Green belt caravan site rejected

Plans for a 10-pitch touring caravan and five-pitch camp site on a large 21-acre field in the Cheshire green belt were dismissed by an inspector as inappropriate development.

The site benefitted from an unimplemented extant permission for a five-pitch touring caravan and five-pitch camp site. Both schemes also involved converting an existing farm building to a toilet and shower block. Notwithstanding the fallback position, the inspector took as her starting point the fact that the site was currently undeveloped land and a change of use was not one of the exceptions to NPPF green belt policy.

In the inspector’s opinion the physical mass and bulk of up to ten caravans and five tents together with the additional vehicles, awnings, canopies and other paraphernalia associated with them would have a materially greater impact on the openness of the green belt than the previously permitted development, and the encroachment into the countryside would harm one of the purposes of the green belt.

The inspector found no very special circumstances to justify the inappropriate development and she noted that while the council accepted the principle of a touring caravan and camping park use on the site, in granting the earlier permission the council had given significant weight to the provisions of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 which meant the proposed development could have constituted permitted development. The inspector, therefore, accorded only moderate weight to the fallback scheme in deciding to dismiss the proposal as harmful to the green belt and local rural character.

Inspector: Beverley Doward; Written representations

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