DC Casebook: Commercial and industrial - Container refused on green belt harm

The retention of a shipping container for the storage and sale of biodiesel fuel at a car wash in Staffordshire has been rejected because of the harm it would cause to the green belt.

The inspector took the view that the scheme amounted to a material change in the use of the land and engineering and other operations. PPG2 indicates that such works are inappropriate unless they maintain green belt openness, he remarked. He judged that placing the container on the land had reduced the openness of the area, albeit to a limited extent. It was therefore inappropriate development, he opined.

He saw that the container was prominent in views from the approach along the road while the car wash and its surroundings had a neglected appearance. In this context he held that the container's utilitarian character stood out as an incongruous feature, unacceptably affecting the visual amenity of the green belt. The potential environmental benefits of drivers using biodiesel did not constitute the very special circumstances needed to outweigh the harm to the area's appearance, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-058-209

Inspector George Baird; Written representations.

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