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Paragraph 79 House - Now Paragraph 80

Paragraph 79 (Para 79) has been renamed Paragraph 80 Houses (Para 80) and was formerly Paragraph 55 (Para 55) and prior to this 'PPS 7'.

What is Paragraph 80 - Formerly Paragraph 79/Paragraph 55?

Paragraph 80 (previously Para 79 and 55) is part of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which outlines planning policy for England and how they expect it to be applied.

Paragraph 79 now refers to promoting sustainable developments in rural areas. This includes where housing development should be located to enhance or maintain the ‘vitality’ of those communities. In layman’s terms it promotes the policy that the development of new housing must take every opportunity to allow villages, (including, in certain cases neighbouring villages) to thrive.

Paragraph 80 refers to avoiding isolated homes in the countryside other than a limited number of exceptions. This aims to prevent one-off houses outside of recognised settlement boundaries.

We have been involved with many different types of rural housing, especially ones of “exceptional quality” i.e. bespoke, one-off self build Paragraph 80 house developments.

Plande has a proven ability to manage the process, and persuade the Council (including Planning Committees and the Planning Department) to grant planning permission. We receive a huge amount of positive support from neighbours and Parish Councils.

What does Paragraph 80 (previously 55 and 79) say?

In July 2021 the former Paragraph 79 was renumbered to Paragraph 80 which continued the policy that the development of isolated homes in the community should be avoided unless a number of rules apply. These include:

  1. The possible necessity of a rural worker such as a farmer or farmhand to live close to their place of work
  2. Where the development would enhance the use of a heritage asset. (such as listed buildings or historic sites)
  3. Where disused buildings could be redeveloped to enhance the immediate area
  4. Where an existing building would be subdivided; or
  5. The design is so exceptional that;
  • It raises the standards of the local rural area through its exceptional architecture
  • By being sensitive to its rural setting, would enhance its immediate (surrounding) area

How does Paragraph 80 relate to local policies and previous versions?

The July 2021 revision removes the “innovation” requirement and now only states that such houses should be “truly outstanding”. It suggests that trying to ‘create’ or ‘justify’ that a house was innovative was a difficult challenge. Once individual technologies or construction systems have been used (even in different situations) they could no longer be seen as innovative.

Paragraph 80 suggests that opportunities are often not duplicated in local policy. This could create both a loophole, as well as conflict, where local policies may not specifically allow for such exceptional quality homes. Planning Departments and the Councils have to weigh up this policy conflict. Particularly in light of the Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015.  Local planning authorities are required to make provision and other housing land supply requirements.


Disclaimer: 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. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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