Larger replacement dwelling in green belt does not reduce openness

A replacement dwelling in the green belt in Warwickshire was allowed despite having a greater volume than the existing building at the site, being appropriate development under the exception in bullet 6 of paragraph 89 of the NPPF relating to the redevelopment of brownfield land.

The first issue in the case was whether the proposed building was materially larger than those existing at the site in relation to bullet 4 of paragraph 89 of the NPPF regarding exceptions to inappropriate development in the green belt. All the buildings at the site would be demolished to make way for a new building with total footprint and height no greater than the existing development. The volume of the building would be larger but with the increase contained in a basement level. The inspector considered this element still needed to be included in a determination of the size of the building, however, and held the proposal did not fall within the exception under bullet 4.

The inspector then turned to bullet 6 of paragraph 89 regarding the redevelopment of brownfield land, which the appellant and council had agreed it was. In her view, the basement, being underground, had no effect upon openness. The visible buildings would have a similar volume as the existing development. The proposed building would have a larger bulk and massing than the existing bungalow but these attributes would be compensated for by the replacement building being sited within a much more confined area than the existing built development. She considered that the proposed development would have no greater impact upon the openness of the green belt than the existing development and was not therefore inappropriate. The inspector concluded the proposal failed one exception test but succeeded on another.

Inspector: Siobhan Watson; Written representations

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