Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

Enabling new housing

Local Development Plan (LDP) policies on enabling new housing are listed below:

The Council will encourage and support the residential development of:

(i) Housing Development Opportunity Sites identified for housing purposes on the LDP maps. Indicative capacities are provided for each housing site within Volume 2 of the plan. (PDF 19.5Mb) Ancillary, associated uses such as small scale retail for day to day purchases and leisure, recreational and community facilities at a neighbourhood scale will also be supported in appropriate locations within new housing developments where they meet with all relevant LDP policies; and

(ii) Gap, infill or other redevelopment sites within settlement boundaries where they meet with all other LDP policies and requirements. 

All new residential developments must contribute positively to the principles of good placemaking as set out in overarching policy OP1, the placemaking section of the LDP and the Council’s Design Guidance. Master plans/design statements will be required for those sites as indicated in Volume 2 of the LDP. (PDF 19.5Mb) Similarly, all new housing proposals will require to meet with the requirements of policy OP2 by implementing the mitigation measures set out in the Environmental Report (PDF 5.2Mb) accompanying this LDP. 

Residential developments will require to meet with the Public and Private Open Space Standards set out in Schedule 8 of the LDP. (PDF 18Mb)

Future housing growth areas indicate where future housing sites are likely to be identified for the period 2025-2035. These will be the subject of future detailed assessment and formal designations will be finalised in future reviews of the LDP.

With the exception of dwellings in the countryside whose rural location can be fully justified in terms of Policies RES4 and RES5, proposals to extend the supply of land for residential development outwith but adjacent to settlement boundaries will only be acceptable if there is a demonstrated shortfall in the supply of effective housing land within the Housing Sub Market area in which the proposed residential site is located during the LDP period (2015-2025).

The Council will require the provision of affordable housing:      

(i) on those sites specifically identified and reserved for such purposes on the LDP maps

(ii) on all sites of 30 or more houses proposed in the Kilmarnock & Loudoun sub housing market area. Within such developments, 25% of houses will require to be affordable in nature;

(iii) on all sites of 30 or more houses proposed in the Doon Valley sub market area. Within such developments, 15% of the houses will require to be affordable in nature.

The Council’s preference is that affordable housing will be delivered on site. However, where it can be conclusively demonstrated that this is not possible or feasible, off site provision may be considered acceptable. A commuted sum payment will be accepted only where all appropriate on and off site possibilities have been explored and full justification for them being discounted is provided.

Note 1: Early discussion with the Council’s Planning and Housing Services will be required to establish the most appropriate mix of affordable housing to be provided. Affordable Housing can cover a wide range of end users including families, older people, people with physical and learning disabilities and young “looked after” people.

Note 2: If a new planning application is submitted which would increase the overall capacity of a site, the additional units only would be required to meet the terms of Policy RES 3.  Where a new application relates to amendments which would not affect overall capacity - for example, changes to layout or house types – the terms of the policy would not apply.

The Council will be supportive of single or small scale residential development in the Rural Protection Area, as shown on the rural area map, (PDF 14.2Mb) only where it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Council, that the houses are required on a permanent basis for:

(i) an agricultural worker employed full time on the farm to which the proposed house relates; subject to meeting the requirements of policy RES 6

(ii) a replacement house where the original dwelling is either damaged by fire, flood or other accident, or is run down and where it can be demonstrated that the house cannot economically be brought up to habitable standards through restoration or repair

(iii) a worker employed by a forestry or other rural industrial or business enterprise where it can be demonstrated that a worker living on site is essential to the running of the business; subject to meeting the requirements of policy RES 7

(iv) a rural enabling development for the restoration and repair of a listed building in line with all requirements set out in policy RES 13

Policies RES 6 and RES 7 provide further policy on new agricultural workers houses and housing for other rural enterprises.

