policy to resist the provision of new sites for park homes in the rural areas and to contain the existing sites to avoid them encroaching into the surrounding countryside. This is particularly the case at Boxhill where the sites lie not only in the Green Belt but also in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Area of Great Landscape Value where strict controls over new development are applied. It is intended to continue this approach in accordance with the Green Belt, countryside and landscape protection policies of the Plan.

POLICY RUD6 - EXISTING RESIDENTIAL CARAVAN AND PARK HOME SITES
The Council intends to contain existing residential caravan and park home sites in the Green Belt and the countryside beyond the Green Belt. To this end it will resist proposals:
  1. to extend any existing sites or increase the number of park home/ caravan standings;
  2. to convert recreational standings to residential or to redevelop any sites with permanent dwellings or for other purposes;
  3. for commercial development except at a very small scale where essential for the operation of the site concerned.

5.42 Proposals for new caravan/park home sites in the Green Belt and countryside beyond the Green Belt will be considered in the light of Policies ENV2 and ENV3.

Extension and Replacement of Dwellings in the Countryside

5.43 Since 1968, the Council has sought to control the scale of extensions to dwellings in the countryside and the size and siting of replacement dwellings. It is intended to continue this approach in the interests of protecting the open character of the countryside within and beyond the Green Belt and to maintain the range of dwelling sizes which cater for the varying requirements of different groups in what is largely a fixed dwelling stock.

POLICY RUD7 - EXTENSION OF DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
In the countryside outside boundaries of the villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, proposals for the extension of dwellings will be permitted where they would not:
  1. result in a disproportionate addition over and above the size of the original dwelling;
  2. detract from the appearance and character of the existing dwelling or the rural character of the area;
  3. by itself or together with the existing building create a dwelling which is readily capable of conversion into more than one dwelling.

 

POLICY RUD8 - REPLACEMENT OF DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
In the countryside outside the boundaries of the villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, proposals for the replacement of dwellings will be permitted providing the new dwelling:
  1. is not materially larger than the dwelling it replaces;
  2. is sited on or close to the position of the original dwelling;
  3. does not detract from the open and undeveloped character of the countryside.

5.44 For the purposes of Policies RUD7 and RUD8:-

  • The floorspace of the dwelling shall be measured by gross external floor area and shall exclude garages, car ports and detached buildings.

  • In assessing whether a proposed extension is a disproportionate addition, account will be taken of the relative increase in floorspace and also whether the proposal would be out of proportion with the original dwelling in terms of its form, bulk or prominence.

  • The original dwelling is the dwelling as it stood at the end of 1968 when policies seeking to control the extension and rebuilding of dwellings in the Green Belt were first introduced.

5.45 The Council considers it most important to ensure that Policy RUD7 is not undermined through successive additions to the original dwelling over a period of years. For this reason, where a dwelling has been extended since 1968, including by the addition of a conservatory, a proposal for a further extension will be judged together with any extensions after 1968 to ensure that it complies with this Policy on a cumulative basis. This may have the consequence that even small extensions could fail to meet the Policy in some circumstances.

5.46 When considering the extension of rebuilt dwellings, the Council will consider the dwelling as it was at the end of 1968, in comparison with the present dwelling and the proposed extension, to determine whether the application would result in a disproportionate addition of floor space.

5.47 Policies RUD7 and RUD8 do not distinguish between dwellings in different sized plots. Small and modest sized dwellings in large plots form part of the range of dwellings in the countryside which require protection. Also to permit a significant increase in the size of dwellings merely because they are sited on large plots would undermine the objective of safeguarding the openness of the Green Belt and the character of the countryside.

5.48 Replacement dwellings will be expected to be sited on or close to the position of the original dwelling. An alternative siting within the curtilage of the original dwelling may be acceptable if it would result in an improvement to the appearance of the countryside. A condition will be imposed to secure the demolition of the existing dwelling. The siting of a replacement dwelling beyond the existing curtilage will not normally be acceptable.

Garages and Other Ancillary Domestic Buildings in the Curtilage of Dwellings in the Countryside

5.49 While it is necessary to have regard to the needs of house owners for garage facilities, it is important to ensure that new garages and similar ancillary domestic buildings in the countryside are designed to be in keeping with the scale and character of the dwelling they are to serve and do not dominate their rural setting. It is acknowledged that permitted development rights exist to erect some garages and other ancillary outbuildings without the requirement to apply for planning permission. However, where planning permission is required the Council will seek to ensure that particular attention is paid to the overall dimensions and appearance of such buildings and the scale of their roofs which can, if too large, dominate the existing dwelling and detract from the rural character of the locality. Such buildings should be clearly ancillary to the dwelling they serve in terms of their function and design in order to safeguard the character and appearance of the countryside.

POLICY RUD9 - GARAGES AND OTHER ANCILLARY DOMESTIC BUILDINGS IN THE CURTILAGE OF DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Where planning permission is required, new garages and other ancillary domestic buildings in the countryside outside the settlement areas of the villages identified in Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 will normally be permitted provided they:
  1. are not excessive in size having regard to the size of the dwelling they are to serve;
  2. do not constitute a dominant feature, having regard to the scale of the existing dwelling nor detract from the rural character or appearance of the locality;
  3. are not readily capable of subsequent conversion to residential accommodation;
  4. are not to replace an existing garage that has been converted to residential use;
  5. are for ancillary domestic purposes only.

5.50 In granting planning permission for garages or ancillary domestic buildings the Council will consider imposing conditions preventing their conversion to ancillary residential accommodation without planning permission. This Policy is applicable within the Green Belt and the countryside beyond.

Large Dwellings in the Countryside

5.51 Within the District's countryside there are a number of large houses2 set in extensive grounds. In view of the Council's countryside planning policies such properties are virtually a finite resource and wherever possible should be retained as part of the range of the dwelling stock in the countryside. However, it is acknowledged that some large dwellings are no longer suitable for single family occupation. Under these circumstances the Council will favour their subdivision into dwellings of a more suitable size.

POLICY RUD10 - LARGE DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Where a large country house is no longer suitable for occupation by a single family, the Council will normally permit its subdivision or conversion to an alternative form of residential occupation. In all cases, it will be necessary to demonstrate to the Council that the proposal would not:
  1. significantly or adversely affect the character and setting of the property;
  2. require significant extensions to the dwelling or the need for additional buildings other than those which are reasonably required for ancillary purposes;
  3. generate traffic levels that would prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads;
  4. result in an intensification of activity inappropriate to the property or its location or have an adverse impact on the rural character and appearance of the locality.
In considering proposals under the criteria of this Policy, the Council will wish to ensure that the number of units created through the conversion of a large dwelling is not excessive and that the extent of any parking or garaging can be accommodated acceptably. Significant extensions to such converted properties will not be permitted.

