Green belt infilling on developed site fails

A claim by a developer that 20 dwellings on land in the Surrey green belt would not conflict with planning policies has been rejected by an inspector who determined that it would materially harm the openness of the area.

The site was used as car parking. Planning permission had been granted for over 3,000 sqm of industrial and commercial floorspace and this remained extant because a material start had been made. The appellant argued that this scheme would have a greater impact than the houses and in any event the national planning policy framework supported the redevelopment of previously developed sites in continuing use.

In accepting that this was the case the inspector drew attention to the requirement for any scheme to have no greater impact on the openness of the area compared with the existing use, and the erection of 20 dwellings would clearly not comply with this test. The existing consent carried little weight because the appellant stated that it was not viable and consequently if the appeal were dismissed the land would be retained in its current state. The impact on the green belt therefore carried greatest weight.

Inspector: Terry Phillimore; Written representations

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