NPPF Paragraph 79 (P79) Dwellings

Read the below for expert advice from our in-house planner Alex…

The discussions over whether or not a P79 dwelling is innovative and/or of outstanding design are common ground when proposals are made. Not as well-known is the requirement for these proposals to be ‘isolated’. This is a matter that has been argued many a time through applications with a number of interpretations over what isolated means.

Inevitably these arguments have been through the courts as, with most of planning, there is not one set definition, and they can contradict each other. For example, in respect of the relationship with other buildings the judge in the case of Dartford Borough Council v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Others [2017] concluded that ‘a new dwelling within that curtilage will not be an ‘isolated’ home; however, in the case of Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Governments and Others [2017] the judge concluded that the ‘key question was whether it was proximate to services and facilities so as to maintain or enhance the vitality of the rural community’ and ‘isolated homes in the countryside are not in communities and settlements and therefore, the distinction between two is primarily spatial/physical’.

A third connotation of the argument is provided in the case of Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Others [2018] where it was opined that it ‘can mean either physical or functional isolation, and that, in the application of the policy, both of these two concepts are relevant and significant’.

The one conclusion to make is that there is no set definition of isolated in respect of paragraph 79 of the NPPF although considerations will be given to the physical relationship with other dwellings and local services. In our experience feasible proposals can be achieved, it is all in the thoroughness of the argument you make to the Local Planning Authority.

We at Scroxton & Partners  have been successful in securing permission for such schemes including the ‘Butterfly House’ shown above. If you are looking to get permission for an isolated dwelling of outstanding and innovative design, then mba* are ideally suited to help you achieve this.


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