5.52 It is considered that large country houses are not normally appropriate for industrial/commercial development in view of the Plan's Green Belt, countryside and employment policies. Also, such changes of use would reduce the dwelling stock in the countryside and could increase pressure on infrastructure and the demand for housing in the countryside. In granting planning permission for the subdivision of large dwellings in the countryside into separate dwellings, the Council will consider imposing conditions to withdraw residential permitted development rights.

AGRICULTURE AND THE RURAL ECONOMY OF MOLE VALLEY

Background

5.53 Agriculture is the principal use of land in Mole Valley3 and maintains the open undeveloped character of much of the countryside. However, agriculture is going through major financial and structural changes across the whole country. Technological improvements and increasing surpluses have reduced the need for land. It is likely that there will be a reduction in the amount of land required for agricultural production although the overall amount of land removed from cultivation may be offset by the extensification of farming. Quite apart from these trends there remains a need to protect for the long term the best and most versatile agricultural land, i.e. Grades 1, 2 and 3a.

5.54 Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy will continue to exert influences over many sectors of the UK's agriculture. Farmers and growers will be obliged to manage their resources in accordance with changes in policies and with increasing efficiency.

5.55 The rural economy of Mole Valley tends to be linked to the economies of the District's principal built-up areas of Leatherhead and Dorking and other major centres in adjacent districts including Horsham, Crawley, Reigate and Guildford. In particular the economy of the south east of the District is significantly influenced by the proximity of Gatwick Airport and Crawley. The workforce is in the main highly mobile4 and it is likely that many of the businesses in the District's rural areas draw at least some of their workforce from the surrounding urban areas, while many of those living in the rural areas work in the nearby towns, Gatwick Airport or commute to London.

5.56 There is a considerable range of economic activity in the District's rural areas including a variety of service-related industries as well as long established industries such as sand and clay extraction and brick making.

5.57 Unemployment in the District's rural areas has fallen from 376 persons in January 1996 to 60 persons in September 2000.

5.58 A study of the rural districts of Surrey by the Surrey Rural Industries Sector Advisory Group (RISAG) found there is a shift in the profile of the workforce away from traditional full-time labour towards part-time labour. It also revealed that while many businesses had increased the number of people employed, there had been a reduction of jobs amongst the agricultural businesses. Nearly a quarter of businesses surveyed expressed concern about recruitment of staff, and there appeared to be a need for skills training, for example to help respond to the single European market.

Government Policy

5.59 It is Government policy to protect the best and most versatile agricultural land from development and to promote an efficient and flexible agricultural industry. Farmers are also being advised to reduce levels of output and are being encouraged through a package of financial incentives, protective measures and guidance to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable way that is compatible with the maintenance of the countryside 5. The Government is also encouraging farmers to diversify their agricultural activities to help maintain farm incomes.

5.60 As indicated in paragraph 5.2, the Government published in October 1995 its White Paper on Rural England. It states that the planning system must make adequate provision for development to sustain the local economy of rural areas while at the same time ensuring the conservation of the rural environment. The Government's planning policies for the countryside are set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 7 - The Countryside: Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development. It indicates that the guiding principle in the countryside is that development should both benefit economic activity and maintain or enhance the environment. The Government's policy is that the countryside should be safeguarded for its own sake and non-renewable natural resources should be afforded protection. PPG7 also indicates that agriculture will remain a major user of land in the countryside, and the use that most influences the physical appearance and character of the countryside.

5.61 The Government is keen to sustain the diversification of the rural economy and to allow the accommodation of change while conserving the countryside. The Government considers that rural settlements can often accommodate sensitive small-scale development for industry, commerce or recreation and encourages the re-use or adaptation of rural buildings for new uses which can reduce the need for new buildings in the countryside while fostering new enterprises and jobs.

Overall Strategy for Agriculture and the Rural Economy

5.62 The Council acknowledges that agriculture continues to provide employment opportunities to local rural communities and is important in maintaining the attractive appearance of the countryside. The Council also recognises the importance of sustaining the rural economy of the District, provided this is done in ways which safeguard the Green Belt, areas of special landscape value (particularly the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and the countryside generally.

5.63 The Council will support agriculture and the rural economy of the District by:

  • Protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land (Grades 1, 2, and 3a) from irreversible development.

  • Permitting agricultural development that is required for the efficient operation of a farm holding, and farm diversification schemes which provide employment opportunities, maintain and strengthen farm incomes and contribute positively to the wider objectives of conserving and where possible, improving the countryside. However, development arising from fragmentation will generally be resisted.

  • Permitting the re-use and adaptation of suitable rural buildings for appropriate alternative uses.

  • Permitting the provision of small-scale employment generating development in environmentally suitable village locations.

  • Permitting the limited extension of existing well-established and suitably located employment activities in the countryside beyond the Green Belt where this would sustain the operation without causing harm to the environment or local amenities. Also to allow for redevelopment of industrial/commercial premises in this area subject to environmental constraints.

  • Permitting essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation which preserve the openness of the Green Belt and countryside.

5.64 The remainder of this chapter sets out detailed policies to achieve the above objectives.

Protection of Agricultural Land

5.65 The Government has indicated that the best and most versatile agricultural land (Grades 1, 2 and 3a) should be protected from development and that the countryside should be protected for its own sake. Agricultural land in Mole Valley is generally not of the highest quality but its cultivation and use for farming helps maintain the attractive appearance and undeveloped character of the countryside in the District and supports the rural economy. Although there are Government schemes to reduce the amount of land actively used for agricultural production it is nevertheless important to ensure that the effect of development, including non-agricultural uses, on farmland is carefully considered where they are subject to planning control.

5.66 Agricultural land can also be threatened by nearby land use changes. Urban development and new roads in particular can have a detrimental effect on the operation of a holding through disturbance which can lead to under-use and poor management of the land. Also, in recent years there has been a trend towards the use of agricultural land in the urban fringes of the District's built-up areas, especially in the north of the District, for recreational uses, particularly horse grazing. The Council wishes to ensure that the landscape character of urban fringe areas is maintained and where necessary enhanced (see Policy ENV7 - Protection and Enhancement of the Urban Fringe). In implementing Policy RUD11, the Council will seek to ensure that the need for access and recreation in these areas is balanced with that of maintaining a productive and viable agricultural economy.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD11 - PROTECTION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND
The Council will consider the effect of development on the retention, effective use and productivity of agricultural land, including the effect on agricultural land adjoining development.
The use of the best and most versatile agricultural land (i.e. Grades 1, 2 and 3a in the MAFF Agricultural Land Classification) for any form of development not associated with agriculture or forestry will not be permitted unless there is a strong need for development on the particular site which overrides the need to protect such land.
If land in Grades 1, 2 or 3a does need to be developed and there is a choice between sites in different grades, development should be directed towards land of the lowest grade.

5.67 The fragmentation of agricultural holdings can result in an increased demand for additional buildings in the countryside which can have a significant impact on its open character.

