Green belt bungalow to be demolished

An inspector refused permission to complete a partially constructed bungalow on farmland in the Greater Manchester green belt and upheld enforcement action for its demolition.

The appellant failed to convince the inspector, using a variety of case law, that the proposal amounted to limited infilling which satisfied the exception in national policy to construction of new buildings in the green belt being inappropriate development. Considering the nature of the site and surrounding development, the inspector found the site open on three sides and, in her view, not infill as it was not a vacant site bounded by existing development but in an area of open land within a low density, edge-of-settlement locality. The inspector acknowledged that the dwelling footprint was similar to the agricultural building it would replace but held that the bungalow and associated garden area would have a greater impact on openness than a low-key, utilitarian chicken shed. Giving limited weight to the needs of elderly relatives she found the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development contrary to policy did not exist.

Attempts to retain the building as a store for materials under permitted development rights during the re-development of other buildings on the farm and as a domestic store after completion of the dwellings, instead of the demolition sought by the council in an enforcement notice, were rejected by the inspector as an invalid fallback and vague.

Inspector: Debbie Moore; Written representations

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