NPPF Paragraph 79 Homes (previously Para 55 Houses)

Creating unique, exceptional homes through the NPPF Paragraph 55/ 79 Homes is one of our spcialities as planning consultants. We have been involved with many different types of such houses and a proven abilitiy in managing the process and persuading the Council (including Planning Committees and the Planning Department) as well as recieving a huge amount of positive support from neighbours and Parish Councils.

What does Paragraph 79 (previously 55) say?

The recent changes to the NPPF have made some subtle changes ot the original paragraph 55 homes wording with the new paragraph 79 stating the following:

– there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside;

– the development would represent the optimal viable use of a heritage asset or would be appropriate enabling development to secure the future of heritage assets;

– the development would re-use redundant or disused buildings and enhance its immediate setting;

– the development would involve the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling; or

– the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:

– is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and

– would significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

NPPF Paragraph 55 Homes

What are Paragraph 55 (now 79) Homes?

Generally, local and national planning policy require that homes are located in sustainable locations and generally inside of settlement boundaries. There are allowances for new homes outside of a settlement boundary and in rural areas, but are generally more restrictive. Paragraph 79 creates some exceptions and allowances to create new homes in rural areas.

One-off bespoke, self build homes are often difficult to obtain planning permission for in open countryside although we have a wide range of experience of such homes.

The following case studies provide a small sample of the different types of NPPF Paragraph 55/ 79 Homes we have been involved with.

NPPF Paragraph 79 Houses

Planning Approval for NPFF Paragraph 55 Dwelling House in open countryside

Our client appointed us with respect to a carbon-neutral family self build home on a site located in open countryside, and as such was unacceptable in local planning policy terms. Previous applications, by another company, had been unsuccessful.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), however, makes an exception in special circumstances where designs are “truly outstanding or innovative”.

A redesign of the original house design was proposed to ensure that the application had the best chance of arguing that the house was of exceptional quality. A robust and detailed planning statement was included within the planning application, incorporating the design and access statement to justify the scheme and design.

Although the Planning Department recommended refusal, the Planning Committee granted approval, commenting the house achieved a “… high standard of sustainable construction and innovative design”.

Local Planning Authority: Breckland Council

see also: Self Build Homes; Infill plot; garden land; TPO’s; rural development

NPPF Paragraph 55 Homes

Replacement of derelict Grade II listed Farmhouse 

Contemporary dwelling in open countryside in addition to being Carbon Neutral.

Creating a modern twist of the traditional and vernacular local architecture.

Replacing Grade II listed farmhouse.


Local Planning Authority: Mid Suffolk Council

see also: Self Build Homes; TPO’s; Listed Building Consent; rural development

NPPF Paragraph 55 Planning

Circular NPPF Paragraph 55 House in Open Countryside. 

Contemporary innovative Carbon Neutral dwelling in open countryside while reflecting the traditional form of the windmill which previously stood on the site


Local Planning Authority: 

see also: Self Build Homes; Open Countryside; Rural Development

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This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon.
The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ.
Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out.