POLICY RUD12 - DEVELOPMENT ON FRAGMENTED AGRICULTURAL LAND
The Council will not permit development that would result in the fragmentation of agricultural or horticultural holdings so as to seriously undermine the economic viability of the remaining holdings.
In considering proposals for new agricultural buildings on parcels of land which were formerly part of a larger agricultural holding, the Council will require clear cut evidence to demonstrate that they are reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture within the unit and are otherwise acceptable in terms of Policy RUD13 and RUD14.

New Agricultural Buildings

5.68 New agricultural buildings are often substantial structures which can have a significant impact, both individually and cumulatively, on the appearance of the countryside and on groups of existing farm buildings. While the Council wishes to limit the number of new buildings in the countryside it is recognised that new agricultural buildings may be required to support agricultural activity in Mole Valley. The Council will therefore seek to balance the need for new agricultural buildings with the protection of the countryside.

Prior Approval of Agricultural Development

5.69 The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995 grants planning permission for a wide range of development associated with agricultural uses of land on units over 5 hectares. However, in certain cases, this cannot be exercised unless the farmer or other developer has applied to the Council for a determination as to whether prior approval will be required for the siting, design and external appearance of any proposed new agricultural buildings. The Council has 28 days to decide whether it is necessary to give prior approval to the details of a new agricultural building. It is not open to the Council to consider the principle of whether the development should be permitted.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD13 - PRIOR APPROVAL OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
In considering whether a development proposal on an agricultural holding of 5 hectares or more requires prior approval under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, the Council will have regard to:
  1. the impact of the siting, design and external appearance of the proposed development on the landscape and its surroundings;
  2. the effects of the proposal on ancient monuments and their setting, known archaeological sites, Listed Buildings and sites of recognised nature conservation value. Where the Council considers the proposed development is likely to have a significant impact on its surroundings and the landscape, the formal submission of details for approval will normally be required.

5.70 By no means all development proposals notified to the Council will have such an impact that they will require prior approval. It will depend on how significant the impact of the proposed development is likely to be. For example, a modestly-sized new building within an existing group of modern agricultural buildings is unlikely to have a major impact on the surroundings while a large freestanding building in an exposed location is likely to have a significant effect on the appearance of the landscape that would justify requiring its prior approval. Proposals for agricultural development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Area of Great Landscape Value, where the primary objective is the conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape, will be looked at particularly closely to ensure the appearance of the countryside is not adversely affected.

5.71 New agricultural buildings should relate to existing buildings in terms of form, design and materials. A single large building normally has a greater impact on the countryside than one or more smaller buildings which can be more easily incorporated into an existing group and provide greater flexibility. Colours chosen should be compatible with the rural setting and other buildings rather than attempting to camouflage the building. For instance darker roofs than walls reduce their impact on their surroundings.

Agricultural Development Requiring Planning Permission

5.72 The Council wishes to limit the amount of new development in the Green Belt and countryside to maintain its attractive rural character. Where planning permission is required for development on any agricultural holding, the Council will wish to be satisfied that the proposal is reasonably necessary and that its siting and design is of a suitable standard to minimise its impact on the countryside.

POLICY RUD14 - AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT REQUIRING PLANNING PERMISSION
New agricultural, horticultural or forestry buildings will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the proposed development:
  1. is to be sited on agricultural land which is in use for agriculture for the purposes of a trade or business;
  2. is reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture within the holding;
  3. would not detract significantly from the appearance and openness of the countryside;
  4. would not cause unacceptable levels of noise, effluent discharge or damage to Sites of Nature Conservation Importance identified in Policies ENV9, ENV10, ENV11, ENV12 andENV13;
  5. would not adversely affect the amenities of any nearby residential properties;
  6. does not replace buildings converted to non-agricultural uses which could reasonably have continued in agricultural use;
  7. would not generate volumes of traffic that would prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads.
Subject to the above, the Council where possible will require that new agricultural or forestry buildings:
  1. are well-related in terms of their location, size and colour to existing agricultural buildings;
  2. avoid prominent locations and blend into the landscape;
  3. are located near an existing dwelling on the holding if their use requires surveillance.

5.73 Where appropriate, the Council will seek the advice of its agricultural adviser to establish whether a proposed agricultural building is reasonably necessary for the operation of the holding. Particularly high standards of design and external materials will be required where a new building is closely related to farm buildings of traditional design or is located in an attractive and sensitive landscape setting within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Area of Great Landscape Value. When considering the siting of a proposed new agricultural building, the Council will have regard to the possible need of an agricultural dwelling in connection with it. New buildings, especially those which require surveillance, should therefore be sited near existing dwellings on the holding as the Council will not normally grant planning permission for an agricultural worker's dwelling to enable supervision of a new isolated agricultural building.

5.74 With regard to criterion 2 this may include value-added processing and co-operative marketing and storage serving the farm and local farmers.

5.75 The Council is concerned about the impact of agricultural buildings on holdings which have been created by the fragmentation of farms. These can, both individually and cumulatively, affect the open character of the countryside. The Council is also concerned about the establishment of intensive livestock units which do not depend on the surrounding land for their operation and which result in building(s) that detract from the openness of the Green Belt or the attractive countryside beyond. The impact of these types of proposal will be closely scrutinised in the light of the criteria in Policy RUD14 bearing in mind the particular Green Belt and other constraints in this District.

New Agricultural Dwellings

5.76 Policies ENV2 and ENV3 indicate there is a general presumption against the provision of new housing in the countryside. Exceptionally, a new dwelling may be justified if accommodation is required for agricultural or forestry workers to live at or near their place of work. Often it will be possible for such workers to live in nearby towns and villages or in other suitable existing accommodation in the area, but there may be strictly limited circumstances where a new dwelling at or near an agricultural or forestry holding is justified.

5.77 There is a strong demand to live in the attractive countryside of Mole Valley. Without control, new residential development would have a significant impact on the character and openness of the District's countryside. The Council wishes to restrict the number of new dwellings in the countryside in accordance with the Plan's Green Belt and countryside policies and will therefore scrutinise thoroughly proposals for new agricultural dwellings to ensure they are required for the genuine needs of farming.

