Office parking contrary to green belt policy

The use of land in the Hertfordshire green belt to provide 30 car parking spaces for a nearby office, would undermine the openness of the land and involved building operations in the form of new fencing, lighting and automatic entry and exit barriers.

None of the proposed works fell within the scope of paragraph 145 of the NPPF and while the land was currently used for car parking associated with a florist shop, the area would be extended and become more intensively used, the inspector decided. It would give rise to a considerable physical and visual impact on the openness of the land the inspector held.

A claim that the offices urgently needed new car required additional spaces, was also disputed by the inspector who noted that they had been recently built and were subject to implementation of a green travel plan. A range of initiatives and measures to reduce reliance on the private car could be secured she concluded, and these had not been fully explored. Consequently, the economic benefits to the company were reduced. Very special circumstances to justify the scheme did not exist and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Helen O’Connor; Written representations

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