The Council will be supportive of single or small scale residential developments within the Rural Diversification Area, as shown on the rural area map, (PDF 14.2Mb) where it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Council, that:

(i) the houses are required for the categories of development detailed in Policy RES4 above; or

(ii) the proposed development would constitute a maximum 50% addition to an existing, clearly defined group of four or more houses not delineated by a formal settlement boundary existing as at the date of adoption of the LDP. The grouping, as expanded, should not exceed 15 units. Infill development of gap sites is preferable to any linear expansion; or

(iii) the proposed development is for one house on a minimum 0.25ha brownfield/derelict site; or

(iv) the proposed development would facilitate the establishment of a new innovative business, consistent with the provisions of Policy IND 3. It will require to be demonstrated conclusively to the Council that the establishment of the new business would not otherwise be financially viable and that financial assistance is not available from any other source. The Council will require to be satisfied that all profits arising from the enabling development will be channelled into the business development to be permitted.

The Council will be supportive of new build houses for agricultural workers, both within the Rural Protection Areas and the Rural Diversification Areas as shown on the rural area map, (PDF 14.2Mb) where it can be demonstrated conclusively to the satisfaction of the Council, that:

(i) the farm unit to which the proposal relates has been established for a period of more than two years and is proven to be economically viable;

(ii) the house is required on a permanent basis for a farm worker employed directly and full time on the land to which the proposed house relates and whose presence is essential to the operation of the farm unit on a 24 hour a day basis;

(iii) the land presented as justifying the proposed house is in the direct ownership of the applicant, not merely leased or rented to the applicant on a temporary or short term basis; and

(iv) there are no alternative, existing accommodation facilities or other properties suitable for conversion to residential use, available within, or in close proximity to, the farm unit which could satisfy the needs of the worker for whom the house is required.

In all cases, any application for an agricultural workers house will require to be supported by a business plan and a statement from an appropriate and independent professional agronomist, fully justifying the proposal on operational grounds. The Council will not be supportive of proposals which would result in the provision of three or more agricultural workers dwellings on any one particular farm unit, except in the most exceptional circumstances.

Proposals for new agricultural workers dwellings which do not meet the above criteria will not be considered acceptable to the Council.

The Council will not be supportive of any proposals for additional houses for agricultural workers where it can be established that:

(1) an existing farmhouse or other agricultural workers accommodation previously serving the agricultural unit concerned has been converted to alternative uses or has been sold off separately from the unit to persons not employed on the farm, within the preceding five year period; or

(2) an agricultural occupancy condition previously attached to a residential property serving the agricultural unit concerned has been removed by the Council in the preceding five year period.

The Council will be supportive of new build houses in association with an established forestry or other appropriate industrial or business enterprise, including tourism related activities, both within the Rural Protection Areas and the Rural Diversification Areas as shown on the rural area map, (PDF 14.2Mb) where it can be demonstrated conclusively to the satisfaction of the Council that:

(i) the industrial or business development to which the proposed house relates is, itself, acceptable in terms of  all other relevant LDP policies; and

(ii) the requirement for a worker to live on the site can be fully justified as essential to the economic operation of the industry or business enterprise to which it relates; and

(iii) the industrial or business enterprise to which the proposed house relates has been established and operative within the site where the proposed house is to be located for a minimum period of two years and is proven to be economically viable.

The Council will request applicants to justify their proposals through the submission of detailed supporting information, for example detailed business plans, in order to allow the Council to fully assess the applications concerned.

Proposals for new business and industry related housing developments in the countryside which do not meet the above criteria will not be considered acceptable to the Council.

Note 1: The erection of a new house in the countryside to provide security against theft, vandalism or intrusion to an authorised or proposed rural business activity does not represent or constitute a site specific locational need for such a development.

Note 2: Any business which changes from mobile to static to justify a house associated with the business will not be considered to be the same business under the terms of this policy.