5.78 In recent years, there has been a tendency for farmhouses to be sold separately from their related holding. This has resulted in proposals for replacement dwellings on the land of the former holding. The effect is to increase the number of dwellings in the countryside which, if repeated, could have a significant impact on its open character. The Council will therefore resist proposals for replacement farm dwellings in such cases to discourage the fragmentation of farm holdings.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD15 - NEW AGRICULTURAL DWELLINGS
New dwellings for agricultural or forestry workers will only be permitted to support existing agricultural activities on well-established agricultural units if the Council is satisfied that:
  1. there is a clearly established existing functional need for the proposed dwelling to be at or near the holding that cannot be met by an existing dwelling including those in nearby settlements or villages;
  2. the need relates to a full-time worker or one who is primarily employed in agriculture and does not relate to a part-time requirement;
  3. the unit and the agricultural activity concerned have been established for at least 3 years, have been profitable for at least one of them, are currently financially sound, and have a clear prospect of remaining so;
  4. the proposed dwelling is of a size and type appropriate to the needs of the holding.
Applications for replacement farm dwellings on holdings which have been created by the fragmentation of agricultural land, and where former farm dwellings are no longer occupied by those engaged in agriculture will be required to satisfy criteria 1-4 above and will be subject to investigation of the history of the holding, in order to establish whether a genuine agricultural need exists.
The Council will consider imposing an occupancy condition on all permissions for new agricultural or forestry workers' dwellings and in the case of new enterprises conditions may be applied to prevent the occupation of an agricultural dwelling until other works necessary for the establishment of the enterprise have been completed. Where an additional dwelling on a farm holding is permitted, an occupancy condition will, in appropriate circumstances, be imposed on the original farmhouse.

5.79 The need for a new agricultural or forestry dwelling must be supported by a strong justification. In assessing applications, account will be taken of the detailed advice in paragraphs 5-13 of Annex I of PPG7, The Countryside - Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development.

5.80 When assessing applications for new agricultural or forestry dwellings, the Council will wish to establish whether it is essential for the proper functioning of the enterprise for one or more workers to be on hand at most times, day and night. Although the protection of livestock from theft or injury by intruders may contribute to the need for an agricultural dwelling, this will not by itself be sufficient reason to justify one.

5.81 It is the requirements of the farm or forestry enterprise rather than the needs of the owner or occupier which will be assessed when considering whether or not a new dwelling is justified. New dwellings will be expected to be of a size that relates to the needs of the holding, and unnecessarily large dwellings will not be permitted. Agricultural or forestry workers' dwellings should provide only an appropriate scale of accommodation in relation to the needs of the holding. Unless it can be demonstrated that special circumstances prevail, it is considered that the size for such a dwelling should not exceed approximately 140sq.m. gross excluding garages and ancillary domestic buildings.

5.82 In exceptional cases, where evidence supporting an application for an agricultural worker's dwelling is inconclusive, the Council may consider granting temporary planning permission for a caravan/mobile home to allow time for the prospects of the enterprise to be clarified. In this regard, account will be taken of the guidance in paragraphs 14-15 of Annex I of PPG7.

5.83 In order to protect the District's countryside from the pressure for new dwellings, the Council may consider imposing an occupancy condition, not only on the proposed agricultural worker's dwelling, but also on any existing dwellings on the holding which are under the control of the applicant but do not have occupancy conditions and are needed at the time of the application for the operation of the farm.

5.84 Where the Council is satisfied that there is a genuine need for a new agricultural or forestry worker's dwelling, the Council will expect the siting and design of the dwelling to be well-related to existing dwellings or buildings and for it to be sensitively located so that it is not conspicuous in the landscape.

Removal of Agricultural Occupancy Conditions

5.85 Agricultural occupancy conditions are intended to ensure that suitable accommodation is available in the countryside to meet the requirements of agriculture and forestry. It is essential that a suitable pool of dwellings in the countryside is maintained, especially as these are also available for retired farmers and their dependants. While there is a continuing need for such accommodation, the consequence of releasing dwellings from occupancy conditions for general occupation would be to increase pressure for new dwellings in the countryside. An application to remove an agricultural occupancy condition will be assessed on the basis of the continuing need for the dwelling for people solely, mainly or last working in agriculture both on the holding in question and in the locality. Applicants will be expected to have investigated the possibility of disposing or letting of the dwelling to someone acceptable under the terms of the occupancy condition.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD16 - AGRICULTURAL OCCUPANCY CONDITIONS
The removal of agricultural occupancy conditions will not be permitted where the Council is satisfied that there is a continuing need for such accommodation in the locality.

5.86 For the purposes of this Policy, the locality will be defined as the area within a 15-20 minute journey of the dwelling. Farm Diversification

5.87 In response to the changing circumstances facing agriculture and the need to maintain a healthy rural economy, the Government is encouraging farmers to diversify into new enterprises to support farm income. The Government also recognises the need to protect the countryside for its own sake rather than simply for its productive capacity. The quality of landscapes and habitats across the District owes a great deal to the fact that the countryside is farmed. Farm businesses will continue to be important in maintaining the valued environmental quality of much of the countryside. Farm diversification can help to sustain farm enterprises and this can reduce the tendency to fragment farm holdings.

5.88 Diversification schemes which may be appropriate include farm shops, value added processing and co-operative marketing and storage serving local farmers, leisure, recreational and tourism uses, bed and breakfast and limited overnight accommodation; and commercial, light industrial and craft uses. The suitability of particular proposals will be carefully considered against the criteria in the following policy.

POLICY RUD17 - FARM DIVERSIFICATION
The diversification of activities on agricultural units will be permitted provided that:
  1. the scale and nature of the activity is commensurate with maintaining, and where possible improving, the character and appearance of the countryside;
  2. new replacement activities should re-use existing buildings wherever possible but new building will be considered in exceptional circumstances;
  3. the activities would not prejudice the protection of sites of ecological, historical or recreational value;
  4. the character and setting of historic farm buildings is protected;
  5. the amount of traffic likely to be generated by the proposal would not prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads.
Development for housing or industrial and commercial development will not normally be permitted unless acceptable under Policy RUD19.
Consent will be granted only for minimal advertising appropriate to a rural area.

5.89 In considering applications for farm diversification the Council will need to be satisfied that the proposal is part of a genuine attempt to support an existing farming enterprise, and will help to maintain and, where possible, enhance the character and appearance of the countryside. This may include appropriate land management commitments. Applications should be accompanied by sufficient supporting information. This may take the form of a farm plan along the lines of the guidance document produced by the Surrey Agricultural Working Group, which is available from the Council's offices.

5.90 The nature and scale of any farm diversification proposal should be appropriate to its landscape and countryside setting. New activities should wherever possible re-use suitable existing agricultural buildings and should not harm sites of ecological, historical or recreational value. In assessing a proposal, the Council will consider the environmental impact, access, parking and traffic implications; also the likely future development requirements of the activity, and the impact on the future agricultural use of the holding. Tree and hedge planting or other measures (e.g. removal of unsightly buildings) which help to assimilate the development and improve the appearance of the countryside may be required by condition or legal agreement.

5.91 In granting planning permission for farm diversification schemes, the Council may attach conditions or seek a planning agreement to prevent fragmentation of re-used buildings, where such fragmentation would conflict with the aim of maintaining, and where possible, improving the character and appearance of the countryside, or conflict with other policies of the Plan.

