The proposal was for the construction of a steel portal-frame building for use as a refreshment area to serve an existing leisure and recreation use. The proposed building would be of substantial size, measuring 10 metres by 30 metres, and with a ridge height of around four metres and located in an open field but set near to other buildings. The issue in the case was whether the proposal constituted an exception under paragraph 145 of the NPPF relating to appropriate facilities for outdoor recreation in the green belt. The inspector considered that the footprint, mass and bulk of the building would significantly harm the openness of the green belt in spatial terms and would introduce a large and imposing building beyond other existing development which would not constitute an exception under the NPPF and would also detract from the appearance and character of the area by reason of its scale and prominence in the landscape. The inspector accepted that the proposal would assist the growth and success of the business benefitting the economy and this was a positive consideration.
In the green belt balance, the inspector determined that the substantial weight to be given to the green belt harm, and the harm caused to the character and appearance of the area, arising from the proposal would not be clearly outweighed by other considerations sufficient to demonstrate very special circumstances.
Inspector: J Hunter; Written representations