The Government recognise that rural communities do face particular housing pressures. That is why the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell has been asked to conduct an independent review to advise and assist Government on how land use and planning can better support rural business and deliver affordable housing, and which is due to report in July this year.
The policy approach in Planning Policy Statement 3 “Housing” (PPS3) and Planning Policy Statement 7: “Sustainable Development in Rural Areas” (PPS7) allows the development of new dwellings within existing farm holdings or, for example, the conversion of disused or underused farm buildings for housing, in certain, suitable locations. Annex A of PPS7 advises that one of the circumstances in which isolated residential development may be justified is when accommodation is required to enable agricultural, forestry and certain other full-time workers to live at, or in the immediate vicinity of, their place of work.
Local planning authorities should include appropriate policies in their local plans which will help deliver the amount of housing they need and decide where that housing should be located. It is for them to determine individual planning applications, such as those for the development of new dwellings within existing farm holdings, in accordance with their local plans, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
The policies in PPS3 and PPS7 apply to England only. Planning policy in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.