Farm Shops

5.92 Farmers wishing to diversify their activities often consider opening a farm shop. A farm shop selling only unprocessed goods produced on that farm is an ancillary activity and therefore does not require planning permission. However, to use a farm shop for the sale of a significant amount of produce from elsewhere would require planning permission. It is recognised that farm shops can form part of the rural scene, provide a valued local facility and assist in maintaining farm incomes. However, it is important to ensure that farm shops do not become a retail operation of a scale and/or nature which should properly be located in a town or village.

POLICY RUD18 - FARM SHOPS
Farm shops will be permitted provided that:
  1. the development is small scale and ancillary to the operation of the farm holding;
  2. the amount of non-local produce sold in the shop remains subordinate to the scale of produce grown on the farm holding and on other local farms and such produce is appropriate for sale in a countryside location;
  3. the amount of traffic likely to be generated by the proposal would not prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country lanes;
  4. the development would not have a significant adverse impact on nearby village shops;
  5. the development would not have an adverse impact on the character, appearance and amenities of the locality. Consent will be granted only for minimal advertising appropriate to a rural area.

5.93 The extent and nature of imported goods sold should remain subordinate in terms of floorspace, or if appropriate volume of sales, relative to the produce from the holding itself. Such products should be appropriate to a farm gate sales operation in the countryside having regard to the retail facilities available in nearby towns and villages. In considering proposals for farm shops, account will be taken of the desirability of providing a service throughout the year which may require non-local produce i.e. originating from beyond the farm holding and other local farms, to overcome the problems of seasonality and to provide continuity of employment and ensure a sufficiently wide selection of produce can be offered.

5.94 Whilst the effects of competition between businesses does not itself normally constitute a reason for refusing planning permission, account will be taken of the existence of retail outlets in nearby towns and villages (which may be more accessible on foot or by public transport) when consideration is given to the justification for imported goods in any particular farm shop proposal. In considering proposals for farm shops selling an unrestricted range of produce which would be likely to result in a significant adverse effect on a nearby village shop, consideration will be given to the use of planning conditions to limit the broad type of produce sold. Where a farm shop is being proposed as part of a farm diversification scheme, the Council may wish to attach a planning condition requiring that the shop remains part of the holding and is not subsequently fragmented.

Re-use and Adaptation of Rural Buildings

5.95 Government policy recognises that the re-use and adaptation of rural buildings, including modern buildings, can contribute to the rural economy and help to reduce the demand for new buildings in the countryside. The Council will normally accept such proposals provided they do not detract from the character and appearance of the countryside in terms of the form of the building itself, its conversion and the activities introduced.

POLICY RUD19 - RE-USE AND ADAPTATION OF RURAL BUILDINGS
The re-use and adaptation of buildings in the countryside will be permitted provided:
  1. the buildings are of permanent and substantial construction and are capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction;
  2. on land within the Green Belt, the proposal does not have a materially greater impact than the present use on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it;
  3. the associated uses of land surrounding the building(s) would not materially harm the character and amenities of the area and, in the case of sites within the Green Belt, conflict with the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it;
  4. the proposed use and the form, bulk and general design of the building(s) are in keeping with their surroundings;
  5. the conversion does not lead to dispersal of activity on such a scale as to prejudice town and village vitality;
  6. the use can be contained within the building(s) without extension, or external storage, other than such provisions which can be made without any adverse effect on the building, its surroundings or, in the case of sites in the Green Belt, the openness of the Green Belt;
  7. any conversion works will be carried out in a manner appropriate to the character of the building(s) and have no adverse impact on its surroundings;
  8. the amount of traffic likely to be generated by the proposal would not prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads.
Where the Council has reasonable cause to believe that an applicant has attempted to abuse the system by constructing a new farm building with the benefit of permitted development rights, with the intention of early conversion to another use, it will investigate the history of the building to establish whether it was ever used for the purpose for which it was claimed to have been built.
Subsequent rebuilding of re-used buildings will not be permitted, and permitted development rights for extensions will be removed by condition.

General Considerations

5.96 When assessing planning applications for the re-use and adaptation of a rural building, the primary consideration will be whether the nature and extent of the new use proposed for the building are acceptable in planning terms, including the impact of the proposal on the openness of the Green Belt.

5.97 It is particularly important to ensure the preservation of traditional rural buildings, which are attractive features in the countryside. Many such buildings are Listed Buildings of special architectural or historic interest. It is essential that the proposed use and adaptation of such buildings ensures that their fabric and appearance is maintained. The Council will favour new uses for these attractive rural buildings which can be accommodated within their existing form without the need for extensions, and do not have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the building and its surroundings. Proposals affecting Listed Buildings will be required to comply with Policies ENV42-45.

5.98 Buildings which are not of substantial construction or are derelict, such that they could only be brought back into use by complete or major rebuilding works, will not normally be considered appropriate for re-use. In such cases demolition may be preferable.

5.99 Conversion proposals are likely to be more acceptable if they respect local building styles and materials. Proposals for the re-use and adaptation of rural buildings which detract from their surroundings in terms of their form, bulk, appearance and general design will not normally be acceptable. Consideration will be given to whether conditions could be imposed to secure an improvement to the external appearance of the building such that it would be acceptable under the terms of the policy; also whether, in particular circumstances the retention of the building could be justified as part of a farm diversification proposal which accords with Policy RUD17 - Farm Diversification.

5.100 Proposals for the re-use of buildings can involve associated activities and uses of land surrounding the building e.g. extensive external storage or extensive hardstanding, car parking, boundary walling or fencing. These uses will be strictly controlled in the interests of maintaining the attractive appearance of the landscape and the openness of the Green Belt.

5.101 Where the building it is proposed to convert to another use is located within a group of inappropriate buildings which detract from the openness of the Green Belt or the appearance of the open countryside, the Council may seek to negotiate the removal of such buildings in the interests of improving the appearance of the countryside.

5.102 The Council will examine particularly carefully proposals for the re-use of buildings erected under agricultural permitted development rights. In circumstances where the Council has reasonable cause to believe that an applicant has attempted to abuse the system by constructing a new farm building with the benefit of permitted development rights, with the intention of early conversion to another use, it will investigate the history of the building to establish whether it was ever used for the purpose for which it was claimed to have been built.

5.103 In considering proposals for the use of agricultural buildings for non-agricultural purposes, the Council will assess whether granting permission would give rise to a proliferation of further farm buildings constructed under permitted development rights. Where this would be likely to occur and the proliferation would have seriously detrimental effects on the openness of the Green Belt or the character of the landscape, the Council will consider attaching a condition withdrawing permitted development rights for new farm buildings in respect of that particular agricultural unit or holding. In considering whether to impose such a condition, the Council will take into account the size of the agricultural unit and the number, size and floor area of existing buildings in agricultural use, the impact of additional buildings and associated activities, such as external storage and farm roads on the character of the landscape or openness of the Green Belt. Where the Council does withdraw permitted development rights, very special circumstances will need to be established for a new agricultural building to be permitted.

