Crown calls on Exmoor to accept live/work

The Crown Estate is at loggerheads with a West Country national park authority over its stance on live/work development.

The estate, which manages the Queen’s landholdings, told a public inquiry last month into the Exmoor national park local plan that the authority’s policy on home-based businesses is “unsound and limited in scope”.

Exmoor’s draft local plan says that small scale home based businesses will be allowed in parts of existing residential properties, small scale extensions and ancillary buildings. But it says new live/work units will be subject to the same restrictive policies that apply to ordinary new housing.

However a submission by the Crown’s agents Savills says the plan has not given sufficient consideration to how existing buildings could be converted for live/work arrangements.

It describes this approach as a 'missed opportunity', which fails to reflect the growing popularity of working from home, a 'significant factor in Exmoor’s local economy'.

The submission identifies scope for live/work arrangements when potentially converting market housing in the park’s local village and towns into affordable homes. And in the open countryside, it says existing buildings on farmsteads could be converted to provide extended family dwellings. Including work uses either within main farmhouses or in ancillary buildings would create live/work arrangements.

But it says such live/work accommodation should not be designed so that the workspace is necessarily restricted to the occupants of the associated dwelling.

It says the work and dwelling spaces should be capable of being used independently of one another in order to permit more flexible future employment opportunities.

The Crown Estate’s submission can be viewed at:

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