Residential development in the countryside will not be considered acceptable to the Council where:

 (i) the development would constitute an inappropriate or unacceptable extension of development into the countryside from existing settlement boundaries; or

(ii) the development would, in itself, constitute or exacerbate an unacceptable sporadic or ribboning of development along public or private roads in rural locations; or

(iii) the development would contribute to the coalescence of neighbouring communities

Within both settlements and the rural area, the Council will be supportive of proposals relating to the conversion of properties to residential use, where all of the following criteria can be met:

(i) the Council is satisfied that the structural condition of the building is suitable for its conversion to residential use. A structural engineer’s report may be required in this regard;

(ii) the proposal reflects the style and design of the original building located on the site;

(iii) any extension proposed in association with the conversion is of an appropriate size and scale, commensurate and in keeping with the size and scale of the existing building to which the conversion relates

Within rural areas, Council support for the conversion of properties to residential use will be restricted to:

(i) the conversion of large residential properties or other residential uses of an institutional or care related nature into smaller residential units; and

(ii) the conversion of traditionally designed and constructed, non-residential buildings of a domestic scale

The conversion to residential use of modern, purpose built, large scale storage barns, byres, cubicle houses, stables or other outbuildings constructed of non-traditional materials such as breeze blocks, corrugated iron, profiled sheeting etc. will not be supported by the Council.

The Council will assess any applications for small Travellers’ Sites on their own merits and will support the development of such sites where all of the above criteria can be met:

(i) the site is in a location readily accessible to the main strategic road network

(ii) the site can be serviced at reasonable cost

(iii) the site is adequately screened and landscaped to the satisfaction of the Council

(iv) the site does not cause any unacceptable damage or detriment to the amenity of residents of surrounding properties

Proposals which do not meet all these criteria will not be supported by the Council.

The Council will, at all times, seek to protect, preserve and enhance the residential character and amenity of existing residential areas. In this regard, there will be a general presumption against:

(i) the establishment of non-residential uses within, or in close proximity to, residential areas which potentially have detrimental effects on local amenity or which cause unacceptable disturbance to local residents

(ii) the development for other uses of locally important areas of recreational or amenity open space which contribute significantly to the character and appearance of the residential area concerned, or which offer opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation

(iii) the removal of play equipment from areas of recreational open space

(iv) the closure or disruption of existing footpaths which provide important links between housing areas and areas of public open space, local shops and other community facilities, transportation nodes etc

With regard to the establishment of new residential areas, new housing developments will not be permitted in locations where existing, established adjacent uses are likely to have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of future residents.

The use of caravans and non-permanent dwellings on sites other than those specifically authorised for such purposes will not be permitted.  However, temporary consent may be granted in the following circumstances:

(i) where on-site accommodation is required pending the construction of a permanent dwelling; or

(ii) where on-site accommodation is required to accommodate an agricultural worker for a limited period while a new farm unit is becoming established and where this can be fully justified to meet operational requirements; or

(iii) where on-site accommodation is required in connection with an authorised business or industrial development for the period within which the business or industry is becoming established on site and where this can be justified to meet operational requirements; or

(iv) where a temporary, proven, site specific locational need can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council.

Where a proposal relates to works to a large listed residential or institutional building located within its own grounds (including by conversion to a sympathetic alternative use), and where it can be clearly shown that the works are the only means of preventing the loss of the asset and securing its long term future, an associated enabling development of new build housing may be considered acceptable by the council. Any new development must be the minimum necessary to bridge any gap in funding and must be designed and sited to ensure that the character and setting of the historic asset is preserved and enhanced.

Any permitted enabling residential development will be made the subject of an appropriate Section 75 obligation regarding the phasing of construction and other related design and layout matters, through the submission of a detailed business plan for the overall development.

In all cases the Council will appoint independent accountants to assist in examining the viability of proposals and their business plans and in any Section 75 Obligation. The Council will require developers to share detailed financial information to ensure that the terms of this policy are met.

Contact Information

Planning & Economic Development
Telephone: 01563 576790