Re-use for Employment Purposes

5.104 In considering proposals for the re-use of rural buildings for employment purposes the Council will pay particular regard to the scale of development, including the number of jobs that would be provided, the level of in-commuting that would arise and the intensity of activity that would be generated. The Council will have regard to the imposition of reasonable conditions on a planning permission to overcome any legitimate planning concerns which would otherwise outweigh the advantages of re-use.

Re-use for Residential Purposes

5.105 Proposals for the residential re-use of rural buildings will be considered in the light of the physical effects of the proposed conversion on the character of the building and its appearance in the landscape and whether the effects of a residential curtilage or the likely demand for further buildings would harm the character and appearance of the countryside.

5.106 Residential conversions are often detrimental to the fabric and character of historic buildings and can result in the greatest change both to the fabric of rural buildings, through the insertion of floors, doors and windows, and their appearance in the landscape through the introduction of external domestic features such as gardens and car parking. This is often detrimental, especially where it is important to retain the intrinsic features or architectural integrity of a rural building or where it is in an attractive and sensitive setting.

5.107 The Council is unlikely to give favourable consideration to proposals for the residential re-use of buildings where the existing building is unsuitable for conversion without extensive alteration, rebuilding or extension, or if the creation of a residential curtilage would have a harmful effect on the character of the countryside. Proposals for the residential re-use of buildings in the open countryside will be examined with particular care in the light of the criteria of Policy RUD19.

5.108 Where residential conversion is part of a scheme for the re-use of a building or complex of buildings for employment purposes, the Council will consider whether to impose a condition requiring the works necessary for the establishment of the enterprise to have been completed before the dwelling is occupied, so as to ensure the scheme materialises.

5.109 This will be particularly appropriate in the open countryside. The Council will also consider whether to impose a condition to tie occupation of the dwelling to the operation of the enterprise, in order to prevent it being sold separately without a further planning application. Alternatively, a planning obligation may be sought to tie the dwelling to the rest of the buildings' re-use.

Re-use of Institutional Buildings

5.110 Within the countryside there is a range of buildings which is used for institutional purposes such as residential homes or schools or training centres. Any proposals for the re-use and adaptation of such buildings will be considered in the light of Policy RUD19, but it is recognised that their scale and nature present particular issues which will need to be considered in the specific circumstances of the site. For example, such buildings may already be residential in form and type and their conversion to alternative residential uses may be the most appropriate use for them. The large scale of such buildings may also make them unsuited to some non-residential uses, particularly those generating significant amounts of activity and traffic. Each case will be considered on its merits in the light of the intentions of Policy RUD19.

Commercial Development in Villages

5.111 PPG7 indicates that many commercial and light manufacturing activities can be carried out in rural areas without unacceptable disturbance and that small-scale enterprises have a vital role in promoting healthy economic activity in rural areas. The Government suggests that sensitive small-scale new development can be accommodated in and around many settlements in the countryside and that local plans should provide a guide to the scale of allowable development and the criteria against which planning applications will be considered. The Surrey Structure Plan 1994 indicates that small-scale commercial development may be acceptable subject to environmental safeguards.

5.112 Most of the villages in Mole Valley where infilling or limited development could take place (Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3) lie in or are surrounded by the Green Belt or in the case of Ockley lie in the countryside beyond where strict control of development is justified. The Council therefore considers that in accordance with the Plan's strategy of protecting the District's villages from inappropriate development there is likely to be only very limited scope for additional commercial development in them. Policies ENV2 and ENV3 apply very strict controls in the countryside around villages.

POLICY RUD20 - COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN VILLAGES
Proposals to establish, extend or redevelop business, industrial, storage and distribution or related undertakings within the boundaries of those villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 will only be permitted where:
  1. it is at an appropriately small scale in relation to the size and character of the village;
  2. it takes account of the setting, form and layout of the village and in particular:
    1. is not a form of development which extends into the surrounding countryside;
    2. in the case of villages identified in Policy RUD1 comprises infilling or in the case of villages identified in Policies RUD2 and RUD3 comprises the development of land substantially surrounded by existing buildings;
    3. does not result in the development of land that makes a significant contribution to the rural character of the village.
  3. it would not result in the net loss of residential accommodation;
  4. it would not result in the loss of community facilities where there is an evident need for such facilities;
  5. it takes account of the historic character of the village and the local style of building;
  6. it would not have a significant adverse effect on the amenities of any nearby residential properties through noise, pollution or levels of activity;
  7. the traffic generated is compatible with the environmental character of the village and would not significantly increase traffic flows on minor roads suitable only for light local traffic;
  8. adequate utility and other services are available.
Proposals for new business, industrial, storage and distribution or related activities will not be allowed outside the infill boundaries of villages in Policy RUD1 or the boundaries of villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD2 and RUD3 except as provided for in Policy RUD19 or as part of a farm diversification scheme in accordance with Policy RUD17.

5.113 Development beyond the limitations set out in Policy RUD20 would be likely to be harmful to the character, function and conservation of the District's villages and could give rise to unacceptable levels of inward commuting.

5.114 The scale of new commercial development in the District's villages will be particularly closely scrutinised. Each proposal will be considered on its merits, but it is unlikely that there will be many situations in which development of more than 100 square metres will be able to be accommodated satisfactorily under the terms of Policy RUD20 having regard to the scale and character of the District's villages.

Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt

5.115 PPG2 indicates that limited infilling or redevelopment of major existing developed sites identified in adopted local plans, which meets the criteria in paragraph C3 or C4 of Annex C of the Guidance Note is not inappropriate development inside a Green Belt.

5.116 The Council has identified Brockham Park, RAF Headley Court and the Queen Elizabeth Training College, Leatherhead as Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt.

POLICY RUD21 - MAJOR DEVELOPED SITES IN THE GREEN BELT
The Council has identified the following Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt:
  • Brockham Park - this site has now been redeveloped for housing
  • RAF Headley Court
  • Queen Elizabeth Training College, Leatherhead.
Within these sites defined on the Proposals Map, limited infilling and redevelopment will be allowed subject to the following criteria:
  1. Infilling should:
    1. have no greater impact on the purposes of including land in the Green Belt than the existing development;
    2. not exceed the height of the existing buildings; and
    3. not lead to a major increase in the developed proportion of the site.
  2. Redevelopment should:
    1. have no greater impact than the existing development on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it, and where possible have less;
    2. contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the use of land in Green Belts;
    3. not exceed the height of the existing buildings; and
    4. not occupy a larger area of the site than the existing buildings (unless this would achieve a reduction in height which would benefit visual amenity).

5.117 For the purpose of this Policy, "infilling" means the filling of small gaps between built development.

5.118 The relevant area for the purposes of 2(d) is the aggregate ground floor area of the existing buildings (the "footprint") excluding temporary buildings, open spaces with direct external access between wings of a building and areas of hardstanding.

