Landscape contractor's redevelopment in green belt denied after court ruling

The redevelopment of a landscape contractor's yard within the Cheshire green belt was held to be inappropriate by an inspector after the High Court set aside a previous decision.

The appellant proposed to demolish all existing buildings and erect a single building which would have a smaller footprint and be of similar height. Paragraph 89 of the NPPF did not support this approach, the inspector held, because not one of the existing buildings would have a similar size to that planned and the scheme was by definition inappropriate. Nor could it be held to involve the redevelopment of previously developed land by new buildings because the scheme also involved other elements which meant that it did not fall within this exception.

An enforcement notice required an area of hardstanding to be laid to grass but the appellant wished this to be retained as part of the current appeal, the inspector determined. This amounted to operational development for the parking of vehicles unconnected with the contracting use. Even if the surfacing was considered an engineering operation the use for car parking would not be appropriate in a green belt location. This could result in a dense block of car parking which would exceed the 200 cars already permitted to occupy the land should it be returned to grass. The more intensive use of the area added to the harm and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Julia Gregory; Hearing


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