Restrictions on the occupancy of new housing are 'rarely appropriate' and so should generally be avoided, according to a letter from the Scottish Government's Chief Planner, Jim Mackinnon.
Mr. Mackinnon has written to Council Heads of Planning to clarify the Scottish Government's views on the use of conditions or planning obligations to restrict the occupancy of new rural housing.
His letter is in response to various issues which have arisen with the use of occupancy conditions, particularly in the current economic situation.
He said: "Scottish Planning Policy promotes a positive approach to rural housing. It states that development plans should support more opportunities for small scale housing development in all rural areas, including housing which is linked to rural businesses. It does not promote the use of occupancy restrictions.
"In areas where new housing can help to support vibrant rural communities or sustain fragile rural areas, planning authorities should seek to support suitable investment in additional provision, focussing on the issues of location, siting, design and environmental impact rather than seeking to place restrictions on who occupies the housing."