5.119 In considering proposals for the redevelopment of Major Developed Sites, the Council will have regard to not only the footprint of the existing building but also the character and dispersal of the proposed redevelopment. The location of new buildings will be decided having regard to the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it, the objectives for the use of land in the Green Belt, the main features of the landscape and the need to integrate the new development with its surroundings. Also, the site will be considered as a whole, whether or not all the buildings are to be redeveloped. The test of area in paragraph 5.118 relates to the redevelopment of the entire site; any proposals for partial redevelopment should be put forward in the context of comprehensive long-term plans for the site as a whole. Proposals will also be considered in the light of all material considerations, including for example visual amenity and the traffic and travel implications of redevelopment.

5.120 In granting any planning permission for the redevelopment of Major Developed Sites, the Council will consider whether to impose conditions to ensure that buildings which are not to be retained permanently are demolished as new buildings are erected, thus keeping the total developed area under control.

The Extension and Redevelopment of Existing Commercial/Industrial Premises in the Countryside

5.121 Government advice in PPG2 - Green Belts indicates that the construction of new buildings inside a Green Belt is inappropriate unless for specified purposes. These do not include commercial / industrial uses save for infill or redevelopment of major existing developed sites identified in adopted local plans. This advice is reflected in Policy RUD22.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD22 - EXTENSION OR REDEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL / INDUSTRIAL PREMISES IN THE GREEN BELT
With the exception of proposals involving the Major Developed Sites identified in Policy RUD21, the extension or redevelopment of commercial / industrial premises in the Green Belt is inappropriate development and will not be permitted.

5.122 Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt. It is for the applicant to show why permission should be granted. Very special circumstances to justify extensions or redevelopment of commercial/industrial premises in the Green Belt will not exist unless the harm, by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations. For example, very minor extensions or alterations to existing premises may be acceptable provided any additional floorspace is insignificant, both individually and cumulatively and does not harm the openness of the Green Belt.

5.123 In considering proposals for the extension or redevelopment of industrial or commercial premises in the countryside beyond the Green Belt the Council will seek to balance the needs of local businesses with the protection of the countryside.

POLICY RUD23 - EXTENSION OR REDEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING COMMERCIAL / INDUSTRIAL PREMISES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE BEYOND THE GREEN BELT
The extension of existing business, industrial, research and development, storage and distribution premises in the countryside beyond the Green Belt will only be acceptable provided the proposal would not:
  1. change significantly the scale of the existing premises;
  2. extend significantly beyond the existing principal buildings into open land or have a significant adverse effect on the appearance of the countryside;
  3. generate volumes of traffic that would prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads;
  4. have a significant adverse effect on the residential or rural amenities of the locality.
Proposals for the redevelopment of commercial / industrial buildings will be required to satisfy criteria 3 and 4 above and should be sited on or close to the position of the original building and should not exceed the height or be materially larger than the existing building.

5.124 While the Council wishes to ensure the maintenance of the District's rural economy, firms contemplating significant expansion should not expect to develop their operations in the District's countryside, but rather look to the built-up areas where there are greater opportunities for commercial / industrial development (see Chapter 7).

5.125 Proposals involving the extension or redevelopment of public houses or restaurants in the countryside beyond the Green Belt will be considered in the light of this Policy.

Village Shops

5.126 Apart from the smaller villages and hamlets in the District most villages have at least one shop or a post office. The Council supports the continued existence of such shops, which play an important role in meeting the more immediate shopping needs of the local population. They are particularly valuable to the less mobile people such as the elderly and disabled and those who do not have access to a car or public transport. Proposals for additional shopping facilities will normally be acceptable provided they are primarily to serve the needs of the local population and are of a scale appropriate for that purpose. The Council is opposed to large-scale retail development in the rural areas that would be contrary to the Plan's objectives to protect the Green Belt and countryside from inappropriate development.

POLICY RUD24 - VILLAGE SHOPS
Proposals involving modest increases to village shopping facilities will be permitted provided they are small-scale and intended to serve the needs of the community.
Proposals for large-scale, freestanding retail stores in the rural areas will not be permitted.
Proposals for the change of use of village shops will not normally be permitted.

5.127 Village shops play a crucial role in maintaining villages as viable communities. However, changing patterns of retailing and mobility have resulted in the closure of some shops in the rural areas in recent years. Although this is regrettable, it is not possible to prevent closure through planning powers. However, it is possible to control the future use of such premises. In this regard the Council does not favour a change of use to dwellings. Uses which help maintain the village as a viable community may be permitted if the Council is satisfied that retailing within Class A1 of the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order is no longer a viable use and the Council is satisfied that all reasonable attempts have been made to market the premises for retail purposes at a reasonable price. In addition, the Council will support action by other bodies including the Countryside Agency, Surrey Voluntary Services Council and the Surrey County Association of Town and Parish Councils to retain existing local shops or encourage replacements for any which go out of use.

Garden Centres

5.128 There are several concentrations of existing or approved garden centres in the District. In particular, there are four along the A25 between Dorking and Buckland and others in the Ashtead area. Further provision exists in the Bookham and Fetcham areas and there are garden centres just beyond the Mole Valley boundary at Stoke D'Abernon and Malden Rushett which are close to residents in the north of the District. There is a range of small-scale nurseries in the southern part of the District serving mainly local needs. There are also several garden centres and DIY stores selling gardening products around Horsham and Crawley.

5.129 Garden centres have often developed from nurseries and their impact on the character and appearance of the countryside has been marked. They sell a wide range of products which may require substantial premises, and extensive displays often out of character in a rural setting, and generate significant levels of traffic and activity. Further provision of retail development of this nature which is not related mainly to the sale of goods grown or produced on the site is considered inappropriate in the countryside.

POLICY RUD25 - GARDEN CENTRES
Outside the built-up areas of the District permission will not be granted for new garden centres or for the change of use of a nursery to a garden centre. There will be a presumption against the extension of existing garden centres in the Green Belt. The extension of garden centres in the countryside beyond the Green Belt will only be permitted where:
  1. the scale and nature of the development is such that it would not adversely affect the character, appearance and amenities of the locality;
  2. the amount of traffic likely to be generated by the proposal would not prejudice highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads;
  3. adequate car parking can be provided without significant adverse visual impact;
  4. the development would not result in the enlargement of the site onto undeveloped land.

5.130 The Council will consider the use of planning conditions to limit the range of goods sold at extensions to garden centres permitted under this Policy.

Community Facilities in Rural Areas

5.131 In rural areas the provision of community facilities such as schools, social and health facilities has been declining. The Council recognises the contribution that community facilities make to village life and the importance of them to the elderly and those without access to a car or public transport. Although the Council cannot prevent closures or cutbacks in provision through planning powers, it will wherever possible support the retention of facilities by protecting them against proposals for alternative forms of development that do not satisfy the policies of this Plan.

