Casebook: Appeal Cases - Housing: new build - Green belt villa rebuild deemed inappropriate

Proposals to reconstruct a substantial suburban villa in the Cheshire green belt have been refused planning permission after an inspector decided that the scheme represented an inappropriate form of development.

The property had been built on a site near Liverpool in the 1820s and listed in 1952. Its demolition was authorised following a public inquiry in 1998 subject to a section 106 agreement requiring the preservation of parts of the building of particular note. These features were dismantled, recorded and given to Liverpool City Council, with the remaining stonework placed in storage.

The appellant claimed that the scheme would involve the re-erection of the building, since 90 per cent of the original stonework remained available for its construction. Its proposed relocation to Cheshire echoed the building's original semi-rural setting close to the outskirts of a major commercial centre, he maintained. He claimed that the scheme accorded with PPS7 in that it would involve a high standard of building design that, although not involving contemporary architecture, would be innovative and of exceptional appearance.

The inspector decided that the proposal would not be truly innovative.

The house would have no historic or architectural affinity with the area and its previous listed status would not apply to the new dwelling, he considered. In his opinion, the principle of protecting the green belt was paramount.

He saw no evidence that an alternative location that did not breach long-established planning principles on development in the green belt could not be found. He also observed that allowing the scheme would increase an over-supply of housing land in the borough relative to structure plan requirements.

DCS No: 39204288; Inspector: Roger Brown; Inquiry.

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