Internet sales from dwelling harms green belt

The use of an outbuilding erected in the garden of a dwelling in the Essex green belt as an internet marketing and sales business was judged to compromise the openness of the area and an inspector approved its removal.

The council, in serving an enforcement notice, argued that the building had been erected without permission and it compromised the green belt and harmed the amenity of local residents due to the number of large vehicles visiting the premises. The appellant stated that the building was permitted by Class E of Part 1 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 2008 since it was used for purposes incidental to the main dwelling.

The inspector noted that the building was 15 metres long and seven metres wide and the property was accessed via a single unmade track which was used by heavy goods vehicles and delivery lorries generating complaints from neighbours. In addition internet records from ebay suggested that the business had 49,000 customers and was operating at a significant scale. The number of vehicle movements and concerns of neighbours supported the conclusion that a mixed use had been created which required permission.

The building reduced the openness of the green belt which together with vehicle movements urbanised the character of the area. Nothing short of the cessation of the use and removal of the building was required.

Inspector Felix Bourne; Written representations

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