5.132 Proposals involving limited additional facilities to serve existing communities will normally be acceptable.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY RUD26 - COMMUNITY FACILITIES IN RURAL AREAS
Additional community facilities or services within the boundaries of the villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 will be considered against the criteria in Policy CF2. Large-scale development will not be acceptable.

5.133 Exceptionally, proposals for community facilities outside the boundaries of villages identified in Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 may be acceptable where they are required to serve the needs of the community concerned and are acceptable in environmental and amenity terms. Also, the use of residential accommodation in the rural areas for community uses may exceptionally be permitted. For the purposes of Policy RUD26, community facilities include schools, health and welfare facilities, youth and community centres and church and village halls.

5.134 This approach complements the positive measures being undertaken by the Surrey County Council and the voluntary sector, including the Surrey Voluntary Services Council and the Surrey County Association of Parish and Town Councils to help rural communities in Surrey retain village services and facilities.

GATWICK AIRPORT AND RELATED DEVELOPMENT

Pressures of the Airport and their Impact on Mole Valley

5.135 The southern boundary of the District in the vicinity of Charlwood and Hookwood abuts Gatwick Airport. The airport is situated in the Borough of Crawley and is important to the economy of the Crawley/Gatwick area. However, it does have a significant environmental impact on the southern part of Mole Valley, principally through disturbance from aircraft noise on the ground and in the air, increased traffic on rural lanes and roads, and pressure for commercial and industrial development attracted by the proximity of the airport. Development along the airport's north boundary including the North Terminal and related long-term car parking have also brought the airport's activities closer to Mole Valley.

Provision of Additional Runway Capacity at Gatwick Airport

5.136 The previous Government decided to abandon the option of a second runway at Gatwick which had been set out in the RUCATSE Report and was located entirely in Mole Valley. The Council welcomed this decision. The Government is undertaking a study on the issue of airport capacity in the South East and East of England as part of its commitments under the Transport White Paper. The Council is totally opposed to any additional runway at Gatwick, particularly bearing in mind the legal agreement between West Sussex County Council and BAA plc which precludes a new runway at the airport and lasts until 2019.

5.137 Any additional runway would be likely to have a major impact on the surrounding area including this District, and it seems inevitable that this would require major facilities at the airport and would generate much greater levels of surface traffic, car parking, aircraft and ground noise and additional pressures for development. It would also represent a major new generator of development which would conflict with the Government's strategy for the South East Region which seeks to redress the balance between the west and east of the region and states specifically with regard to the Crawley/Gatwick area that constraints on development and policy constraints in adjoining areas make regionally significant expansion undesirable.

Development at Gatwick Airport, Crawley

5.138 Irrespective of the issue of a second runway, Gatwick Airport is likely to handle increasing numbers of passengers during the period covered by this Plan, principally through a greater number of flights and more passengers per aircraft. This is likely to result in increased levels of activity and vehicle traffic around the airport over longer periods of the day and night. The Council appreciates that planning control cannot limit the number of flights or passengers using the airport, but will make representations to Crawley Borough Council and BAA Gatwick where it considers development proposals at the airport would adversely affect the character and amenities of Mole Valley.

5.139 In particular the Council will seek to ensure that any development proposals for the North West Zone which currently comprises fields and woods do not prejudice the amenities of Charlwood and that a buffer of open land within the airport's North West Zone is retained to reinforce the strategic gap of countryside between Charlwood and the airport.

5.140 The Council will seek to ensure that the rural character of the countryside in the south of the District and the amenities of the communities living in that area are not adversely affected by development at Gatwick Airport.

5.141 The Council will make representations to BAA Gatwick and Crawley Borough Council opposing further development or changes to operations at Gatwick Airport where they consider it would adversely affect the character and amenities of the District by virtue of increasing disturbance due to airborne or ground noise by day or night; increased traffic flows which would be prejudicial to highway safety or cause significant harm to the environmental character of country roads or increased visual intrusion into open and unspoilt landscape within and adjoining the airport.

5.142 The Council will seek to ensure that any development proposals for the airport's North West Zone do not adversely affect the character and amenities of Charlwood and that appropriate screening and bunding is provided.

5.143 In responding to consultations by Crawley Borough Council in respect of development on the airport, the Council will press for all necessary environmental safeguards to be provided especially adequate noise attenuation, visual screening and landscaping.

Airport Related Development

5.144 The proximity of the airport leads to considerable pressures for development in the south-eastern part of the District. This includes proposals not only for services closely related to the operation of the airport, e.g. flight catering, long-term car parking, coach and car hire facilities, but also for industrial, offices, warehousing and similar development attracted by the advantages of a location close to the airport. The Council is opposed to all such development, which would be contrary to the Plan's Green Belt and countryside policies. POLICY NOT SAVED

POLICY RUD27 - AIRPORT RELATED DEVELOPMENT
Proposals for development directly related to Gatwick Airport will be expected to be located within the boundary of the airport and will not normally be permitted in the Green Belt, the countryside beyond the Green Belt or villages in Mole Valley.

5.145 The aim of Policy RUD27 is to protect the rural character of the District from inappropriate development. Development requirements generated by Gatwick Airport should normally be accommodated in the adjoining built-up areas, rather than in open countryside. Particular provision for this purpose has been made at Crawley.

5.146 Airport related hotels, motels, guesthouses and similar forms of accommodation will be considered in the light of Policies REC21 - REC22. Proposals for development indirectly related to Gatwick Airport will be considered in the light of other relevant policies in the Plan especially ENV2, ENV3, RUD19, RUD20, RUD22 and RUD23.

5.147 For the purposes of Policy RUD27, the boundary of the airport is that identified in the Crawley Borough Local Plan.

Airport Related Car Parking

5.148 Long-term car parking related to Gatwick Airport is provided on the airport and in authorised off-airport car parks, some of which are operated in conjunction with hotels. Such car parks are to be found in the Charlwood / Hookwood area and in locations around the airport in other districts. Car parking provision is monitored annually by Crawley Borough Council in conjunction with other bodies including Mole Valley District Council. The Council wishes to ensure that any shortfall in provision that may be identified is accommodated within the airport or on authorised off-airport sites and not through the establishment of new car parks in the open countryside which would conflict with the Plan's Green Belt and countryside protection policies. There is not considered to be any need for any additional long-term airport related car parks to be provided in the District and Policy RUD28 has been worded accordingly.

POLICY RUD28 - OFF-AIRPORT CAR PARKING
New off-airport car parking sites, or extensions to existing sites, will not be permitted.
Enforcement action will be taken against any unauthorised off-airport car parking which in the opinion of the Council is inappropriately sited having regard to the policies of this Plan and any other material considerations.

5.149 A Direction under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order has been in effect for some time for the areas around the airport to prevent the setting up of temporary car parks.



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