Commercial vehicle building inappropriate in green belt

Following on from a previous appeal decision in early 2014 (DCS Number 400-003-551), a second inspector decided to uphold an enforcement notice requiring a building to be removed from the west Midlands green belt because it had a substantial impact on the openness of the area.

A LDC had been issued in 1993 confirming that the land could be used for the storage and dismantling of vehicles. The appellant stated that the building had been erected to enable trucks to be disassembled for export in kit form. This had led to an increase in the workforce from six to 10 people with a 100 per cent uplift in the business turnover. Cover was necessary, the appellant argued, in order to prevent water ingress to the electrical systems on modern vehicles.

The economic benefits were significant, the inspector held, along with the offer by the appellant to reduce the height of the building by two metres. This would reduce its overall mass and, coupled with the removal of a storage building, would further mitigate the impact. However, it would not be appropriate to grant permission subject to a condition requiring a reduction in its height since this would be perverse and unreasonable, effectively removing a good deal of the benefit conferred by such a permission. Consequently, the appellant had failed to demonstrate the very special circumstances required to justify inappropriate development and the notice requiring its removal was confirmed.

Inspector: David Brier; Hearing


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