DC Casebook: Community facilities - Minors' need outweighs green belt harm

The expansion of a psychiatric unit in the Surrey green belt has been approved after an inspector noted that it would meet government objectives of treating minors separately from adults.

The two-storey extension would create nine bedrooms and treatment rooms for patients under 18. A stable and helicopter hangar would be demolished and the net increase in volume would be 270m2. The appellants argued that removal of the hangar would have a positive impact on visual amenity and only ten extra daily traffic movements would be generated. The inspector agreed that the impact on the green belt would be modest and the removal of the hangar of benefit.

The design of the extension would be superior and would help concentrate development within the site, he observed. There was undoubtedly a need for the additional space and the capacity to treat children locally was an important additional benefit, he decided. Inadequate provision following closure of two other hospitals in the county reinforced his reasons for allowing the appeal.

DCS Number 100-069-521

Inspector Jon Roberts; Written representations

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