Agricultural & Other Occupational Dwellings


Dwellings required for the supervision of agricultural business and other rural based enterprises is one of the few circumstances permanent dwellings can be achieved in the open countryside.

The national Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states isolated homes in the countryside may be permitted in special circumstances one of which is:-


  • The essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside.


Although the former National Planning Policy Guidance PPS7 has been superseded by the NPPF, it is still being used as best practice although with more flexibility. It is worth noting that some councils have introduced their own guidance. Therefore, for such applications the burden of proof is high and various tests will need to be satisfied to establish an 'essential need'.


What is an Occupational Dwelling?

There are other rural based businesses which are not strictly agricultural. Examples could be equestrian, Koi Carp and fishing enterprises and some tourism based business like campsites. Local Authorities will deal with these in the same way as agricultural.




Permanent Dwellings

There were 5 tests outlined in the former PPS7 for permanent dwellings that in effect required the applicant to prove that everything was in place and of sufficient scale and type to satisfy the functional requirements. However under NPPF applicants can argue a different case as to what is 'essential'


The burden of proof is on the applicant to provide a sufficiently strong case from the outset, as it may well be difficult to backtrack or convince the local Authority your case is genuine.