Need for seasonal accommodation insufficient to outweigh harm to green belt

The stationing of five caravans for workers at an aquatic plants enterprise in the green belt in northwest London was refused and enforcement upheld for inappropriate development harmful to the openness of the green belt.

The issues related to the impact of the caravans on the green belt and whether there were any other considerations to justify the development. The inspector considered the use itself was inappropriate as it did not comply with any of the categories in paragraph 89 of the NPPF. He also felt the caravans further eroded the openness of the green belt despite being seen in the context of the existing glasshouses at the property and being well screened. The development was harmful.

In considering whether any special circumstances existed to justify the harm, the inspector noted the appellant’s claim that the development was needed for the business to survive. However, he held there was no substantial evidence to suggest this was the case. Indeed, there was no evidence that the workers needed to be accommodated on site or could not be found alternative accommodation nearby. The caravans were to be stationed on site all year around and so did not constitute permitted development, either. The inspector dismissed the appeal and upheld the enforcement notice.

Inspector: Nigel Burrows; Written representations

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