Dual-use outbuilding inappropriate in green belt

A timber outbuilding has been refused at a dwelling with associated fishing ponds in the West Midlands green belt for harm from inappropriateness and harm to biodiversity with insufficient special circumstances to overcome these harms.

The appellant had argued the proposal met the exceptions in NPPF paragraph 145 relating to the construction of new buildings in the green belt for the provision of outdoor sport and recreation as one use of the proposed building would be for fishermen in connection with the use of the fishing ponds at the dwelling, including to provide shelter and as an area to have refreshments. Although the inspector accepted the building was an appropriate facility for the fishing use at the site, she noted that was not the only use of the building as it was also intended for personal use by the appellant and his family, a use which was not included as an exception in the NPPF. Additionally, the building was located in an open and undeveloped part of the site some distance from the dwelling which the inspector held represented encroachment into open countryside conflicting with the purpose of including land within the green belt. The proposed 12 metre by six metre outbuilding was a relatively large structure in the inspector’s view, which, as a result of its solid roof and timber frame and balustrades, had a significant mass and presence, despite its open-sided design. She concluded in this regard, even if the building was considered an exception under the NPPF, it would erode the spatial openness of the green belt and would be inappropriate in any event.

The appeal site was in a designated Site Important for Nature Conservation but inadequate information had been submitted regarding the impact of the proposals on the habitat or any important species within it and the inspector found against the proposal in this regard, regardless of the fact a building similar to the proposal had already been erected on site.

Inspector: Jillian Rann; Written representations

 


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