Basement living space blocked in green belt

The owner of a partially completed replacement dwelling in the Surrey green belt has failed to persuade an inspector that the use of a large basement as housing would be acceptable.

In allowing the replacement home, the council had specified that it must be built exactly in accordance with the approved plans. Unforeseen ground conditions had made it necessary to create a void of up to seven metres in depth below the main floor. The appellant wanted to use this additional space for a home cinema, swimming pool, gym and games room.

The inspector noted that the revised proposal would create a dwelling with a floor area of 1,596 square metres, including 508 square metres in the basement. This substantial increase in its volume compared to the original application would involve an inappropriate form of development in the green belt, even though the underground space would not affect openness or the qualities of the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, she decided.

Inspector: Lesley Coffey; Hearing

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