Planning permission may be granted for a group of no more than 14 dwellings adjacent to a village or no more than 8 dwellings adjacent to a small settlement to meet an identified affordable housing need of a rural community. Planning permission will only be granted where the application is made by a registered housing association and where the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) confirm that the need cannot be met within an existing settlement in the locality.
In assessing the acceptability of sites outside a village or small settlement, the following sequential test in terms of location will be applied:
- land adjacent to the existing settlement limit, subject to amenity and environmental considerations;
- a site close to the settlement limits which currently contains buildings or where the site is already in a degraded or derelict state and there is an opportunity to improve the environment;
- an undeveloped site in close proximity to the settlement where the development could be visually integrated into the landscape.
All proposals will need to be sited and designed to integrate sympathetically with their surroundings, meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.
Only one such group will be permitted in close proximity to any particular rural settlement.